Quantifying your accomplishments

Here are some examples of typical résumé statements

“Elected President of National Honor Society”

“Placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking regionals”

“Raised money for Thanksgiving food drive.”

“Managed employees at Checker’s Hamburgers.”

These statements are fine. They provide useful information and use action verbs. But more should be done.

How much money did you raise? How many people did you run against in a school election? If you received an award, how many others received the same? How are you distinguishing yourself from many other applicants doing the same activities?

All of the time, I review résumés where I wish the applicant would tell me more. One way to provide the reviewer with more information is to quantify your accomplishments.

Let’s quantify the earlier achievements

“Elected President out of four candidates for National Honor Society.”

“Placed third out of thirty regional qualifiers for Extemporaneous Speaking. One of twelve qualified for the state tournament.”

“Raised $5,000 for a Thanksgiving food drive.”

“Managed five employees as one of two shift leaders at Checker’s Hamburgers.”

Nearly any accomplishment that involves competing against somebody else can be quantified. It looks a lot more impressive to finish third out of a hundred than maybe second out of ten. If you raised money for charity, tell your reviewer! If you placed in the top 1% on a national Latin exam, how many others took the exam?

When crafting the expanded résumé, quantifying your accomplishments is one clear way you can separate yourself from the pack. After all, tens of thousands of applicants will participate in NHS, conduct charity fundraisers, or have volunteer hours. Quantifying your accomplishments is one simple way to distinguish yourself in a crowded applicant pool.

Parents can assist their students in this process. Parents rarely forget their students accomplishments!

Kevin MartinResume