KPI’s and Your Resume

KPI’s are Key Performance Indicators. They are the metrics that drive the overall performance of an organization. KPI’s are critical to a company’s success and are an important element in your resume. If you don’t discuss KPI’s on your resume, you should.

A KPI is a measure of an activity that provides an indication of success or failure. Every industry has different metrics that drive performance. You should know the KPI’s that are important in your organization, and how you affect these KPI’s. If you don’t know your KPI’s, you’re going to have a tougher time in your search.

The reason KPI’s are so important is two-fold. First, many hiring managers want to know that a candidate is concerned about how their performance drives the overall success of a company. Discussing your KPI’s can help show that you understand what you need to do to succeed. Second, hiring managers like to see candidates that take responsibility for their performance and are committed to meeting expectations. To meet expectations, you need to know what they are and your performance relative to those expectations. Knowing our KPI’s is a good way to show this to a hiring manager.

KPI’s also help you show how you will drive performance of a team you manage. It is very difficult to drive performance without setting clear expectations and measuring the results. KPI’s are an important element of this.

Examples of KPI’s

Each industry has different challenges and different KPI’s. Below are examples from a manufacturing.

  • Scrap dollars per labor hour

  • Parts produced per labor hour

  • Rework hours per labor hour

  • Production hours to setup hours

  • Maintenance hours per shift

  • Equipment downtime

  • Order backlog

  • Percentage of orders shipped on-time

  • Line fill of orders shipped

This is just a sampling of a few KPI’s. A company may have dozens of metrics that are significant.

Writing About KPI’s

On your resume, you should write about specific KPI’s that are significant to the business. Start by discussing your actions and then provide the change in the KPI. For example, a production manager may have reduced setup times by standardizing tooling:

Reduced Setup Times: Standardized tooling in punch presses by utilizing a consistent mounting configuration. This change reduced setup times from an average to two hours to under 30 minutes. Setup hours per labor hour were reduced by 60% in the punch press workcenter.

This bullet provides a clear action completed by the job seeker. The results of the action are also clear. The job seeker reinforces the results by showing the effect on a KPI. This example provides one additional element that benefits the presentation. It is written with the title “Reduced Setup Times.” This title makes it very easy to scan the resume and see what is important, while reinforcing the results achieved by the job seeker.

If your resume does not detail any KPI’s, review your performance, identify the KPI’s that are important and show how you affected those KPI’s.

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