Here’s another great resume tip from Argentus Senior Recruiter Rosanna Palermo – one that’s highly relevant for professionals in Procurement or other fields with quantitative impact on the bottom line: don’t be afraid to use metrics. And if you’re worried about those metrics being proprietary information to the companies you’ve worked for, think outside the box.
As recruiters who are constantly trying to stay abreast of resume writing and presentation best practices, we’re huge proponents of writing resumes in a way that highlights accomplishments, rather than writing them as functional descriptions. And as recruiters in the specific areas of Supply Chain and Procurement, which are quantitative disciplines, we’re huge proponents of highlighting those accomplishments using numbers. Specific figures. For example:
- As a senior Procurement professional, how much spend were you responsible for?
- How much cost savings have you delivered as a Logistics professional?
- What was the size of a major negotiation?
- How many people have you led?
- If you’re an inventory planner, how many SKUs (Shopkeeper’s Units) did you oversee?
Your resume needs to establish these and other accomplishments. It needs to use them to tell a story if you’re going to wow an employer. And it needs to do so in a numbers-based way, because stories benefit from specificity and because hiring managers need these numbers to understand the scale of what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.
But Rosanna recently mentioned an interesting remark from a candidate she’s representing. The candidate had a great career background, with progressive Procurement roles at a number of major organizations. But this candidate’s resume, when Rosanna received it, had no numbers – no quantitative measurements of accomplishments. And when Rosanna coached this candidate about the importance of highlighting metrics as a way of getting at specific accomplishments, the candidate responded that they were aware of this, but that they were concerned that those metrics were their employer’s proprietary information.
It’s a take on this issue that we haven’t heard before. We’ve never had a candidate mention that these metrics are proprietary, and further to that, we’re never had a client – or a candidate’s previous employer – have an issue with an employee using these metrics.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s certainly important to avoid disclosing proprietary information belonging to past employers. And as a professional, you should work to develop a sense of whether certain metrics you might use on your resume (size of the team you’ve managed, size of spend, etc.) are proprietary. But in general, candidates should not be afraid to include these kinds of general metrics, because they’re integral to a picture of your career development.
That being said, there are ways to work these metrics into your resume in a creative, non-disclosing way if this is a concern for you. For example, when describing your managed spend, you can use words instead of numbers: “multimillions,” “tens of millions,” “hundreds of millions,” for example. This gives the reader of your resume a concrete sense of the scale of your managed spend without disclosing the actual figure. For other metrics, feel free to use percentages rather than absolute numbers: for example, you can say that you “enacted cost savings of 15% of the budget by consolidating vendors.” These are just a few ways around disclosing potentially-sensitive information on a resume, while still giving hiring managers and recruiters a solid, numbers-based sense of your accomplishments.
It’s interesting how often our work as recruiters, when working with candidates, comes down to letting those candidates know not to be shy or afraid about bold decisions in how they represent themselves. So use metrics, and let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
Thanks again to Rosanna Palermo for the great tip!
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