How to use numbers to strengthen your CV

A top tip we often give job seekers at Anne Corder Recruitment is…

Include real examples in your CV.

To elaborate, we mean use examples where your skills made a real difference and support these examples with real evidence – which can often mean using numbers, amounts, and facts and figures. By doing so you’ll bring your CV to life, make your claims more tangible and it will also help you to tactfully boast about the work you’ve completed.

With that in mind, here’s my advice on using numbers to strengthen your CV…

Use numbers to be more precise

You don’t want your CV to be so wordy that it loses impact but at the same time you want to have the right level of detail. By using facts and figures you’ll be ticking both of these off your list.

For example…

A too wordy example would be: “Developed and implemented a new filing system that helped the administration team improve productivity and ensured data protection requirements were met.”

Which would lose impact if worded: “Introduced a new filing system that improved productivity and data protection.”

But including facts and figures it could become: “Developed a data protection compliant filing system that increased the 10-person administration team’s productivity by 10%.”

You can see that the final example offers detail and is more believable with the use of numbers (10-person and 10%).

The big three numbers to use in your CV

So we can see how numbers make a difference to your CV. But what sort of numbers should you be using? There are three categories we would recommend focusing on…

Money, time and difference.

Money

By providing monetary examples in your CV you will bring your experience to life – employers will be able to understand and comprehend the difference your skills made.

Whether an organisation is in the public, third or private sector, money will always be a consideration, so it’s important to include examples of how you have saved, earned or managed money in your CV.

For example, say what budgets you’ve managed, the revenue you’ve generated or the money you may have saved a business by increasing efficiency.

Time

By including times within your CV, prospective employers will be able to get a sense of scale in your experience whilst also being able to quickly understand – to some degree – your efficiency and time management.

State how long a project lasted for, how regularly you repeated processes or if you decreased the time it took to complete a task.

For example:
“The six month project led to…”
“Monthly review periods improved…”
“The new process reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes on average…”

Difference

It’s all well and good saying your input or skills made a positive difference to a team, department or company but it’s even better if you can demonstrate how much of a difference.

For example:
“Increased Twitter following by 75%”
“Reduced spend from £10k to £5k”
“Increased efficiency by 25%”

Keep it simple

That said you don’t need to be working out percentage changes or developing systems to work out the return on investment of your work. Although that can make a positive difference, simple numbers can immediately change the impact your CV makes too.

If you want to say: “Selling in press releases to the trade media”, maybe try: “Weekly selling in of five press releases to trade media”. You can even simply add in the result, which could be “20 pieces of trade press coverage in the first quarter”. By providing figures you’ll be helping prospective employers to understand the level of your experience and the workloads and responsibilities you’ve previously handled.

An easy way to get your CV noticed

Using numbers in your CV is an easy way to add conviction to your skills and experience. By no means do you have to add figures to each example you offer but, when done correctly, it can add real weight to your CV.

If you have any tips or advice on using numbers in a CV to support your skills and experience please do leave them in the comments below.

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Talent Scout

Emma, talent scout at Anne Corder Recruitment, specialises in finding the highest quality, talented candidates and matching them with jobs that meet their ambitions. Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.