Like millions of others, I spent some time this past weekend watching the NFL playoffs. Congrats to the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, who will battle it out in the Super Bowl. Although I’m not the world’s biggest sports fan, I do enjoy watching teams try to execute their offensive and defensive strategies in an effort to outplay their opponents. Admittedly, I’m not vested in the outcome. It doesn’t matter to me if the Colts or Saints win. (OK! I do actually root for the 49ers, but they’re not in the playoffs, so we needn’t discuss that here!)
The quality and value that each athlete brings to his or her sport is tracked through the collection, maintenance and analysis of a vast amount of data. The statistics collected for every throw, catch, serve, jump, swing, block, shot, punch, home run, goal, and touch down help players and coaches recognize and understand patterns and behaviors. The analysis and application of that data can help to fine tune an athlete’s performance, and it is also used by team owners to determine the value they place upon each player, reflected in their pay and contracts.
When a player is moving up to the pros from the minor leagues, or switching teams in the major leagues, their statistics and performance are evaluated and judged by prospective coaches and team owners to decide if that athlete has the qualifications needed by their team.
What does all this have to do with career development?
When you are looking for a job, employers want to make a similar analysis about the value that you can bring to their business. Employers want to know about your stats. They want to know what can you quantify about your job and your performance!
Quantifying – using numbers to demonstrate strengths and proficiencies – is easier in some jobs than others. Certainly people in sales and customer service have a lot of numbers that can be drawn upon to illustrate their strengths and successes. But you needn’t have a sales career to use numbers to illustrate the value you bring to prospective employer.
- An HR rep can talk about the number of candidates interviewed or resumes reviewed, or number of employers for whom they successfully found candidates.
- A writer or reporter can indicate the number of interviews conducted, or number of stories published or broadcast.
- A receptionist can talk about the volume of calls handled per hour and their high percentage of error-free messages.
- A production worker can point out how much is manufactured on their shift.
Other numbers that could be quantified and quoted include:
- Monetary value of budgets you worked with,
- Areas where you saved your employer money or time, or improved processes,
- Quantity of tasks performed in units of time,
- Projects completed
- Signatures obtained
- Length of service without taking sick days
- Years of loyalty spent with an employer
- Money raised
- Size of departments or teams you’ve managed or coordinated.
And the list goes on!
What can you quantify about your job?
Make a list of things that you can quantify, that illustrate your strengths and value to a prospective employer. Certainly the numbers that most impress employers are the ones that contain dollar $ign$. But any aspect of your job or work history that you can quantify can help demonstrate your value to a new or current employer.
So start analyzing your personal statistics. Keep score of your successes and quantifiable achievements. And be sure to incorporate these numbers into all of your resumes, cover letters, interviewing and networking. Highest score usually wins!
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