Wondering what makes a great resume different from a mediocre one? Great resumes include numbers. Key performance indicators (KPIs), sales numbers, and other metrics are the number one difference in making your resume stand out to a recruiter.
More easily said than done? It doesn’t have to be. We’ve collected some of the best advice straight from recruiters, including:
- What KPIs recruiters are looking for
- How to put sales numbers on a resume
- How to generate meaningful KPIs if you don’t have easy access to figures
- Where to include numbers on your resume
- Sample resumes and bullet points examples
Let’s dive in with a quick step-by-step guide to get you started.
How to put KPIs and sales numbers on a resume
If you have official KPIs, start with those. Annual performance reviews, monthly or weekly sales figures, and even unofficial targets are all great places to pull accomplishments from.
- To get a fuller picture of your contributions, make a list of all your responsibilities — including those not in your job description.
- Now consider all the ways you’ve met or exceeded expectations. Ask yourself how your job performance differs from someone who’s barely getting by in the same role.
- Try to include KPIs that match the expectations of the job you’re applying for — for example, if you’re applying for jobs that involve sales, include sales numbers or other types of revenue generation.
- Use actual figures where you can, but it’s okay to include best estimates, too.Once you’re finished, quickly run your resume through an ATS resume scanner to pinpoint any areas of weakness or ways to quickly improve your resume KPIs.
Don’t have an easy list of KPIs lying around to pull from? Here’s how to generate your own.
How to generate resume KPIs
Not all KPIs are created equal. The type of metrics you include on your resume should depend on the nature of the job you’re applying for — for example, a high-level executive role needs evidence that you can generate growth, while a busy customer service role could benefit from KPIs involving speed and efficiency.
In general, you should be aiming to demonstrate metrics involving:
- Growth and revenue generation
- Reducing negative consequences
- Impacting stakeholders
- Completing a high volume or frequency of work
Let’s examine some of these in a little more detail.
Demonstrating growth is arguably the most impactful type of metric you can include on a resume. Aim to show:
- How much revenue you generated
- How much you increased your department’s profitability
- How many deals you closed
- How many products you designed or launched
- The ROI of your marketing or advertising campaigns
- How many new clients customers you acquired
- How many website visits or page views you generated
- How many subscriptions or donations you secured
- Your email open or response rate
- Your number (or percentage) of conversions
- How many partnerships you landed
- How much funding you secured
- How many new hires you recruited
- How much you increased output or productivity
Reducing the things your business doesn’t want (like the amount of time or money spent) can be just as good as generating the things it does want. Think about how you reduced:
- Time spent on tasks
- Departmental budget
- Project costs
- Operating costs and overhead
- Cost per conversion
- Employee or client turnover
- Staff size
- Response times
- Website bounce rate
Showing the impact of your work can be more difficult — but even more rewarding. Think about:
- The size of the teams you led or worked with
- How many teams you oversaw
- How many clients or accounts you managed
- How many projects you led
- The number of customers you helped
- The number of employees you supported
- The number of users your work impacted
- The number (and nature) of stakeholders involved
- Improvement in employee or user engagements
- The success rate of people you helped
- Awards you won or honors you received
- Your sales or performance ranking
If you’re in a role without clear results-based metrics, you can still show how well you performed by highlighting metrics like speed, volume, and frequency. Consider including:
- The average size of the project or deal you worked on
- How many deals you closed or sales you made
- How many leads you contacted
- How many phone calls or emails you answered
- How many articles you wrote
- How many marketing campaigns you led
- The size of the data sets you worked with
- How quickly you completed a project life cycle
- The frequency of your work
You should aim to include numbers and relevant KPIs in most of your resume bullet points. A good way to find out if your resume has enough uses of metrics, KPIs and sales data, is to upload your resume to the tool below — it’ll let you know if your resume has enough uses of these elements.
Sample resume with metrics
Let’s take a look at a resume that puts sales numbers and KPIs to great use.
You can download this resume (and others) at our ATS resume templates page.
Essential tips for including KPIs on a resume
Struggling to list accurate KPIs or sales numbers when you don’t have access to the figures? Keep these tips in mind.
DO: Always include KPIs. Adding concrete metrics to a resume helps demonstrate the impact you had in your role — and what impact you’re likely to have in a new one.
DO: Be as specific as possible. Not just about the numbers, but about what you did to achieve them — remember to use strong action verbs to illustrate your role in a project.
DO: Use your best guess. It’s okay to use a range or estimate if you don’t have exact figures available.
DON’T: Make up numbers. Lying about sales numbers or other accomplishments is never okay — even if you think there’s no way to check. (Remember: You might be wrong, and lying on your resume is always grounds for termination.)
Resume KPI bullet point examples
Looking for some real resume examples you can use? Consider some of these to get you started:
Gained two principal accounts with more than $750,000 in sales profit in 2022.
The easiest way to show sales numbers and other KPIs on a resume is through raw figures. Explicitly stating how many new accounts you landed or how much revenue you generated gives recruiters a good sense of the impact you’d have in the new role.
Increased territory sales by 8% and reduced return rate by 3% within the first year.
Another great way to include KPIs is through percentages, which allow you to show positive impact regardless of the raw numbers involved. This is also an easy thing to estimate if you don’t have access to actual data.
Devised strategies and led a team of 12 to generate business that accounted for 70% of the market.
Even better if you can put your accomplishments into context — for example, by including your team size, project scope, or market share.
Ranked in the top 5% sales producers among a regional team of over 250 representatives in 2016.
If you excelled in your role, use KPIs to prove it. Awards, performance reviews, and sales rankings are all great ways to contextualize the expectations of someone in your role vs what you actually achieved.