Metrics and KPIs

Why Metrics Matter and How to Use Them!

Simply listing your previous job responsibilities or tasks won’t grab you any attention or applause. It’s easy to tell people what you did. It can be harder to tell people what you accomplished for your employer as a result of what you did.

Writing bullets about specific achievements can set you apart from the competition and demonstrate your value to potential employers.

But even then, it’s not always enough to simply mention your achievements. To truly stand out, it’s important to use metrics and data to reinforce your claims.

But how do you identify and then measure your achievements? It’s not always as easy as some recruiters and resume writers make it seem. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper.

But first, why do metrics matter so much?

Why Metrics Matter

Using metrics to highlight achievements is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps you demonstrate the impact of your work. Saying you increased sales or improved customer satisfaction is one thing. Backing it up with data shows that you can deliver results that can be measured.


Using metrics also helps your resume stand out in what may be a crowded field. Recruiters and hiring managers are often sifting through dozens, or even hundreds of resumes for each job opening, so anything you can do to make your resume more memorable — like adding real numbers — is a big bonus!

Metrics can also help you prepare for interviews. Think about it. When you’re able to back up your claims with data, you’ll be prepared to answer questions about your achievements and explain how you can add value to the organization. And you’ll be able to do it with much more confidence!

Identifying Your Achievements

Before you can start adding metrics into your resume, you need to identify your achievements. Start by making a list of your job responsibilities and tasks. Then, think about specific examples where you excelled. 

To get your brain going, here are some questions to help guide your thinking:

    • Have you ever completed a project ahead of schedule or under budget?
    • Have you increased sales for your company?
    • Have you improved customer satisfaction or retention rates?
    • Have you created a new product or service that led to new streams of revenue?
    • Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?
    • Have you mentored or trained any employees who went on to excel in their roles?

As you think about your achievements, try to focus on those that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you might highlight your ability to surpass sales targets, or your success in developing new business. If you’re applying for a construction or skilled trade role, you may want to focus on your ability to complete projects on time or under budget.

Measuring Your Achievements

Once you’ve identified your achievements, it’s time to start measuring them. This can be is where it can get challenging, especially if you don’t have access to hard data.

There are several ways to quantify your achievements even if you don’t have exact numbers.

One option is to use percentages. For example, if you increased sales for your company, you could say that you “increased sales by 20% over the course of a year”, or however long it took. In fact, adding a little more information to the metric can give it more believability, especially if the metric is a rounded number. Simply saying you increased this by 20% or that by 30% without more context, can sometimes backfire if it comes across as vague or obscure.

This gives the hiring manager a sense of the impact you had and the context or timeline of your achievement, even if you’re unable to provide exact dollars and dates.

Another option is to use qualitative data. For example, if you improved customer satisfaction, you could say that you “received an average customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5 on customer surveys.” This shows that your improvement was not just anecdotal, but backed up by data.

Finally, if you really can’t quantify your achievement with hard or soft numbers, you can try to be as specific as possible about what you did and why it was important. For example, instead of saying “improved customer service,” you could say “developed a new customer service training program that reduced response times and increased customer satisfaction.”


Incorporating Metrics into Your Resume

Once you’ve identified and measured your achievements, it’s time to incorporate them into your resume. Here are some tips for doing this effectively:

    1. Identify your key achievements. Start by identifying your most significant accomplishments in your previous roles. These could be any tasks or projects that you led, completed, or made a significant contribution towards.

    2. Bullets. Use them! Bullet points are the most effective way to present information when you’re trying to sell something — in this case yourself! That’s why they’ve been used in sales letters so effectively and for so long. They’re the best way to illustrate benefits. This also makes it super-easy for the hiring manager to scan your resume and quickly see your accomplishments. So rather than burying your achievements in a paragraph of text, use bullet points to make them (and yourself!) stand out. 

    3. Quantify your achievements. Whenever possible, quantify your achievements with metrics such as percentages, dollar amounts, or numbers. This makes your accomplishments more tangible and impressive to potential employers.

    4. Tailor your achievements to the job. Tailor your achievements to the job you are applying for. Focus on accomplishments that demonstrate the skills and experience required for the position.

    5. Include context. Provide context for your achievements by explaining the situation, the actions you took, and the results you achieved. This helps potential employers understand — and even visualize — the impact you had in your previous roles.

    6. Include awards and recognition. If you have received any awards or recognition for your work, include them in your resume. This adds credibility to your achievements and demonstrates that you are a high-performing candidate.

By incorporating achievements and metrics into your resume, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and experience required for the job. Make sure to highlight your most significant accomplishments, quantify them with metrics, and tailor them to the position you are applying for.

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