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How to Quantify Your Resume Experience

by John Nicholson, Resumes That Jump
Originally published: May 15, 2009

One of the best ways to make your resume jump is to quantify your duties and achievements. We receive hundreds of resumes and I almost never see one with too much quantification. Dollar signs, percentages, and other metrics do three wonderful things. They ...

  • Break up text and act as “slow down signs” for readers, causing them to take more in and remember more.
  • Add uniqueness and credibility to your claims. Managers have read plenty of resumes that say “reduced bugs significantly”. “Reduced bugs by 34%” sounds a lot more real.
  • Show that you understand and value metrics and business results — a critical asset in an field and at any level.

Here’s an effective way to do this. Read through your resume thoroughly, and for each sentence or bullet ask “could I quantify this?” Underline any that you can, and return to them at the end. Unique achievements are the best candidates, especially those that saved the company time or money. But don’t neglect your everyday duties; often it’s simply a matter of stating “how many?”. For example ...

  • Instead of “managed support team”, say “managed 30-person support team”.
  • Instead of “oversaw budget”, say “oversaw $30K annual budget”.

Same goes for clients serviced, users supported, projects completed, servers maintained, and so on. All of these things stand out more with impressive numbers attached. Keep asking “how many?”!