Making a resume? Here are the only 2 things you need to do on your resume to be a finalist for whatever job you are after:
- Don't suck.
- Provide context and results.
This article is about #2. (Maybe someday I'll do a follow up about #1)
Let's compare the following 2 hypothetical snippets that could be found on a resume:
Experienced manager and leader in the accounting and accounts receivables space. Expert in multiple accounting technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics, Turbotax, and Zen. Worked directly with senior management to make accounting processes more efficient. Worked with junior team members to improve their skill level and communication skills.
Sounds totally fine right?
Um no. This person lives a sad, miserable corporate life, with no accomplishments, accountability, or responsibility. They couldn't find success if it was covering their genitals while they were walking naked around a whore house holding hundred dollar bills. The fact that they don't have one, single quantifiable accomplishment that they can talk about should be a giant red flag to anyone reading their resume.
Let's compare the above snippet with a similar snippet that focuses on results and context:
Experienced manager responsible for directing the day to day activities of a 14-person accounting team. Over the course of 2 years the team was responsible for accelerating our accounts receivables from an average of 160 days to payment down to 45 days. This resulted in an increase of free cash flow by $2M. This change coincided with a 35% increase in Net Promoter Score for our finance team.
Night and day right? They could literally be the same person. I don't know anything about accounting but I know that snippet #2 is someone that gets stuff done. Whether or not the results and context are necessarily impressive, that's up to the reader (see point #1). Regardless, there is a difference between the type of person who cares about results and context and someone who does not.
In short, want to improve your resume? PUT MORE NUMBERS ON YOUR RESUME!!!!
(...in case bold with 4 exclamation signs didn't get your attention... here's the same thing in a bigger font)
Resume Rule #1: PUT MORE NUMBERS ON YOUR RESUME
Resume Rule #2: Seriously. PUT MORE NUMBERS ON YOUR RESUME
Wait what's that? You are having trouble getting numbers on your resume?
You might want to ask yourself why that is....
Is it because you're just doing what you're told instead of making sure that the work you are doing is having an impact? Probably should go back to that job... do better (in a quantifiable manner), THEN start looking for another job.
Is it because your job makes it excruciating painful to provide great results? Get out now.