Some numbers are very descriptive and some numbers are completely vague. When putting together an awesome resume, you have to know the difference. Most people don’t, so knowing this and can give you the advantage.
Imagine going apple picking and your friend asks you how you did. Would you tell her you picked apples for 2 hours or would you tell her that you picked 10 delicious apples? Going apple picking for 2 hours tells your friend absolutely nothing while telling her that you picked 10 delicious apples tells her a lot. Just because you walked around an apple orchard for 2 hours does not mean that you were successful. Why do so many people think that writing that they have 4 years of experience doing something means anything?
It’s a faulty system that many companies use when hiring because they don’t know how to put it any other way. They ask for someone with “X” years of experience because they assume that during those years, they would have done some of the things they were supposed to and picked up some useful experience. What a company should be asking for is someone who accomplished “Y”. That way the people applying to the job and the hiring managers reading the resumes will have a much easier time determining the fit with the job.
Here are some numbers that don’t belong on a resume:
GPA – When graduating from college and looking for a job, many career development departments suggest adding your GPA to your resume, especially if it is high. It shows that you can not only make it through a program, but you can also do it really well. Although this does tell a little bit about you, it says nothing about how you will actually work on the job. School and work are very different and GPA doesn’t play a role once you are in the work world. Real actual experience from temp jobs and internships along the way are much more valuable.
Years in School – The amount of years that it takes you to graduate college doesn’t really matter. It is the degree that you get at the end that says it all. When adding education to your resume, keep it simple.
Years of Experience – As I mentioned above, years of experience mean nothing. A year of experience can mean that you worked 100 hour weeks on that one task but it can also mean that you did something related to that task during your year at your previous company. If you write articles for your job, don’t say that you have one year of article writing experience. Instead, write that you have written 2 articles per week for one year under strict deadlines.
Page Number – A resume is not a detailed list of everything you have ever done in your life. It is a short teaser to convince the hiring manager to call you in for an interview. You should be tailoring your resume for each job that you apply to by adding in the most relevant experience and taking out everything else. Once you get your resume right, it shouldn’t be more than one side of a page which doesn’t need a page number.
There are many numbers that are descriptive and should be added to your resume. Here are a few examples:
- How many people you managed
- The size of the budget that you managed
- How much money you made or saved for the company
- Percentages of increased sales and productivity
- Amount of time that you saved for the company (with new procedures or systems)