3 Ways To Emphasize Your ROI On Your Resume

Woman explains her ROI on a resume during a job interview

Creating your resume, but stumped for ideas beyond your job titles, places of employment, and education? Getting employers to pick up the phone requires a much stronger brand message!

If you haven't focused on your ROI—the benefits companies get when hiring you—your job search can go on indefinitely. You might believe that recruiters or hiring managers will "get" this message from reading about your past jobs or span of authority. But guess what? With plenty of resumes to review, most hiring managers won't take the time to connect the dots in your background.

Therefore, if you've made a significant difference at past employers but your resume doesn't provide this evidence, you'll lose your shot at landing an interview (while employers hire your competition instead).

So, as you write your resume, consider adding these quantifiable measures of your performance to emphasize your ROI and stand out to hiring managers.

What Is ROI On A Resume?

ROI on a resume is what the employer can expect to get in return for hiring you. Why should they hire you? What value do you add? Essentially, it's how you'll save and/or make the company money.

How Do You Put Your ROI On Your Resume?

To effectively emphasize your ROI on your resume, consider adding numbers to these specific areas: comparisons to others, revenue and profit improvement, and cost containment.

1. Comparisons To Others

Job seeker on laptop adds his ROI to his resume


Do you wear many hats at your current job? Employees who can perform more than one job simultaneously are often credited with improving the company's bottom line. On your resume, you'll be able to show the savings gained by helping your employer avoid the need to hire or train an additional staff member, as in these examples:

  • Cut 34% from training budget by assuming new project leadership role for Global Standards initiative.
  • Eliminated need to hire new team members by performing dual roles in operations and sales, with estimated $80K annual savings.

ROI can also be demonstrated by comparing your work to others on your team, or to a predecessor who held the same role prior to your tenure. You may be more efficient or better able to understand customer needs—saving your employer additional effort (such as multiple sales calls or additional work on technical problems)—than your counterparts. If so, put these savings into a dollar figure by calculating the cost of rework for use on your resume.

Remember: The key to demonstrating your ROI is by listing quantifiable information on your resume. This means adding numbers to each bullet point under your job titles.

2. Revenue & Profit Improvement

Hiring managers read about the job applicant's ROI on his resume during a job interview


Will anything get an employer's attention faster than telling them you'll bring sizeable profits? Probably not. However, unless you're in a sales role (or another revenue-specific job), you might find this exercise difficult. After all, how does a project manager or operations director make money for the company?

The secret to pulling out a revenue or profit figure (when your job isn't tied directly to money) is to look higher in the company for the impact of your work. This means taking into account the value of the project to your employer (a new service line that will create revenue opportunities), or the impact of the new equipment you implemented (improving production and fulfilling more orders). As in this example of a resume statement, your work as part of a larger effort can be conveyed in the impact of the entire project:

  • Played key role in $23M project slated to improve operational efficiency, with 45% reduction in call center hold times and expected $7M annual savings.

If your job involves technology, consider the monetary value of the improvements gained with a new solution you implemented. Once you emphasize your work at a company or department level, the revenue or profit equation can make sense. Of course, you'll need to share the credit for increasing profits with your team or colleagues, but it's an important measure of your benefit to a new employer.

3. Cost Containment

Hiring manager reads about the job applicant's ROI on his resume during an interview


Cost savings are a high-priority area for many companies. Of course, showing your impact on expenses is easy if you're the one negotiating new vendor contracts or preparing a budget. Even if your responsibilities don't seem related to costs, think about your ability to produce work faster or with fewer resources—then add the costs associated with this acceleration into your resume.

For example, an office manager who arranges shifts to cover the phone (without hiring an additional employee) is directly saving significant payroll and training costs. An IT director might be able to point out the projects completed in less time due to a newly acquired software tool, with related opportunity costs allowing the team to take on other projects. These examples show different ways to state cost savings on your resume:

  • Saved division nearly $700K with switch to Agile Development methodology and avoiding training for 3 team members.
  • Reduced marketing spend $35K by learning social media techniques instrumental in promoting company services.

Perhaps you've monitored expenses within your team and figured out ways to generate the same amount of revenue with less overhead. These figures can be estimated, or specified in percentages of savings, to show your impact on costs.

The bottom line? Your employment automatically comes at a cost to your employer. If you can demonstrate a substantial ROI over the expense of hiring you, companies will be eager to bring you on board—even with a raise in salary—despite a competitive job market.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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