TCW #045 | Translating metrics from your resume to your LinkedIn
Multiple approaches to share your impact without breaking confidentiality agreements, over-reaching, or underselling yourself.
Hey, it’s 📣 Coach Erika! Welcome to a 🙏 paid subscriber edition🙏 of The Career Whispers. Each week I tackle reader questions about tech careers: how to get one, how to navigate them, and how to grow and thrive in your role.
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A question I get asked at least 2-3x per month:
“How should I handle metrics and accomplishments for my resume? How should I adjust those for my public LinkedIn profile?”
Job seekers are caught between a rock and a hard place trying to navigate conflicting "look impressive" resume advice and fears of oversharing sensitive data on their LinkedIn profiles.
Resumes feel safe to share our biggest wins and best metrics because they are semi-private: we have a lot of control over how they are shared and with whom they are shared.
But when it comes to our LinkedIn profiles, they are public. We have to be careful not to share company-confidential metrics, and we want to ensure we’re not overselling ourselves.
This week, I'll teach you 5 ways to share metrics on your resume and LinkedIn without:
⛔️ violating your employer's confidentiality requirements
👣 over-reaching or stepping on colleagues’ toes (yes, it's always a team sport!)
😔 downplaying your impact or coming across like you aren’t data-informed
Let’s dive in.
PS: This post is written for folks who already have metrics in their resumes/LinkedIn and want to make sure they are doing it well.
For those who are learning how to quantify your achievements and impact in your resume/LinkedIn, I’ve got a future post coming about how and where to inject metrics. If you’re working on your resume or LinkedIn right now, check out TCW #011: Debugging your Resume for a helpful appetizer 🍢
When you’re trying to anonymize the result or you don’t have the underlying numbers
This is a common issue I see for professionals in the consulting industry who sign agreements prohibiting them from sharing client data.
I also see this issue with professionals who just don’t have the underlying numbers but they know the directional improvements that they made.
Some options when you can’t or don’t want to share exact numbers:
Option 1: Swap exact numbers for directional magnitude
This is especially useful with money numbers (which tend to be more sensitive), including revenue, funding amounts, R&D investments, purchase amounts, funds under management, etc.
All you have to do is swap the digits for X’s. The X’s indicate the magnitude, giving the reader and directional idea.
135M investment portfolio → 1XXM or 13XM or XXXM (you choose)
63M revenue → 6XM revenue or XXM revenue
500,000 DAUs → X00,000 DAUs
365,000 annual AWS spend → X00,000 annual AWS spend
Oversaw an XXXM personalized medicine investment portfolio.
Grew revenue from 6XM to 9XM.
Owned user authentication for a product used by X00,000 DAUs.
Managed X00,000 annual AWS spend.
Option 2: Stick with order of magnitude, tildes, or ranges
This option is used most with percentages, especially when you don’t know the exact percentage improvement that you made (but you know it’s in a given range or order of magnitude).
23% improvement → >20% or more than 20% or 20%+
50ish% reduction → ~50% reduction
Grew user satisfaction >20% by adding direct payment options.
Reduced customer churn ~50% by offering monthly paid subscriptions.
Improved page load speeds 15-20% by implementing selective caching.
When you’re trying to demonstrate scale or scope
Most often, I see tech workers using numbers on their resumes to demonstrate either:
the scope of their work (number of projects or team members, budget size, amount of revenue, size of user base)
the scale of their work (size of customer/user base, amount of revenue, complexity or utilization of the tech stack)
In cases where you’re using numbers on your resume or LinkedIn to demonstrate scale or scope, you have a few different options.
Let’s say you’re trying to describe how you helped scale Airbnb from 365,777 hosts globally to 1,233,455 hosts globally. Putting the exact numbers in your resume or LinkedIn has three major drawbacks:
It’s hard to read so many numbers 😵💫
It takes precious space, especially if you’re sticking to a 1-page resume
It might divulge company-confidential information
Some options to try instead:
Option 1: Use ratios
Ratios are powerful when you’ve made improvements greater than 100%, for example doubling revenue or tripling the number of monthly active users.
In interviews, you need to know the exact numbers, but when someone is scanning your resume or LinkedIn, the last thing they want to do is mental math. Do it for them.
365,777 hosts globally to 1,233,455 hosts globally → 3.4x
15 average trips to 30.2 average trips → 2x active trips
0.5% conversion rate to 2.5% conversion rate → 5x conversion rate
175 DAUs to 700 DAUs → 4x DAUs
Scaled hosts globally 3.4x in ~18 months by strategically expanding into cities with major upcoming sporting events, ie Rio Olympics.
Drove 2x increase in average daily Uber trips per driver by implementing personalized driver incentives.
Catalyzed 5x conversion increase by launching zero-click content strategies.
Grew DAUs 4x by systematically removing login friction.
Option 2: Reduce precision
Skip precision when it doesn't matter, for example when describing the number of vendors, partners, or team members you worked with.
42 partnerships → dozens of partnerships
534 user research studies → hundreds of user research studies
12,356 monthly subscriptions sold → over 12k monthly subscriptions sold
Signed dozens of new business partnerships in 13 months
Oversaw hundreds of user research studies in a single quarter
Sold over 12k monthly subscriptions in one year
Option 3: Mix and match (have your numbers and your ratios/imprecise values, too!)
You can even use a mixed approach where you do the ratio math or reduce precision for the reader, but also inject the exact numbers. I find this is often the most powerful approach.
This approach is helpful when: