We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again -- the key to writing a good resume is to describe your skills in the same way the job posting describes the necessary qualifications for the role. But sometimes, it’s important to go above and beyond mere skill-matching and provide tangible results in your resume that show you really are the best at what you do. Especially as you grow in your career, or if you’re applying for jobs that are a little more tech, sales, and/or strategy-based, you'll probably need to show definitive results.
The best approach is to integrate results into your bullet points in a way that contributes to the flow of your resume story. We often see resumes that outline a candidate’s skills and then follow up with a few "results" bullets. To us, this is messy and hard to follow. Take a little bit of time to think about how you can describe what you do and how well you do it in one brief sentence. For example, "managed a development and production pipeline of 50+ projects and delivered six pilots per year" has a nice flow to it and allows you to get the point across in the fewest number of bullets possible.
The other trick with a results-oriented resume is not to overdo it. Not every bullet point needs a number. In fact, the more numbers you throw out, the more a hiring manager’s BS radar will go off -- plus it’ll make your resume more difficult to read. Pick your most impressive numbers and stick with those. If you raised a ton of money or saved a ton of money for the company, you'd definitely want to share those numbers. Think about what quantifiable information will be most meaningful to hiring managers, and be sure that they will have enough frame of reference to understand it. It's especially easy to overdo it in entry-level Hollywood resumes. “Answered calls and scheduled meetings that saved executives 5+ hours a day” sounds a little ridiculous. “Rolled calls and scheduled meetings” is a more reasonable way to outline your experience -- if you feel you need to quantify to show volume, that's okay in moderation, but you'll want to be careful about how you present results in more task-oriented jobs like these.
Numbers can be helpful when they sound impressive, but there are also ways to show results without spitting out numbers every time. For instance, “Negotiated with vendors to procure production equipment and established track record of coming in under budget” is a great result without a number that also demonstrates your skills. “Managed development slate; greenlit highest-rated new series in network history” is another result that's more effective without a number and showcases what you spent your time doing.
Most importantly, make sure you’re able to speak intelligently about any result you mention. If you say “doubled the company’s social media following,” but the hiring manager learns during the interview that it only went from 10 followers to 20, that’s not really an impressive result, and it makes you sound a little fishy, like you padded your experience. And regardless of how truthfully you presented numbers in your resume, numbers often change, and they're tough to remember precisely -- don't let this trip you up in an interview.
When you sit down to write a results-oriented resume, think about the biggest highlights you’d share if you were describing your experience in an interview or asking for a promotion. Do your best to keep some of the same action verbs from the posting and add your own results spin on them. Expect that it will take you longer to craft a new resume for each job, but that’s okay -- in the end, it will be worth it.