When creating or revising your resume, it’s the metrics and specific quantifiable accomplishments that matter more than the actual words used.

When I’m talking to someone and they ask me about resume buzzwords, I find it’s a tricky question to answer. While the wording and narrative do ultimately matter, you need to grab the employer’s attention quickly with standout information.

Typically, a hiring manager will give your resume a 30-45 second onceover, which means you need to stand out among the other applicants quickly and impressively. When determining how to word a resume, I always advise numbers over narrative. Meaning, give metrics and percentages of how you have been effective in the workplace. There aren’t necessarily words not to use in a resume—you just need to back up your words and adjectives with substance.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m an accomplished manager who has surpassed goals and consistently exceeded expectations,” give the reader more substantive content. “I’m an operations manager of a large facility, overseeing 200 employees daily and more than $1M in revenue annually.” Employers want to see and understand how you are going to help them get from point A to point B. These specific metrics will stand out as a hiring manager begins to glance through your resume and give you a leg up on the competition.

Further, be as detailed as possible. Include the number of direct reports you have, how many square feet the facility is that you manage, how much revenue you have generated, what percentage of the budget you’re responsible for, etc. The more information you can provide, the more an employer will recognize your value and be able to determine whether or not you would be a good fit for the position.

So, how do you weave in all this information? I recently came across a candidate’s resume that was exceptionally written. It began with his or her personal description, which included the job title, number of employees he or she managed, the percentage of scheduled attainment as well as the percentage in reduction of overhead. From there, the candidate listed his or her accomplishments which were broken down into six, concise, detailed bullet points. And lastly, he or she included pertinent information such as educational background and all certifications he or she has obtained.

Over the past nine years, I have reviewed thousands of resumes, and the ones that have stood out the most were those individuals who were able to quickly prove their value and accomplishments with real, hard facts and numbers. Having this information as an employer makes the hiring decision easier and will help to ensure you’re among the best candidates from which to choose.

Have you come across a great resume recently? Or are you looking for help in writing your resume? Leave a comment below.


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