In my career strategy books and seminars, I emphasize the critical importance of being able to track (or ask for) key project metrics to gauge the value of your contribution. If you want credibility with such statements as “I have a proven track record of accomplishment” then you should have some metrics to back up that statement. Quantified accomplishments always speak to hiring managers.
When I worked in the oil industry as an exploration geologist, there were always plenty of project metrics available to assess the value of oil and gas drilling prospects I generated. If the exploration project was successful, then the metrics of interest would be barrels of oil or thousand cubic feet of gas per day the completed well would yield. That in turn became a line item (in bold typeface) on my résumé.
When I or my team wrote B2B eCommerce proposals, it was easy to determine the value of contracts awarded to my employer; when I participated on a feasibility project team to determine the perceived cost savings to convert from print documentation to XML database publishing, the cost savings estimate was an important element of the proposal. Those quantified accomplishments became highlighted bullet list items on my résumé.
If you improve a some work process by 20%, you may be able to determine the value of the time and/or costs saved (maybe with the help of the finance department). Or, an honest ballpark estimate may suffice as well as long as you disclose it it an estimate.
If you don’t have access to such financial information or your position doesn’t address such types of measures, shift the duty/responsibility to an accomplishment by asking these questions after every bulleted list item:
- And what exactly did this duty/task/responsibility result in?
- What was the bigger picture that my duties and responsibilities contributed toward?
You still have to ask the question: “Do these individual items, as worded here, make me stand out from the competition with similar experience?” and you can begin to see how to differentiate yourself from others.
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Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies: Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers). He leads career strategy seminars at conferences, business/trade schools, colleges and universities, and U.S. military veterans organizations.
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