Trying to tell employers the story of a long and successful executive career on your resume? Unfortunately, describing yourself as a seasoned, skilled, or experienced leader won’t cut it as much as showing the results of what you’ve done.
Quantifying the results of your work, especially when it comes to the bottom line, will tell companies why they can count on you to produce similar gains for them, and will underscore your history of promotions and high-level positions.
However, you may find it hard to take a step back and see the actual effect you’ve had on your department, team, or company. Even if it’s difficult to formulate the message of quantifiable accomplishments, though, the response you’ll gain from employers will be worth the effort.
Here are 3 ways to come up with quantifiable achievements for your resume in order to pack the punch needed to surpass your leadership competition:
1 – Look at the projects you’ve handled.
Most people who have difficulty describing their achievements in terms of the bottom line will still recall the size of a project they’ve handled: the budget, number of people affected, impact to the company, etc. These figures are important to employers, as they demonstrate the scope of authority that you’ve held in other leadership positions.
You can also assess the metrics surrounding company growth, defining these figures either in revenue or in volume of staff members. If you’ve held a leadership position for a firm that grew 320% during your tenure, for example, this expansion will have affected the intensity of your work, as well as the level of responsibility needed in order to manage a larger organization.
You’ll find that adding these types of career- and company-defining figures to your leadership resume will pay off in increased employer interest for your job hunt.
2 – Assess your results against that of your predecessor or colleagues.
Even if it seems that you were merely meeting Board expectations in an executive role, you probably performed the job much differently than your leadership peers—and this is great fodder for a leadership resume.
You may be able to pull out percentage, ranking, or cost-saving comparisons to others that held the same level of responsibility, which provides a built-in demonstration of your effectiveness for your resume.
In addition, consider looking at the reasons you may have been promoted to take over for an underperforming executive. In this case, you can note your progress against that of your predecessor by assessing whether your performance indicates a higher level of success.
3 – Don’t forget about the “firsts” that you’ve tackled for the company.
Perhaps your former employer asked you to lead or play an instrumental role in a new project. Here is where you can describe the project itself in terms of whether it was a first for your company—or even your industry—and what significance this has for your career.
If your company was the first to launch a market-leading product or enter into an unchallenged territory, this information can be added in order to prove your executive capabilities.
The best way to show this experience in your leadership resume is to focus on the part you played, the results generated, or the accolades that followed. For example, you might have served as the evangelist or champion responsible for getting an initiative off the ground—a feat that shows courage, drive, and the ability to create buy-in.
If the company reaped results from the new venture that can be talked about in terms of profit, revenue, or cost savings, these figures can be used on your resume to show the overall impact.
In addition, many companies experience a boost in reputation or industry ranking from creating a new service or becoming the first to implement a particular methodology. You can therefore leverage any press or media exposure by mentioning these items on your leadership resume.
As you mine your career history for metrics that define your capabilities and success, it’s important to give others a clear picture of the scope of your duties, as well as the impact your work has had on the company.
You’ll find that quantifying and listing achievements can quickly distinguish you from your executive competition--especially in a tight job market.