Quantify your IT resume qualifications

The line between a technologist's responsibilities and accomplishments can be hard to explain.

The line has been shared before on this site and others: The people in a position to hire you or improve your career don't care what your responsibilities were in your last job and give only slightly more credence to theskills you possess. They care only what you were able to accomplish in those jobs and, ultimately, what you might achieve for them.

But the line between a technologist's responsibilities and accomplishments can be hard to explain.

The career advice site CareerLab took a crack at it and offers one of the clearest explanations yet.

Your duties and responsibilities refer to the general scope of your job, such as "sales" or "selling." Accomplishment statements give specific examples of tasks you finished... Being an excellent manager isn't an accomplishment. It's a skill or competency. But leading a task force that develops a new money-making product in less than two months is an accomplishment. Maintaining productivity is not necessarily an accomplishment, but maintaining productivity under adverse circumstances is. See how this works?

I'll try to go further: they want to see your success and they want to be able to measure it. A recruiter or hiring manager wants to see demonstrations of the tasks you finished that tell how you will impact their business. Your resume needs to quantify the results of those tasks, so the resume reader can compare it to his own business and assess how you will affect their business.

It's nice that you led the task force that developed a new money-making product in less than two months.

It's nicer still that you led the task force that developed a product that increased the division's revenue 5 percent in less than two months, cutting R&D expense by 50 percent.

This is not to diminish the importance of IT skills to your resume. In many fields, skills have taken a backseat to performance -- recruiters care less about how you accomplished something than what you accomplished. IT is not one of those fields. The field still relies on a battery of certifications and skills that are the foundation of those accomplishments and your resume must still list an inventory of those qualifications that support the job. But performance is still paramount and for the most important skills required, simply listing it isn't enough. Quantify the qualification.

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