I am not really a math person. Math is a struggle for me. Especially in statistics during my undergraduate years — and I also struggled in quantitative reasoning during my doctorate program. Since then, I cannot recall having to use either. However, over the course of my career I found that it is important to quantify your work. For individuals who like math, quantify is the perfect word. You don’t have to be a math whiz to recognize what it means to quantify.
What Does It Mean to Quantify?
When we quantify something, we are putting it into numbers. Quantifying is counting or expressing something in numbers. Results in numbers are likely to make an impact on your resume. Over the past couple of years, I have reviewed hundreds of resumes from a wide range of fields. Many applicants fail to tell their story.
Tell Your Story
Most people don’t take the time to do this. Have you ever listened to someone tell a story? Not many people know how to do this very well. Telling your story helps one make sense of their career accomplishments and how they made it happened. Telling your story can be extremely rewarding. This leads to a greater confidence in presenting your resume.
Your storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to persuade the hiring official. Using numbers to tell your story of how you made those numbers work for you will give you the boost you may need. Ask yourself: How often, how many, how much, how long? You could say that you increased medical consults from 20 in one week to 100 in a one-month period. Or, you could say during a hiring freeze, you managed to increase productivity by 15%, saving an additional $12,000. If you have some time, continue to read for more tangible examples of how you can quantify your work:
Examples of Quantification
- Developed a cost-containment method that led to a 20 % savings
- Increased fundraising contributions for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) by 20% since 2017, raising a total of $50,000
- Resulted in a productivity increase of 10% in _____________
- Managed a team of thirty-two
- Won 20+ contracts which increased revenue for the company
- Served over 50+ Veterans on a weekly basis
- Managed a budget more than $2 million dollars
- Repair over 15 pieces of equipment daily
- Selected 3x as team or project lead
- Exceed deadlines or expectations by a week
- Received dozens of awards
- Reviewed and evaluated 40-50 employee’s performances annually
- Chaired a Special Emphasis committee of 12 members
- Wrote a dozen articles for GovLoop, which reaches over 10,000 readers
I experienced a couple of flight delays from a major airline. Even the airlines determines when and what to quantify. They gave me a voucher based on the number of hours my flight was delayed.
Hopefully, I have provided more than a few examples that could be used in almost any resume. So, begin to track the work that you do in your current position. Identify any improvements that you make during your work is a good place to begin your journey to quantification.
Your Call to Action: You have a great story that needs to be told to have a critical advantage over the competition. Think about the work you do daily and quantify it.
June Cox is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She is a Human Resource Specialist, Human Resource Development (HRD) with a federal agency. She has a masters degree in education and provides employee training and development to federal employees. June is a certified workforce development professional and a member of the National Association of Workforce Development (NAWDP). She has trained and developed hundreds of employees. She values investing in others. You can read her posts here.