It's been well-documented that hiring managers and recruiters are "skimmers." They spend about six seconds skimming over a resume before they decide to either A) toss it, or B) go back and read a little more. Knowing what should be on your resume to keep them interested is key to getting the interview. Unfortunately, many job seekers make a simple mistake that looks like they're lying on their resume.

A resume without numbers is suspect. If you can't quantify your experience, who knows if you've accomplished anything?

The purpose of a resume is to help the reader understand how you justified the cost of hiring you to your former employers. What did you do that saved or made the company enough money to pay for your salary and benefits? The more clearly you can quantify your accomplishments on the job, the easier it is for hiring managers to imagine the value you could bring to their organization. Conversely, a resume without numbers screams, "I don't know my worth and I'm just trying to make myself sound successful."

Don't think you can quantify your job? Think again.

Every job can be quantified. I once had a young professional tell me she had no idea how to quantify her job as a receptionist. "I just answer phones all day," she said. I asked her just a few simple questions:

  1. How many people work at the company where you answer phones?
  2. How many calls do estimate (conservatively) you take each day?
  3. How many phone lines are on the system you use?

With her answers, we came up with this bullet point for her resume:

  • Answer a 20-line phone system where I take over 100+ calls/day for a staff of 320+ employees.

Do you see how a hiring manager can use this information to comprehend her skill level? Adding numbers to your resume helps the reader quickly understand the depth of your experience. If you can't figure out how to quantify your accomplishments, get help. Not only will it improve your resume, you'll do better in interviews because you'll be able to share the numbers in your answers to sound more legit.

P.S. - There's more to resumes than quantifying your experience.

Resumes requirements are always evolving. It's important to stay on top of the latest trends or you will look outdated. Think of your resume as your brochure for your business-of-one. An 'old school' look and feel can send the wrong message to hiring managers. Ultimately, getting you thrown in the 'no' pile.