Quantifying in Resume Despite Unquantifiable Job?


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Tad writes: What if your job doesn’t involve numbers, dollars saved. I’m a security officer. How do I write a compelling resume?
The Career Doctor responds: Tad, kudos to you for understanding the importance of quantifying on your resume. Job-seekers must show prospective employers your accomplishments rather than simply telling them — and quantifying results is one method to do just that. But now you have to take that understanding to the next level, because you can quantify and showcase your accomplishments in just about any job. For example, can’t you quantify the number of hours, days, weeks, etc. without incidents; the number of hours of training and professional development; the number (and types) of security devices/technology you’ve mastered; number of security investigations successfully closed; commendations (or other records of achievement) you have received. There are really two keys to writing successful resumes and cover letters. The first key, as you know, is stating your accomplishments (rather than job duties). For an in-depth review of this issue, please read our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments. The second key is researching and using job-specific keywords in your resumes and cover letters. Employers are increasingly turning to keywords to conduct searches of resume databases, and if your resume doesn’t contain those keywords the company is using, then you are pretty much dead in the water. So, how does a job-seeker know what keywords to use on his or her resume? Good question. The quick and dirty answer is that you need to study job postings and job descriptions and find the pattern of words employers use and then be sure to insert them into your resume. The longer — and better — answer is to read the very detailed article (and sidebars) from my partner, Katharine Hansen, published on Quintessential Careers: Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness.