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How to Use Numbers in Your CV to Quantify Accomplishments and Impress Recruiters

Using numbers in your CV and cover letter helps a recruiter understand the scope of your achievements better.

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Using numbers in your CV and cover letter helps a recruiter understand the scope of your achievements better.

Photo credit: Racool Studio

In this blog, I will attempt to highlight some tips on how to communicate your achievements and reflect them into your CV or Cover letter effectively.

Why is it important to precisely communicate your achievements numerically?

Numbers are objective and easily understood across cultures. Many people, myself included have often fallen prey to applying for jobs and focusing on listing tasks and responsibilities. The truth is that a list of previous tasks and responsibilities does not convincingly communicate what you are able to achieve.

Instead, employers want to know about what you have achieved, what value you have contributed, and why they should prefer you over tens or hundreds of applicants who have performed similar tasks.

I was recently on the other side of the table as a recruiter, as part of my role in the non-profit organization Think Africa, conducting the interviews for a hiring position. The importance of being able to articulate results and achievements clearly became apparent to me and I believe that this is a skill that all applicants should have.

The purpose of a CV and cover letter is to communicate and exhibit to a potential employer what you have done and achieved. This gives your future employer an idea of the impact you can possibly make should you be hired.

So how do you position your achievements into measurable numbers that can easily be understood? Use numbers to quantify your achievements.

I will use an example in marketing to show what I mean by putting a number. If you say that you designed and implemented a marketing campaign that saved your employer or increased the revenue by x%, this gives a visual of the scale or magnitude of your achievements. Whereas if you had said that ‘I was responsible for designing and implementing a marketing campaign’ all you have communicated is what you did, but with no indication of how well you did it or what was the impact. Anybody can design a campaign, but how do you show that you can be impactful in what you do?

This is not always easy and in some disciplines or professions, it can be challenging or easier than in others.

I share here my thinking process for translating achievements and work done into numbers. I use three real cases from three varied jobs that I have done. With each job, I ask myself what I did well and why it’s considered good. I compare it to the average and try to assess how much better my achievement was. The number of people I supported. What my colleagues said was good and how many said it.

Example job 1: Strawberry picking — This was a summer job I had for three years in my first years of being in Finland. I want to use this to show that even part-time field work can be communicated with numbers to showcase your qualities. In this role, my task was to pick strawberries for roughly one month. I got paid by how much I picked.

If I had to include this in my CV, I would think about communicating my achievements as follows:

  • In terms of volume and money: I brought in 50% more than the average picker per day. I would then translate that into a money value by multiplying it with the market value of the strawberries to show how much more revenue I generated for the farmer.

  • In terms of showcasing how hardworking I am: I would highlight how I was one of the top 5 berry pickers for 3 seasons.


Example job 2: Researcher — I worked as a researcher for over 10 years in different projects and universities. Putting my achievements into numbers for this role was a bit difficult, as most of my achievements were done as part of a team thus making it harder to single out what was so impressive with what I did. But leaving modesty behind and digging deeper, this is how I would communicate some of the impact:


  • In terms of publications: If I said that I published over 10 publications. This is really not a good use of numbers as there is no indication of whether this is good or not to a potential employer. But I can say that I was awarded the best paper award twice in top-tier forums.

  • In terms of the number of people I supported: I supervised 8 students to successfully complete their school projects or thesis, 50% of these graduated with the best grades

  • In terms of funding that I brought in: If I had succeeded in winning funding applications, I would include the amount here.


Example job 3: Data analyst — As I am currently still in this role, I will not say too much or put exact figures but one of the achievements so far that I would give would be:

In terms of time saved: I created a Tableau report that automatically reads in data from our Data lake and summarizes the effectiveness of campaigns on customer behavior. This work was normally done manually by a colleague for each of our partner customers. Thus, by doing this report, I saved the colleague at least 180 work hours per year, thus, reducing financial costs. 

Employers focus on different things depending on their strategy and goals. Some examples include revenue generation, market awareness, customer attraction, customer happiness, company growth, employee happiness, cost reduction, and process efficiency1. Naturally with each number, you have to tie it to what the potential employer is looking for. The important step is to start thinking of how you can show your impact, and numbers are great for demonstrating your achievements and impact.

What numbers would you use to communicate your achievements and value? Share with us in the comment section below. 

This article was originally published here by Myriam Munezero.

Written by

Dr. Myriam Munezero

I am a driven and experienced data analyst, researcher, and project manager with a strong analytical and problem-solving skillset. I have a proven track record in identifying gaps or problems and developing solutions for them. I get excited about opportunities to learn, make an impact and create something new.

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