Resumes usually contain words for the most part, and words tend to get skimmed over, especially when they’re in paragraph format.
The more words you put on your resume, the less the hiring manager is actually going to read. It’s counter-intuitive but that’s the reality.
So what can you put on a resume to grab the attention of recruiters, HR staff, and hiring managers? Numbers.
You should strategically use numbers to catch the hiring manager’s attention, and there are quite a few types of numbers that you can use.
One type of number that you can put on your resume is direct reports. You can also put indirect reports on your resume – people you’ve led for projects, training sessions, etc.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through how to put all sorts of data/accomplishments on your resume to make it stand out and get you more interviews.
Hiring managers love metrics leadership, so under each previous position where you’ve led people, create a bullet specifically talking about your direct and/or indirect reports.
Here are some examples of how to list direct reports on a resume:
Examples of how to list indirect reports on a resume:
Example of putting direct AND indirect reports on your resume:
You’ll notice some of these examples of how to list reports on your resume also include other accomplishments, metrics, stats and data. The more of this you can include on your resume, the better!
For a full article on how to write great bullets for your resume, go here.
Now, what if you didn’t lead anyone?
That’s okay; there are still many types of data and numbers you can put on your resume to grab attention and set yourself apart.
You should specify what the goal or department average was, and then include your performance so that it can be compared to the average.
A paragraph talking about how you’re an above-average performer is going to get skipped over by a lot of hiring managers, but a quick bullet point with measurable performance metrics will almost always be read closely.
You can put specific statistics on your resume in terms of company/group performance. If your group exceeded its goals, you can take credit for that on your resume, too!
The same goes for company achievements.
See below for two examples that would help your resume grab the hiring manager’s attention. These examples are for a salesperson. You can adjust them depending on your field.
Individual performance example:
Group/Company performance example:
Thinking in terms of dollar amounts will provide you with another great way to find specific numbers to put on your resume.
You can list your contributions in terms of dollar figures, instead of using a percentage like in the example above.
There are other ways to use dollar figures too. If you are responsible for a certain area within the business, talking about the budget or revenue of this area is a great way to show the size and scope of your role.
Here are two examples of what to put on a resume in terms of dollar figures:
That first bullet above also shows off your direct reports, too (12 lab staff). So you can show off headcounts/reports as well as other achievements throughout your resume.
Putting this type of data on your resume – both for direct and indirect reports and other data – is much better than some long-winded paragraph about your skills and experience.
This type of numerical data will grab the hiring manager’s attention and get you more interviews.
You don’t need to be in sales to find great metrics and stats to put on your resume; you just need to get a bit creative.
While this list of ideas is a good starting point, don’t get discouraged if you read through this and haven’t come up with metrics of your own yet.
Think about the quantity of work you put out. That’s one place to start getting ideas. Example: If you’re a content marketer and writer, how many articles do you write per month? That’s a metric.
How many visitors per month go to the websites you write for? That’s another great metric you could write: “Write 10-12 articles per month for websites receiving 12 million+ monthly visitors”.
That’s an impressive, accomplishment-packed sentence… without you having to work in sales OR have any direct or indirect reports on your resume.
Here’s one more scenario and example before I conclude. Let’s say you’re an administrative assistant. How many people do you assist? That’s a number.
Or if you assist one Executive, how many people report to that Executive? If it’s 10, you could say, “Executive Assistant to VP of HR, managing 10 HR staff”.
Start brainstorming and don’t assume you can’t put metrics and numbers on your resume just because you’re not in sales or haven’t had anyone reporting directly to you yet. There’s a lot more you can put.
Putting data and numbers on your resume is a powerful way to get more interviews whether you’re entry-level or Director-level. If you follow the steps above, you’ll get more interviews whether you have direct reports to put on your resume, indirect reports, or other types of data like the examples we looked at above.
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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