Showing financial impact is the best way to get a raise from your current employer and a high first offer and ultimately an even higher final offer from your next employer. If you are like many working women, you probably don’t think you have much financial impact making it hard to get higher pay. My advice to you – Think Recommendations and Decisions, Not Reports.
I can’t remember the last client who did not have a least one line on her resume about the amazing reports she created. They were sexy. They had pivoting charts. They were 3-dimensional. People wept when they read them. Unless you are an administrative assistant, report specialist, or report designer the inclusion of them on the resume lessens the value of your work. Oh, I know, reports take time. It takes time to pull all the data together. It takes time to organize them in a meaningful manner. It takes time to design them so the important information stands out. What would a business meeting be with a report or PowerPoint presentation to mull over? How dare I say reports are not important!
The thing is that it is not the creation of the report that is meaningful. It is either the recommendation you make to the people who see the report or the decision you make based on the information in your report that is important. For example here’s a line from one client’s resume:
“Created tracking & reporting tools to measure progress, improve budget accuracy and aid forecasting.”
I asked her about the decisions based on these reports. For one project this report saved 3 months work. Three months of payroll. Three additional months of being able to sell the finished product. Her ability to make decisions that save three months are what people want to hire. The ability to save $X and generate an added $Y is what employers pay good money for. The new bullet point on her resume now looks more like this:
“Created a net increase of $W by eliminating 3 months in project time by consistently reviewing progress, budget, and forecasting metrics in my own proprietary reporting tool.”
A similar example is:
“Conducted cost benefit analysis, modeled long-term costs, presented data for Executive review.”
When we were done discussing it became:
“Proposed $X in savings to the Executive team based on cost benefit analysis and modeled long-term costs.”
Good recommendations and decisions are made based on information. The collection of the information is not the end result. It would be like a great chef listing that she can shop for good ingredients. That she can tell when a tomato is ripe. A good chef boasts about her signature dishes, her Zagat’s ratings, and her Michelin star ratings. It’s not the collection of ingredients that is important. It is what she does with them – the finished dishes – that are important. In business the finished dishes are your decisions and your recommendations. So stop flaunting that you know how to grocery shop and start getting your future employers hungry to hire you for top dollar by telling what you make – amazingly good and profitable decisions.