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If you’ve been doing your homework about how to write an effective resume, you’ve seen a recurring theme: you have to quantify your experience. Related: 3 Ways To Emphasize Your ROI On Your Resume Although most people understand the general idea of this, I find that job seekers often struggle with applying this idea to writing their resumes. Here are three easy ways to do it:

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Many of the job hunters I work with tell me their accomplishments aren’t really quantifiable. They just aren’t in jobs where they can say, “Saved the company $4 million a year... ” If you have those numbers at your fingertips, by all means use them. If you’re like most of us, you need other ways to quantify your accomplishments on a resume. Related: Top 15 Words HR NEVER Wants To See On Your Resume For example, your company may require a 40-hour week but you regularly work unpaid overtime to help out another short-handed department or contribute to a special project. Your job description may include interacting with customers, but you were chosen to fly out of state for a customer meeting. Compare your performance to the goals set by the company itself. When you report how you exceeded those goals, you have quantified your accomplishments. You can also quantify accomplishments by measuring your company against other companies and measuring your position in the company against that of your co-workers. If you’re applying to a large corporation, your job in an international company with $5 billion in sales gives you an advantage over a candidate who works for a local company selling $1,500 a week. Consider, too, how you rank against your peers. Do you have seniority in your company, is your output higher than the company or industry average, or did you win an award for your performance or have you received more promotions in a shorter time? You don’t have to lead an effort to take credit for its success; your contribution should be noted in your resume. Perhaps your most important contribution is a matter of attitude. Consider your soft skills (the ability to meet deadlines, work in a team or independently, communicate complex ideas, placate customers). Relate an occasion where those skills made a difference to your company. Testimonials are another way to quantify your accomplishments. If internal or external customers thanked you for your help, ask them for a written testimonial that describes your actions and the results. Your bosses may have indicated your value to the company by assigning you a project, including you in client or executive meetings, recommending you for training or asking you to make a presentation. Give these indicators of success prominence in your resume. Your accomplishments are varied and so are the ways to quantify them. If you feel hesitant to quantify your achievements—or you aren’t even sure you have achievements—give me a call. I’ll help recruiters understand how highly you rate.

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If you’ve been doing your homework about how to write an effective resume, you’ve seen a recurring theme: you have to quantify your experience. Related: 3 Ways To Emphasize Your ROI On Your Resume Although most people understand the general idea of this, I find that job seekers often struggle with applying this idea to writing their resumes. Here are three easy ways to do it:

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Every day as a resume writer, I work with clients and gather background materials for their projects. People fill out a worksheet, plus they send me the most recent version of their resume with an updated work history. Related: 5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk And you know what? I’ve noticed a rather startling trend. There are a whole lot of people missing the boat on one particular item they either forget to include or stick at the very bottom of the document… almost as an afterthought. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It’s the notable achievements section. Yes. Really. I’m talking about the things that set you apart from your peers…and please note: if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it. But for the folks that do, this section somehow becomes an awkward part of the resume that they don’t quite know what to do with it. Sometimes it is left out entirely. Other times, it is placed at the very end of the document. Now why would you want to do that? Notable achievements (a.k.a. how you have distinguished yourself in your industry and career, as well among your peers) are the CREAM THAT RISES TO THE TOP. I’m not talking about financial incentives here (i.e. you won a bonus or financial award). The stuff I am talking about are awards (from peers, colleagues, supervisors, and industry), speaking engagements, patents, authoring articles, being quoted or featured in the media, and any other way you have established your industry subject matter expertise. Over and over again, we are told that employers (that is, once you get a real live human being reading your resume) give you between 6-8 seconds and the first third of your document can either make or break your candidacy. Pulling your notable achievements into that first third of your resume is going to be critical to getting you noticed… you’ll want to place this section after your job title headline, summary, and skills list, and before your actual work history. The idea is that your resume is telling a story: The job title headline connects you to the target position for which you are applying, then you tell the employer why hire you, provide the skill sets that are relevant to that position, and then you need to tell the employer what makes you special. That’s it, really… notable achievements help make you stand out. Don’t be shy. Don’t be bashful. This is where you take ownership of your accomplishments and let the employer know how you have distinguished yourself. It’s not boasting. Quite honestly… if you don’t tell them, they simply won’t know. So take a moment, look over your resume, and see where you may have placed your top industry and career achievements. If they aren’t there, include them. And if they are, but are listed at the bottom of your document, pull them up closer to the top. You’ll stand out more because of it, and it COULD make the difference on whether you are invited in for an interview. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Every day as a resume writer, I work with clients and gather background materials for their projects. People fill out a worksheet, plus they send me the most recent version of their resume with an updated work history. Related: 5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk And you know what? I’ve noticed a rather startling trend. There are a whole lot of people missing the boat on one particular item they either forget to include or stick at the very bottom of the document… almost as an afterthought. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It’s the notable achievements section. Yes. Really. I’m talking about the things that set you apart from your peers…and please note: if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it. But for the folks that do, this section somehow becomes an awkward part of the resume that they don’t quite know what to do with it. Sometimes it is left out entirely. Other times, it is placed at the very end of the document. Now why would you want to do that? Notable achievements (a.k.a. how you have distinguished yourself in your industry and career, as well among your peers) are the CREAM THAT RISES TO THE TOP. I’m not talking about financial incentives here (i.e. you won a bonus or financial award). The stuff I am talking about are awards (from peers, colleagues, supervisors, and industry), speaking engagements, patents, authoring articles, being quoted or featured in the media, and any other way you have established your industry subject matter expertise. Over and over again, we are told that employers (that is, once you get a real live human being reading your resume) give you between 6-8 seconds and the first third of your document can either make or break your candidacy. Pulling your notable achievements into that first third of your resume is going to be critical to getting you noticed… you’ll want to place this section after your job title headline, summary, and skills list, and before your actual work history. The idea is that your resume is telling a story: The job title headline connects you to the target position for which you are applying, then you tell the employer why hire you, provide the skill sets that are relevant to that position, and then you need to tell the employer what makes you special. That’s it, really… notable achievements help make you stand out. Don’t be shy. Don’t be bashful. This is where you take ownership of your accomplishments and let the employer know how you have distinguished yourself. It’s not boasting. Quite honestly… if you don’t tell them, they simply won’t know. So take a moment, look over your resume, and see where you may have placed your top industry and career achievements. If they aren’t there, include them. And if they are, but are listed at the bottom of your document, pull them up closer to the top. You’ll stand out more because of it, and it COULD make the difference on whether you are invited in for an interview.

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