Quantifying your experience in CV

We at Reflections have conducted around 10+ personal sessions so far. The main purpose of these sessions is to give detailed feedback for job seekers on their CV & Cover Letter based on our experiences. The most common mistake that we found across all the CVs was that the tasks/achievements mentioned were very general(no focus on impact/outcome) and not quantified (no mention of any numbers – frequency, scale as well as range).

Why quantify your tasks/achievements? 
  1. Numbers build credibility (Having real numbers to share about your achievements makes you look more professional) 
  2. Numbers stand out to recruiters/hiring managers (When it comes to accomplishments, numbers talk) 
  3. Numbers have a higher impact (Anything that’s measurable and has metrics associated with it is considered high impact) 
  4. € or $ symbol always stands out (If you’re able to attach percentages or dollar signs, people will pay even more attention) 

Person 1: Led a team of professionals to achieve increase in sales compared to 2019

Person 2: Headed a 10-person sales & business development team to achieve sales of € 450,000 in 2020 (~20%growth compared to 2019)

Person 1: Taking measurements and maintain records to improve the manufacturing process efficiency

Person 2: Initiated and managed tracking systems used in the manufacturing of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)which led to 20% increase in process efficiency & cost savings of € 150,000

In the above examples, Person 2 has clearly focused on the outcome & quantified his/her achievements. If the HR/Hiring manager wants to pick one for the interview, it will definitely be Person 2. So, focus to be person 2 and not person 1 while writing the tasks/achievement in your CVs 


Tip 1: We understand that you cannot quantify every task/achievement. Hence, the general thumb rule is to at least quantify 2-3 out of a maximum 4-5 tasks/achievements mentioned in your CV.

Different ways to quantify your tasks/achievement? 

  1. Range
    Not knowing the exact figures often stops people from using numbers in their CVs. It’s perfectly fine to not know exactly the impact but this should not stop you from quantifying it. This can be overcome by using a range estimation.

    Example: Conceptualized & built online sales dashboard on Tableau (accessed by 180-200 sales executives) to improve sales in 10-12 markets by ~20% across the Asia Pacific

  2. Frequency

    Now that you know it’s fine to use a range, one of the easiest ways to add some more numbers is to include how frequently you do a particular task. This is particularly helpful in illustrating your work in high-volume situations—a hiring manager will be able to see just how much you can handle.

    Example: Reviewed and evaluated 5-10 computer algorithms for bugs per day

  3. Scale

    Think about all the things you do that ultimately save your company money, whether it’s streamlining a procedure, saving time, or negotiating discounts with vendors. Multiply those actions by how frequently you do them, and pop them into your CV bullets.

    Example: Initiated and managed tracking systems used in the manufacturing of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) which led to cost savings of € 150,000 – € 200,000 per year

Tip 2: If you absolutely can’t come up with numbers then consider using less-specific superlatives such as “first,” “only,” “best,” “most,” “top,” and “highest” to describe your accomplishments

Tip 3: Read this article to see further examples of adding quantifiable evidence to your CV.

These are a few learnings from our experience on how to quantify CVs.

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