Wondering What to Put on a Resume? Focus on Numbers

Wondering What to Put on Your Resume? Focus on Numbers

what should you put on your resume- why you should put numbers

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 ironic 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 manger’s attention, and there are quite a few types of numbers that you can use.

What to put on a resume: 


Hiring managers love metrics. If you had goals or quotas or department averages that you met or exceeded, include that info on your resume.

You should specify what the goal or department average was in terms of a specific number figure, 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 stats on your resume in terms of individual performance and also company/group performance. 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:

  • Performed in the top 20% of entire department for three consecutive years (2009-2012)

Group/Company performance example:

  • Contributed 11% to total department revenue  in 2012

Dollar figures

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:

(these examples are for a Pharmaceutical Scientist)

  • Managed and led a 12-person chemistry lab with an annual budget of $2,500,000.
  • Principal Scientist/Group Leader within a commercial group responsible for contributing $200 million to company revenue in 2013.


If you manage people in a direct line or a dotted line basis (dotted line would be indirect management such as managing people on projects or on cross-functional teams), this type of number is great to include on a resume.

Here’s an example of headcount numbers:

  • Responsible for 5 direct reports and up to 15 indirect staff depending on current projects.

Again, this is much better than some long-winded paragraph about your management abilities. This type of data will grab the hiring manager’s attention. Once you get the job interview, you’ll be able to talk more about your management style and some of your strengths as a leader, but trying to put that down on paper without some specific numbers is a mistake.



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