How To Quantify Your Career Achievements

Published: Aug 31, 2009

 Interviewing       Salary & Benefits       Workplace Issues       
Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Typical resume advice says to use quantitative results -- revenue generated, costs saved, profits increased. But what about people who aren’t in sales or don’t manage a budget. What results can a mid-level manager or someone new in a career show?

The benefit of quantitative descriptions is not exclusive to bottom line data. Quantitative descriptions provide scope and scale for your accomplishments. Quantitative details are tangible. The significance of an event planning project changes when we know that 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 people attended. Even if you didn’t manage the event budget or sell the tickets, we have a better sense for what you can manage by the quantitative attendance numbers. How many sponsors? How many companies/ groups did you have to pull together? How long was the lead time? Quantify where you can.

A financial analyst is not a rainmaker, but no one in that sector expects that. Still, it’s helpful to know that the deals you worked on in a given year totaled $100 MM. How many people were on a typical due diligence team? How big were these companies? What valuation analyses and financial calculations did you run? The more specific the details, the more real your story becomes on a resume and in an interview.

Whatever you can measure you should measure: people managed, calls made, records analyzed. You may not list it all down on your final resume or say everything in each interview response, but forcing yourself to recall this level of specificity forces you to develop an awareness of your business and your exact contribution. You will distinguish yourself as a candidate when you add quantitative details to your story. You move from the general and the nebulous (what did this person do) to the specific and the tangible (ok, now I get it). You make your details stick.