CVs - Format Question

csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:21PM
If you are stating figures on a CV, e.g. 300 people or 5% reduction should you write them using figures or text?

e.g. part of a team of 300 or part of a team of three hundred

Is there any preference?

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Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 12:23PM
I would say using words rather than figures!!
csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:28PM
Thanks Maddie.

Kind of what I had decided, but of course it makes the text longer and I was trying to get it more concise. However, I think these are better left as text. Certainly it needs to be consistent across the CV which it was not!
Pete Plus
18 18.8k 97 England
28 Nov 2011 12:31PM
magazines have a house style - ours is up to 10 in words while 10 and beyond is figures - unless it's things like percent or similar where the figure is followed by a measure ie 35mm, 89cm 17% ISO100 etc then it would always be figures.
csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:33PM
I have figures like

32 million

I just need to figure out some consistency

32M or 32 million or thirty-two million. 500 thousand, 500k

aaarrrggghhhhh - this should be the easy bit.
Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 12:33PM
Only because i think it looks more Professional in word rather than maybe the quicker more abbreviated way in figures....... but that is just my opinion Smile
scottishphototours 16 2.6k 2
28 Nov 2011 12:36PM
Numbers on cv's that show improvements should always be figures. This is the kind of info employers are looking for, so why make them work for it? Make it as easy as possible to see...
Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 12:37PM
I am just going to sneak off back to my painting only 50% done or is that fifty percent Smile
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 12:40PM
I have seen so many 'in vogue' styles of CV come and go that I would say 'what looks right'.
I think figures is fine but it is common in formal documents (technical or otherwise) that you do not start a sentence with figures. So for example: "My department had 300 hundred people" would be rewritten as "Three hundred people were in my department".
Also bear in mind that if you several numerical references, writing in text can be hard going.

I would not worry about it too much - as you say consitency is the main thing and if 'numbers versus text' is the reason they throw your CV out they should not be in the job (or I would not want to work for them).
csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 12:40PM
Hmm, that's where I started Andy but then I thought it looked a bit untidy!

Maybe I just have too many figures in there and need to find a better way of stating some of the facts.
joolsb 15 27.1k 38 Switzerland
28 Nov 2011 2:16PM
Having spent a while unemployed and having gone through the process of CV-optimisation, several times and with different professionals, I'd say figures every time. It breaks up the verbiage and makes it easier to read whereas written-out numbers just don't stand out. So:

32 Mill.
500,000 (or 500k - although that does look a little 'trendy')

Other advice I was given:

- emphasise ways you can 'add value' to a company
- decide on a brief personal 'mission statement' that sums up what you can offer and stick it at the top.
- use bullet points and brief, action-oriented, sentences.

But you probably know all that... Wink
csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 2:24PM
Thanks Jools.

To be honest in general I am not having a problem getting responses from agencies. My problem seems to be that I don't fit neatly in to a pigeon holed job title.

Looking on the job sites there are roles that I can apply for but the role stated is not the full extent of what I do/can do. And what I do is very rarely advertised for!

I have now changed these in the main to numbers.

I have one statement where the point is that the set of processes used by a company was rationalised from 140 to 2. Now using Pete's theory that should read as 140 to two. That just looks plain weird.

At least I am making some progress Grin
CaptivePhotons 16 1.7k 2 England
28 Nov 2011 2:47PM
I've often found Business Balls to be helpful.
cathal 15 492 4 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2011 2:52PM

A lot depends on where the figures are being used and the context in question. As a writer, I learned very early on that numbers in text, below ten, would be written as words, but numbers would be used above that.

"I worked in a team of 4 developers." would be written as "I worked in a team of four developers."

If presenting numerical data though, especially in a table format, I'd used numbers every time. Likewise, I would write percentages as 10% rather than ten percent (unless it were in prose).

The other thing to note when using agencies, is that they all have database systems and mine received CVs for key words. So, for example, a resourcer in an agency might search for "Prince II", "Agile" and "Project Manager", which would pick up the phrase "Prince II qualified project manager working in an Agile software development environment."

So regarding your sentence that "looks weird" I shouldn't worry too much... it only gets read if the key words get pulled out in a search. Also, in probably all cases, agencies are concerned with filling a vacancy before another agency does, and work around the requirement rather than the look at me I've a great CV, get me a job... you are only of interest if they have a job or know of a job that you can fill.

csurry 17 9.2k 92
28 Nov 2011 2:56PM
Thanks Graham.

Thanks Cathal. Confirms what a number of agencies have told me. And therein is the key I think. I need to consider the job titles used. I have had some really strange phone calls and emails that are just so inappropriate to what I do as to be laughable.

That's why I completely rewrote the CV. It is now getting more appropriate responses, but still not exactly what I am looking for.

Need to factor in a few ideas from various people I think in order to point the agencies in the right direction.

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