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Written by Debbie BrideDebbie Bride

How to quantify your resume bullets (with examples)

9 min read
How to quantify your resume bullets
Artwork by:Lizabeth Zaft
Show them the money. Give them some numbers. Facts and figures are your friends. Of all the job search advice you’ve heard more than once, “quantify your resume bullet points” is likely high on the list. That advice does bear repeating because of the job-winning difference it can make.

There are more ways to quantify your achievements on a resume than you might think. Stay with us as we look at the possibilities.

But first, let’s discuss why this extra measure is so highly and widely recommended by career experts. Of what benefit is it to quantify your resume? 

Adding numbers to your resume’s employment history section utilizes another key piece of advice: Frame your work experience highlights as achievements or contributions, not a passive list of duties. Tell what you did, not what you were responsible for. Hand in hand with that comes results.

Measurable outcomes are the most effective way to show the beneficial impact of your work thus far, and what you’re capable of delivering next.“This is what I’ll do for you if hired” is the message they send about your potential value to prospective employers. 

Here are some specific ways that quantified resume bullets can give you an edge: 

  • Your work experience highlights seem more credible, as well as impressive.
  • You come across as results-oriented.
  • Citing metrics that are relevant and relatable to the target employer shows you understand its needs and expectations.
  • You have a better chance of being shortlisted for an interview than other candidates who don’t quantify their resumes.
Statistical insight

A survey of hiring managers indicated that 34% pass over resumes with few or no measurable results. 

What do quantified bullets look like?

Compare the difference between these bullet points before and after numbers are added. The first version describes tasks you performed, but without indicating why they were important or their impact.

Examples of quantifiable resume bullets
Unquantified Quantified
  • Responsible for scheduling and all travel arrangements for the media relations director and other senior executives.
  • Organized travel for 60 press trips and 40 journalists, tripling press coverage over two years.
  • Responsible for reviewing accounting records on a routine basis.
  • Examined accounting records weekly to ensure accuracy, achieving a 32% error rate reduction within 18 months of being promoted to this position.
  • Consistently met or exceeded sales targets to significantly increase revenues from new customers.
  • Generated leads that culminated in $1.2 million of new business last year, representing 70% of total sales by a team of three.
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How do I quantify work experience on my resume?

Taking the recruiter’s perspective when tailoring your resume ensures the accomplishments you choose to highlight are relevant as well as impressive. How to quantify them accordingly may be self-evident, or that could even be a basis for selecting them. The “STAR” method is an effective way to write concise, one-line descriptions depicting a situation, task, action, and result.

In addition to the bullet points listed in your resume’s employment history section, including one or two quantified achievements in the summary upfront can make a powerful first impression on recruiters.

Numbers typically added to bullet points

Below are some commonly used metrics that employers pay attention to on a resume.

  • Money: Use dollars and percentages to substantiate financial gains you helped generate, such as cost savings, sales increases, and net profit boosts.
  • People: Indicate how many others were involved, served, or impacted: staff, collaborators, clients, customers, vendors, patients, shareholders, members, students, or attendees.
  • Time: From project hours to total years of experience, timeframes provide useful context.
  • Rankings: Improved rankings are particularly impressive, whether it’s a top-100 list, customer ratings report, or search engine results.
Amanda Augustine
Resident career expert

A “wins journal” can be useful to track measurable work achievements as they happen. Amanda Augustine at TopResume recommends any form of “brag book” that you find convenient and handy to log all manner of confidence boosters when they are fresh on your mind — tasks well done, accolades earned or any kind of success story. You’ll thank yourself for the time and effort saved when the need arises to update and quantify your resume.

What if I don’t work with numbers?

If you have no need to be preoccupied with numbers on the job, and no access to hard data, you’re in good company. Still, it’s not impossible to give your resume a quantifiable dimension. 

Below are three ways that almost all job seekers could bolster their resume’s impact with numbers. 

1. Range

Don’t know exactly how many customers you greeted, shelves you stocked, yoga students you taught, or walls you painted? It’s perfectly fine to be imprecise, giving a range of numbers — your best guesstimate.

2. Frequency

Perhaps in tandem with range, most people can approximate how often they perform certain job tasks. Simply indicate the number of actions performed, clients served, students tutored, or items produced, etc., within any applicable time span: per hour, shift, week, month or year. 

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3. Scale

Scale indicators help employers understand the relative importance of your past accomplishments by adding context and perspective.

Examples of resume bullets quantified without hard data.
Unquantified Quantified
Range and frequency
  • Completed beverage orders to the exacting standards of coffee house recipes in a popular, often busy cafe.
  • Completed 160-175 beverage orders daily to the exacting standards of coffee house recipes, including 600-625 espresso and custom drink orders per week.
Scale
  • Consistently met or exceeded sales targets
  • Generated leads that culminated in $1.2 million of new business last year, representing 70% of total sales by a team of three.
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Key takeaways

  • Quantified bullets describing your work experience add value to your resume by showcasing your value to the hiring organization. Past contributions are a meaningful indicator of future potential.
  • Be selective and specific in choosing the most relevant standout examples of excellence in your field.
  • Money, people, time, and rankings are common metrics for describing professional accomplishments in measurable terms. In occupations where it’s not possible to use hard data for that, most resumes can still be quantified with numbers indicating range, frequency and scale.

For inspiration and ideas, check out Resume.io’s collection of 350+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides.

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