I read a resume today with an accomplishment that stood out. The accomplishment stated the job seeker had saved $60k in the last year on a $14 million budget. This works out to 0.4% of the budget – a very small amount. Despite this, the accomplishment was noteworthy. Below is the bullet from the resume detailing the accomplishment:
- In spite of declining sales, labor and expenses were managed proportionally leading to a favorable budget variance of $60k.
The reason this accomplishment is significant is the context the job seeker provides. The company is facing declining sales. This is common today. Managing in a declining sales environment poses unique challenges. Companies have fixed expenses that do not fluctuate with sales. This requires a manager to adjust variable experiences significantly to maintain margins.
The job seeker was able to manage the change in volumes and achieve results similar to plan. In a different bullet, the job seeker provided background details on the position, including responsibility for a budget of $14m and a staff of 140 employees. This provides the scope of the responsibility.
Although the accomplishment is a great addition to the job seeker’s resume, there is one additional detail that would improve it. Adding some measure of how much sales had declined would show a more complete picture. If sales dropped 1%, adapting would be easy. On the other hand, if sales dropped 50%, managing expenses to match this would be a tremendous accomplishment.