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How to Build Career-Validating Data into Your Résumé

Your goal with a résumé is to give a clear and compelling reason why you are a great fit for the job. One way to bring your experience to life is through data. Qualifiable figures make the abstract ideas you’re presenting concrete. Here are three ways to make your résumé stand out through integrating data:

Demonstrate key accomplishments. Your benchmark successes should have specific, resounding data that shows how you brought benefit to your organization. “Skilled in development” is broad. “Increased donations by 27% in three years” and “expanded donor base by 200,000 individual and corporate donors” is tangible.

Utilize available data. You can also work backwards to make effective use of data you have. Don’t cram numbers in for the sake of numbers, but look at what metrics you have available and how it might highlight your success. Evaluate what data from a budget, an annual report, or a departmental analysis could animate your résumé.

Bring clarity. John Hodgman says, “Specificity is the soul of narrative.” You don’t have to have spreadsheets full of data, to enliven your résumé. Make general statements more clear. How many people have you supervised? How wide is the distribution of the newsletter you publish? You’ll be surprised at the amount you can elucidate with some simple thought and editing.