Should you write out numbers on your resume or use numerals?
When preparing your resume, aim to craft as many achievement-based bullet points as possible.
By quantifying the results you achieved using numbers, you’ll build your credibility and impress recruiters.
That said, your grammar also needs to be accurate.
In this article, we’ll discuss the standard grammar rules for writing numbers as well as recommended approaches for using numbers on resumes.
Standard Grammar Rules for Writing Numbers
- Numbers under 10: Spell out (two, six, eight)
- Numbers 10 and above: Use figures (10, 55, 150)
There are a few exceptions to this general rule where you should always use figures, including the following:
- Ages (4 years old)
- Building numbers (5 East Erie)
- Headlines (Developer Builds 5 New Hotels)
- Figures with decimals (6.2 feet)
- Percentages (12% increase)
- Measurements (185 lbs.)
- Money ($3M increase in revenue)
- Time of day (5 p.m.)
- Figures in a series (5 direct reports, 150 employees, and 30 contractors)
Resume Best Practices for Writing Numbers
On your resume, you can choose to go against standard convention and use figures for numbers 1-9 for two reasons:
1) Save space
Because you have limited space on your resume, using the number “5” instead of writing out “five” can save you just enough space to keep a bullet point from spilling onto the next line – especially if you need to squeeze in multiple numbers.
2) Help your accomplishments “pop”
Using numbers can also help your accomplishments stand out.
When you have multiple bullet points that consist primarily of text, numbers under 10 can easily blend into the rest of the content.
For example, compare the following two bullet points:
- Completed 8 feasibility studies, resulting in 2 new hotel openings
- Completed eight feasibility studies, resulting in two new hotel openings
It’s easy to see how the structure of the first bullet point makes the numbers more prominent.
When including numbers on your resume, the most important thing is to be consistent.
- If you decide to follow conventional grammar rules and spell out numbers under 10, do so throughout the entire document
- If you decide to use figures throughout, stay consistent as well
If you are preparing a resume for an academic context, however, we advise sticking to convention.
By following the guidelines above and sticking to one approach throughout your document, you can be sure to avoid any red flags.
Such an approach will ensure your resume is accomplishment driven and doesn't simply list the tasks you were responsible for day-to-day.
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