How To Quantify Results on Your Resume When Your Job Isn’t Big on Numbers

How To Quantify Results on Your Resume When Your Job Isn’t Big on Numbers

“Quantify your achievements” is one of the most common resume writing tips you’ll hear. Sure, adding numbers in your resume bullet points makes it stand out and it helps recruiters imagine the impact you’ve made at your previous job. But this is easier said than done, especially for roles with no easily measured achievements or tasks.
Here’s where a little creativity goes a long way. To quantify your achievements, you have to look beyond the obvious when you think of measurable tasks and the numbers you associate with them.

Write it All Down

​Ask your supervisor about your job’s performance metrics even those not directly tied to your output. Check your annual performance reviews as well because it might have quantifiable information about your job. If you can’t dig up anything, that’s okay. It’s just going to take a bit of elbow grease but there are still plenty of ways to add numbers to your resume.
 Start with a list of all your responsibilities, skills, and achievements. Write everything you can think of even the ones you obviously can’t quantify. That might change later and you might be surprised how that one task could be rephrased to present your value as a candidate.
Now imagine you’re a recruiter browsing resumes, what qualifications would impress you enough to invite a job seeker for an interview? Highlight those qualifications on your list.
Below are example skills and duties for three positions with no obvious quantifiable achievements:

  1. Nursing: Supervise nursing aides, monitor patient medication intake, worked for the labor and delivery unit (L&D)
  2. IT or Programming: responding to help desk requests, installing new software, monitoring database and security systems, debugging programs, creating a new app for budgeting
  3. Administrative roles: direct calls from the company trunkline, make travel arrangements for CEO, maintain records for petty cash, organize filing system
  4. Creatives such as writers and video editors: Write ad copy for brochures, design logos, collaborate with clients and executive team to conceptualize designs for product launch

Brainstorm Creative Ways To Quantify Your Work

You should now have a pretty long list of skills, achievements, and responsibilities. Continuing from the example above, ask yourself the following questions to brainstorm ways to quantify your tasks:

  • Nursing: How many beds or patients are included in your rounds? How many patients does your department or unit usually handle per shift? How many medical billing and coding languages are you familiar with? How many aides or nurses do you supervise? How many have you trained? How many surgery patients do you assist with per week or month? How long have you worked in your department or unit?
  • IT or Programming: How many servers, networks, or databases do you manage? How many users are there for each server? On average, how many support tickets do you process daily? How many workstations are you responsible for in terms of maintenance and upgrades? What is the average turn-around time for your coding projects? How much is the biggest project you’ve ever handled?
  • Administrative roles: In your past role, how many executives or officers relied on you for travel plans, calendar management, and other administrative tasks? How much was entrusted to you for arranging travel plans and other company events? If you help coordinate events, what’s the average number of attendees? How long are these events? How many vendors or suppliers do you work with? Have you ever done something that directly resulted in time or money saved? How many new hires have you trained in using your employer’s in-house software? How many orders—or any type of important paperwork—do you process on a daily or monthly basis? If you maintain the company’s social media account, how many followers do you have?
  • Creatives: How many designs or articles can you finish per week? How many clients do you work with regularly? How much was the biggest design or creative budget you handled? How much engagement did your most popular article or video get online?

These are just some of the questions you can ask but the concept applies to all industries. The key here is to keep an open mind. Take a long hard look at your list, then try to see if any of the following measurements might apply:

  • Budget allotted
  • Can the task be measured in terms of time, size, duration, scope, or frequency?
  • Time or money saved or earned
  • Can I estimate how often it occurs on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • How many people are involved?

Combine Tasks with Numbers and Results for Amazing Bullet Points

​It might be hard to imagine how the questions and the tasks you listed could translate to anything worth including in your resume. That’s because you’re missing one ingredient: the result.
How does your task benefit your employer or co-workers? And if a direct benefit can’t be established, how does that task signify the importance and complexity of your role? The examples below will show you how.

2 Strategies for Writing Accomplishment-Oriented and Quantified Bullet Points

1. If you’re unsure of the exact numbers involved
Ask your supervisor or co-workers to estimate the impact of your work, then make it clear in your bullet point that you’re only providing an estimate.
Before: Manage product supply ordering procedure.
After: Streamlined inventory purchase procedure to decrease projected surplus by 15%.
By adding the word “projected” you’re making it clear that the 15% decrease is just an estimate, but the improved bullet point still feels tangible and shows the impact of your work.
Your work may involve a varying number of people, but you could still show recruiters how many depend on you by using a range instead of an exact number.
Before: Assisted undergraduate students with thesis-related projects
After: Assisted 15 to 20 undergraduate students with thesis-related projects
2. Establish Productivity Rate and Impact Using Frequency
Repetitive tasks, even those with no direct relation to the bottom line, show how much work you can handle. Don’t let those tasks go to waste, add a frequency to quantify them so recruiters can see how hardworking you are!
Before: Manage company trunkline.
After: Manage company trunkline connected to 5 different departments, receiving an average of 250 calls a day.
Before: Read and graded essays of grade 8 English students.
After: Read and graded essays of grade 8 English students for 5 classes, or about 250 students.  

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About the Author

Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.

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