How to Update Your Resume to Include Metrics

John Scott
Posted by in Career Advice

A good resume answers two questions: what the job seeker did and how well the job seeker did it. Many job seekers create resumes that only answer the first question. By taking the time to update the resume to include metrics, job candidates make it easy for potential employers to see precisely how effective they were at their previous positions.

Resumes that do not include metrics do their writers a disservice. These resumes present lists of positions held and areas of responsibility but fail to show tangible results or significant accomplishments. For example, a resume without metrics may include a bullet point that reads "Managed sales for northeastern division" but fail to specify how many sales were made or how the sales numbers improved over time.

When a job seeker updates the resume to include metrics, the picture becomes much more clear. Instead of writing "Managed sales for northeastern division," the job seeker updates the resume with additional bullet points, such as "Increased northeastern division sales by 35 percent in five-year period" and "Managed $50K of sales in the last fiscal year." These metrics present a track record of success and help the job seeker establish credibility with potential employers.

Money is not the only metric to include on a resume. It is important to update the resume to include all quantifiable metrics. If a job seeker's direct reports increased by 20 percent, that should be included on the resume. If a job seeker completed a project in a significantly short amount of time, that is listed on the resume as well.

The best way to update the resume with metrics is to go through the resume and look for words such as "improved," "managed," "developed" and similar verbs. If the resume includes "improved," as in "improved sales" or "improved process time," update the resume with a number that illustrates exactly how much improvement took place. That way, "improved sales" becomes "improved sales by 20 percent," and "developed software" becomes "developed 10 original software programs."

As Forbes notes, it is no longer enough for job seekers to write resumes that simply list roles and responsibilities. Every job seeker needs to update the resume and include metrics that quantify exactly what the job seeker accomplished in each of his previous positions. If a resume does not include metrics, it is time to go through the resume carefully and add at least one applicable metric to every position and area of responsibility.

Adding metrics to a resume is one of the best ways to update the resume and make it more competitive. By adding metrics, a job seeker is able to prove a history of achievement and quantify his contributions to the job. Employers then know exactly which job candidates are most likely to achieve similar success in a new position.

(Photo courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn at


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