CVs are always tricky, and trying to sell yourself in only two sides of A4 can be especially tricky.
So how do you stand out from the rest?
Facts, Stats, and Evidence.
Whilst you can show off your skills in other ways, employers reading a CV are only interested in what evidence you can provide for your success. How is that achieved?
Adding facts and statistics to your CV proves this.
So here’s your introduction to how to add them to your CV and get results.
What’s all the fuss about?
We see a lot of CVs. A lot. We’re talking hundreds every day.
With that, we know a good CV from a bad one and one defining feature of a good CV is its use of facts and figures to prove capability.
This is because showing what you have achieved in a quantifiable way allows the employer to see how you can add real value to their business.
So if you’re currently on the job search, it might be time to update your CV to include those all-important numbers.
Define your successes – then quantify
Think about your job. What successes have you had? Have you led difficult projects? Have you grown sales? Have you made savings?
All these have a benefit. They can all have numbers attached to them.
Think about what essential figures and metrics are important to a business and then think about what will grab the recruiter’s attention?
The best example? Money!
Show me the Money!
It’s the biggest incentive and metric for any business. So think about any achievements that helped make money or save money. Include those figures in your CV.
An easy example is to say something like “Secured £1 million in sales last year”.
Using number gives people an exact idea of what you achieved but also what you can achieve for them.
It’s a solid figure. Prospective employers can check this and also have a good idea of what you can achieve and contribute to them.
All Numbers are Good Numbers
Other useful figures include time, percentages and size.
- I led a team of 50 people
- Achieved significant savings within 6 months
- Improved profits by 30%
These examples show that you don’t have to have lots of context, but instead, a good simple, verifiable fact will have plenty of punch.
Remember you need to tailor your CV and your achievements to the role you’re applying to. This can be trickier when you’re going through a career change, but using your best judgement will help.
Use Powerful Action Words
We Brits are a humble lot. We don’t like to shout about our achievements. So we often play them down.
But when it comes to your CV, don’t be passive or humble. Be certain.
When you’re demonstrating your key achievements and quantifying your results, action words are the best way to do this. These are the doing words (verbs to those in the know) and when you use them in the past tense (usually with an -ed at the end) it sounds powerful.
You influenced positive change, you boosted efficiency or accomplished excellent results. By having these strong words in your CV you’re showing off your accomplishments without bragging.
Some examples of action words that highlight your achievements could include:
You get the idea.
Using these kinds of words grabs the recruiter’s attention as they scan through your CV.
Be Picky With Your Numbers
Remember your CV is there to impress, so be picky with your numbers. Only use the best numbers or facts that make you stand out.
Put yourself in the employers or interviewers shoes. What would look and sound good TO THEM?
Put aside your feelings for a moment and think about what they are going to think and feel about your CV.
If you have any key achievements that you think are particularly impressive or relevant to the role, you might wish to include these in your personal profile at the top of your CV. For example:
- I graduated top of my class receiving a First-Class Honours in Engineering
- Over the past six years, I have completed 10 projects from start to finish, generating a total of £500,000 for the company
- I have transformed the company’s online presence by revamping its three social media accounts to improve engagement by 65%
Including these impressive facts or figures in your personal profile will help them to stand out and grab the recruiter’s attention early on.
Don’t leave this only in the career highlights section. You want to include them in your employment history so it provides a timeline of achievements that they can trace.
This is your opportunity to showcase your past achievements and how you made a real impact in past roles. Make it count!
To give you a better idea of how to do this, have a look at the two examples below. Which one sounds better to you?
Sales representative – 2018 – Present
- Presented, promoted and sold the company’s products
- Established and maintained positive customer relationships
- Reached out to prospective customers through cold calling
- Coordinated sales efforts with the team and other departments
Sales representative – 2018 – Present
- Presented and promoted the company’s products leading to a 30% increase in sales over 12 months
- Exceeded my sales targets by a minimum of 10% every month
- Reached out to prospective clients through cold calling and was able to secure 10 new con-tracts last year
- Worked closely with the marketing department to implement a campaign that generated £30,000 in revenue
If you said the second sounds better, then guess what, You’re right.
The second example used powerful words, clear short sentences, and figures to show how much value you provided.
Be picky with the numbers, show your skills and experience, be bold.
The CV Secret Sauce
If there was ever a secret sauce for making your CV powerful and look good, it’s this.
Use facts, evidence, powerful words and statistics to prove your value. To any future employer and you stand a much better chance of getting that new role.
By proving your value through numbers, you will attract the best employers. You will be in a strong position to negotiate a high salary (which is always a big win).
You don’t have to have loads of them, or for them to even be big or grand, be honest and accurate and you will be fine.