Resume Tips: Storytelling with Numbers

Score. dream. job. That is the goal in your job search.

Step one to achieve this goal is making your resume as attractive as possible, reflecting all the relevant information an employer will need to make a hiring decision. Unfortunately, the vast majority of applicants all make the same mistake on their resumes: They tell their story only with words, leaving out key quantifiable data and numbers.

With recruiters and hiring managers needing to scan dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for a position, even the most eloquent and compelling summary may fail to grab attention. To avoid having your resume fall through the cracks, follow the most recommended resume tips you’ll ever hear.

Resume Tips to Get You Noticed

Quantify Your Results

To understand why including numbers is one the most important resume tips, it helps to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. Think about two equally qualified candidates with identical work experience. On one resume, the candidate simply lists out his or her job duties of the positions he or she held. On the other, the candidate includes specific numbers related to:

  • How much money they made for a company (example: “landed a $15,000 client account”)
  • The size of a team managed (“supervised eight employees”)
  • Gains measured in percentages (“worked to increase productivity 30 percent”)

While in both resumes the information still requires verification, the hard numbers in the second resume automatically feel more concrete than the more general listing of duties. Numbers tell a concise and clear story, one that a hiring manager can quickly and easily connect to the position you’re applying for – not to mention that these numbers give them more concrete rationale to show executives.

Another advantage of including numbers and quantifiable data on a resume is that it helps your resume to quickly stand out. The average attention span is eight seconds. Hiring managers do not have enough hours in the day to carefully pour over every word in the stack of resumes they’ve received. By including data points in the form of numbers, a hiring manager can quickly skim a resume and latch on to the most relevant information. This makes you stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, all this will occur if your resume can beat the Applicant Tracking System.

Use Action Verbs

This is not to say that words and descriptions don’t have a place in resumes. The key, though, is to make these words count.

The Muse recommends that – rather than relying on the traditional but ultimately less-than-evocative words like “led,” “managed” or “responsible for” to describe your accomplishments – candidates use more unique and exciting action verbs. Some of the top resume action verbs include:

  • Chaired
  • Programmed
  • Devised
  • Engineered
  • Diagnosed
  • Yielded
  • Delivered
  • Modified
  • Mobilized

What makes these words powerful is that they are specific, as well as unique, each with distinct meanings that paint a more detailed picture of your work.

Profiles Career Services

Profiles doesn’t just match up the most talented creative professionals with the top regional companies: We create a new standard in hiring and job searching. That’s why we offer the expert guidance and training you need to score that killer position at a Fortune 500 company. From resume tips to interviewing prep, our goal is to elevate careers. Get in touch with one of Profiles’ IT Recruiters to learn more.

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