Use Data to Make Yourself Stand Out During a Job Search

Stand Out

Stand Out

On paper, the two finalists for the massive data center consolidation project looked identical. “Both business analysts had great résumés and similar experience, neither one really stood out going into the interview,” recalls Joel Manfredo, managing director of ACIES Consulting Corp. in Orange County, Calif.

But the tie didn’t last long: One candidate used data and metrics to describe his project experience, while the other was less specific and tended to ramble.

“We hired the candidate who quantified the cost reductions and efficiencies he achieved in other projects,” Manfredo says. “He was so precise, we felt confident that he could handle a project of this size and design, execute detailed plans and track savings in everything from energy to disaster recovery.”

The results aren’t surprising. People react to stories and are more likely to remember them when they contain hard evidence and data.

The lesson? Use facts and figures as often as you can to bolster your case during the hiring process. Here are some examples of how to do it.

Weave Data Into Your Résumé and Cover Letter

Monetizing and quantifying the bullet points in your opening summary will help your résumé pass the 6-second test. Plus, providing evidence goes a long way towards demonstrating your value to an IT manager.

You can make rudimentary tasks, duties and responsibilities memorable by using facts and figures to explain the scope of your role and what you accomplished. After all, servicing 1,200 users across 10 global locations is more challenging than servicing 12 users in a single location. And weaving a compelling storyline into a “best-selling game that earned $125 million in sales and praise from reviewers” is more impressive than “developing and maintaining design documentation.”

Convey Powerful Examples and Vignettes

Hiring managers often ask behavioral or situational interview questions to learn how you’ve exhibited certain traits or skills in the past. They’re looking for stories that describe the situation you faced, the actions you took and the results you achieved. Having a strong command of the facts surrounding situations and outcomes suggests that you’re detail-oriented, competent and credible.

In Manfredo’s case, the successful BA explained how he saved a company millions by consolidating 400 applications. He described how he estimated the ROI, established pre-consolidation baseline data and benchmarked performance before and after the consolidation. Using data-laden examples and quoting precise results gave the interviewers confidence in him.

Create a Lasting Impression

A detail-oriented thank you email can help you seal the deal after the interview. In addition to thanking the interviewer for their time, reference points from your conversation and use data to reiterate why you’re the best person for the job.

If the hiring process drags on, continue to make your case by noting new achievements and factoids each time you follow up with the hiring manager. Reference relevant data points that harken back to the interview. That will refresh the manager’s memory and make you seem like the best choice, even as she interviews other candidates.

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