How to Measure Your Achievements

By: Joyce Lain Kennedy, Tribune Media Services

Dear Joyce: You advise readers to “quantity” on their resume what they do.  I’m a call center employee working from home. I can’t quantify.  I answer customers’ questions and resolve their issues. Now what? — M.T.

Actually, you may be able to state impressive measurable performance indicators. Don’t say your job is to answer customer calls, take information, type into a computer and send e-files to a distribution center.  Your reason for being is to answer customer questions and resolve issues. How many customers are satisfied each day because you answered their questions?  How many issues do you resolve daily?

Almost everyone can quantify their work using direct output measurement. Examples are: sales per month; number of people protected with flue shots; number of invoices processed for company revenue; percentage of expenses cut this year over last; number of accounting statements issued on time.

If you simply cannot find a direct measure, use indirect measures: as a plant worker, mention your rate of attendance and punctuality (97 percent attendance, 99 percent on time); as an administrative assistant, you completed clerical projects 100 percent on deadline.

A manager has more leeway to discuss cost-benefit ratios as performance indicators. A recruiter, for example, could calculate performance by dividing recruiting costs by the number of employees hired.

If getting a raise, rather than a resume, is your aim and you can’t come up with quantifiers, create your own measurement graphic. Show a spectrum of skills, starting with those you had when you started and skills you have now. An upward line shows how far you’ve progressed.

Measurements are persuasive in both job search and seeking reward for your good work.