How to demonstrate impact in your applications – with or without numbers

Posted in: Advice, Applications, Tips & Hints

You might have heard that you should quantify results on your CV. This is good advice. If you raised a significant amount of money for a charity, or improved a process by a certain percentage, you should absolutely give the number. If you are making this kind of impact now, try and obtain those statistics and make a note of them. They will be invaluable for future job applications.

However, some students worry that they can’t quantify their impact with powerful percentages or financial figures. They can’t say they reduced processing time by 10%, or boosted sales by 20%. While this level of detail is good to include if you can, it’s certainly not the only way. Here are some other ways you can demonstrate impact.


Scale refers to how many colleagues, clients, customers or course mates you worked with. Different skills are needed to work in large and small groups, and one isn’t better than the other. For example:

  • Tutored young children in a team of three, working independently due to the nature of small team.


Frequency, as you might have guessed, is how often you did something. It’s one thing to say you tutored young children, but was this daily? Weekly? Don’t undersell yourself and say you ‘only’ did something occasionally. What else were you doing in this time? Perhaps you were juggling this responsibility alongside your studies, which demonstrates time management and reliability.

  • Tutored young children twice a week, managing time alongside studies. Worked independently due to the nature of small three-person team.

You could also mention how many children you tutored every week, combining both scale and frequency in one bullet point.


Here you would give the timeframe in which you completed a task. Giving timeframes lets employers know you can work efficiently to complete tasks and meet agreed deadlines, and also suggests that you can work under pressure.

  • Provided same-day responses to emails from tutees and parents, demonstrating an ability to prioritise conflicting demands during peak times.


Lots of us fail to mention feedback on our applications. We might believe it’s impossible to prove, or isn’t as impressive as chucking numbers at the page. But mentioning good feedback is better than not mentioning it. Did you encourage customers to leave feedback? Even if this is not individual to you, can you emphasise your contribution towards a company’s five star review? Did you receive glowing testimonials or nice thank you messages from colleagues or clients? This is all worth putting on your CV.

  • Provided same-day responses to emails from tutees and parents, demonstrating an ability to prioritise conflicting demands during peak times. Received positive feedback from line manager on professional tone.

Be honest about positive feedback – it’s never a good idea to lie on your CV. That said, try not to worry about how you can prove something to an employer. If they need proof, they can go to your references. You might also be able to elaborate in an interview. However, they won’t know about this feedback unless you tell them!

When there are no numbers

If you met or exceeded sales targets, this alone is worth including in your CV. It’s okay if you don’t know how much money you made, or by how much you surpassed the target. If you broke a sales record, that’s the impressive part. The numbers alone don’t mean much without this context.

If you tutored kids with additional needs, this may not be a numerical detail, but it still says a lot about how you worked in your role. You might have shown an awareness of accessibility, or adapted your tutoring style to best meet their learning needs. Numbers go a long way, but many employers will also want to know about the qualitative details too.

  • Pursued training to support neurodivergent learners, showing a commitment to inclusion and improving understanding of student needs.

Consider the industry

Employers in the finance sector will want to see lots of numbers on your CV: cost reductions, revenue growth, and so on. If you don’t want to work in finance, or you haven’t worked with budgets or spreadsheets, this may be less relevant to you. You might talk about patient satisfaction if you’ve worked in healthcare, improved grades in tutoring, or increased followers in social media and marketing. There are many ways to measure impact, and I hope this has shed some light on how you can make this work for you.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Posted in: Advice, Applications, Tips & Hints


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