Whether you’re working in accounting, skilled trades or any other field, quantifying your achievements is a great way to stand out from the pack and showcase your value to potential employers.
Why? Well, because it makes your value concrete and easily graspable, rather than making it vague. Interviewees all too often talk in general terms about their expertise and skills, saying they did a superior or strong job.
Numbers, on the other hand, show the job you did. Numbers are more a way to show than tell what you accomplished on the job and the value you added to employers. So how do you back up your achievements with numbers? Here are three ways.
1. Determine the numbers that apply to your job.
The first step is determining which numbers are most relevant to your job. It will vary according to the position you’re applying for. Look at your past jobs. What metrics were your performance appraisals based on? What did the managers focus on in terms of praise and instruction?
If you’re in accounting, for example, the emphasis could have been on reducing the taxes for clients, completing taxes in a timely manner, or generating new clients. If you are in the skilled trades, the focus could have been on productivity, customer satisfaction, or using processes and tools that resulted in cost savings. Find the numbers that best define what you added to each company you worked for.
2. Show your contribution over time.
Once you’ve determined the metric, you need to figure out how much you contributed over time (month, quarter, or year) and put a number or percentage on it.
Let’s say, for example, that your accounting work helped a business reduce its taxes paid from $100,000 to $90,000 by pointing out a previously overlooked deduction. That’s perfectly numeric. By reducing taxes paid by $10,000, you saved them 10%.
If you’re in the skilled trades, you may need to contact former companies and managers for feedback. They would be able to tell you metrics about productivity, customer satisfaction or cost savings.
If you were ever told about positive numbers, such as increases in items assembled or reductions in assembly errors, or the group you were in received positive commendations for them, don’t hesitate to use them.
3. Be prepared to discuss the value you add in an interview.
While numbers are a way to catch an employer’s attention and make them want to hire you, they won’t do the job alone. You need to come to the interview prepared to talk about your contributions.
Employers want to know how you improved numbers in the past, because they want you to improve those figures for them also.
Come prepared to discuss your tax return review techniques and style if you work in accounting. How did you catch the tax deduction that was overlooked previously? Focus on how you got to your achievement — and how you’ll get to achievements for your new company. If you’re in the skilled trades, prepare to talk about the productivity increases. Were they because of the site, new tools, innovative processes, or teamwork. Highlight your contribution. Focus on your contribution to the new company.
Looking for Help on Your Job Hunt in Reno?
Once you have a resume that tells a great story about the value you can add to an employer, it’s time to hit the job market and land an interview to share your story. The Applied Companies works with many employers in the Reno, NV area and can help you find an opportunity that fits your professional goals. Contact us today.