Your lockdown resume needs more numbers

As the national lockdown continues, your resume needs more numbers.

While numbers have always been important on your resume, our new Zoom economy favors numbers-driven resumes even more.

Here’s why.

Results are more important than facetime

Your boss can’t check on your attendance, whether you’re at your desk, or the time you left for home, anymore. All of these were bad management practices before the pandemic, but today, they’re simply not possible.

And that means that the results you produce matter to your current and future bosses more than anything else. Companies that are hiring dozens or hundreds of people next year are putting more emphasis on output than anything else.

For you, that means the more you are able to emphasize your ability to produce results, the more likely you are to get an interview. And numbers are the best way to demonstrate results and land interviews.

Adding numbers isn’t as difficult as you think

Over the course of the past five years, you’ll need to have perhaps 10 bullet points or so on your resume. That means, in reviewing your recent work history, you need to come up with two things per year that you did well.

I hope, for your own sanity, you feel there are two things you did well each year since 2015. Otherwise, it’s definitely time to leave your current employer, who isn’t taking advantage of your skills and talents well.

What type of numbers should you add? Well, you might include:

– Grew sales 10%

– Reduced expenses 15%

– Added 1,500 attendees to annual conference

– Cut 27 vendors to streamline procurement

– Reduced latency by 112 milliseconds

– Improved efficiency by 12%

– Gained 113 new subscribers

And so forth. Whatever you’ve been doing for a living, you’ve been paid to improve it, maintain it, manage it well over these past five years. Find ten numbers to describe it.

Numerical evidence is very, very effective

The goal of a resume is to generate interview requests. That’s it. Your resume can’t get you hired on its own, or negotiate your compensation, or ensure good reference calls, and it’s not supposed to.

A resume is for generating interview requests.

And we’ve seen, time after time, that great numbers on a resume are more effective in getting recruiters, hiring managers, and future bosses to pull your resume out of the pile and contact you for an interview.

Why?

Because numbers make the scale of your accomplishments apparent. 

Because numbers indicate that you think about your work in terms of results. Bosses love that.

And because numbers enable future bosses to daydream about how many of their current problems you are going to solve.

Numbers on your resume are just very effective at generating interview requests.

Politics is less important

Further making the case for increasing the number of numbers on your resume is the reduced importance of office politics. After the huge layoffs in the spring, it’s been noted that the pandemic eliminated a lot of jockeying for pole position and priorities that is a natural part of life in a big company. 

The lockdown has made this toxic stuff less important. With the whole world buckling down to simply survive, companies have had to make clear what are the most important priorities. And that means that the roles that are open are for do-ers and achievers.

Numbers tell a better story.

Schmoozing is less important

Finally, the ‘good guy’ interview is fading in the age of Zoom. You know the interview style where you chat about old school ties, and people known in common, and the football game this weekend.

For the type of boss who likes this sort of thing, it’s not as much fun over Zoom. These conversations are more suited to a hotel lobby bar and a tinkling glass of old scotch. And because it’s less fun, there’s less of it.

Oddly, the dehumanizing process of lockdowns has increased the importance of merit in the humans who are getting interviewed and hired.

Use this to your advantage by increasing the number of numbers on your resume.

With a more numbers-driven resume, I hope you’ll see higher job satisfaction, more interview requests, and higher earnings in the new year!