What should your resume, your cover letter, your interview answers and your elevator pitch have in common?
Numbers. Numbers are one way to prove that you are the real deal. And, they can seriously change your job search. Let me explain.
Here are some typical examples of phrases that individuals use in job searches, and where a few numbers would make a difference:
"Improved company sales"
Was that by $500 or five million dollars? By 2% or 20%?
"Revitalized school, resulting in improved academic performance"
Did student academic achievement improve by 1/10th of a grade level or two full grade levels? Did graduation rates improve by one student or 100?
"Implemented stroke recovery best practices, expediting rehabilitation"
Did the stroke sufferers recover a day faster or a month faster? Did they return to 60% of pre-stroke functioning or 90% of pre-stroke functioning?
As you can tell, adding numbers makes your arguments a lot more persuasive. You move from being vague to being specific. More importantly, you move from seeming like a big talker to a big doer, someone who produces results.
If you are like many people, you're saying,
1. "Numbers don't really apply to me," and
2. "Even where they do apply, I don't know the exact numbers and I don't want to say something that would be dishonest."
Let's dispel each of these.