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Resume Writing: Quantify impacts by calculating growth with negative original value

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New answer on Jan 07, 2023
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 06, 2023

Hi there,

I am writing my resume and want to quantify my achievement in a bullet, but not sure what is the best way to put it.

 

I managed P&L of a particular department and came up with xx initiatives and strategy , and turned negative profitability past year into positive profitability this year. If I were to calculate the YoY growth, how should I correctly calculate it? Or is there a better way to quantify impact

 

E.g. last year profitability is -150,000 USD and this year profitability is 300,000 USD, while sales growth remain stable

 

Thank you in advance.

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Best answer
Francesco
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replied on Jan 07, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Last year profitability is -150,000 USD and this year profitability is 300,000 USD, while sales growth remain stable. If I were to calculate the YoY growth, how should I correctly calculate it? 

In this case it would probably be easier to report the absolute amount (+$450k in profits in 12 months). You could also add the initial and final values to show you went from negative to positive. 

Alternatively, as mentioned by Maikol you could show profitability before and after the change (eg changed profitability from -xx% to +yy%).

Best,

Francesco

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Rushabh
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replied on Jan 06, 2023
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant

Hello,

Let me assume that the sales is $10M.

1) You can say that you improved the profit margins from -1.5% to +3% 

2) You can say that your efforts improved the net profits by $450,000 and say that this has been the biggest jump since xx years 

Hope this helps!

Rushabh

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Anonymous replied on Jan 06, 2023

I would say “ changes contributed to a $450k profit uplift, from -$150k to $300k.”

I would make sure you add the total change as this is quite a big number.

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Hagen
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replied on Jan 06, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • One way to quantify your achievement could be to state that you turned a negative profitability of -150,000 USD into a positive profitability of 300,000 USD. You can also mention the initiatives and strategies that you implemented to achieve this.
  • As for calculating the YoY growth, it is not meaningful to calculate it in this situation as the base year (last year) had a negative profitability. YoY growth is typically used to compare the change in a metric between two positive numbers, so in this case it would not accurately reflect your achievement. Instead, you could focus on the absolute change in profitability, which in this case would be 450,000 USD (300,000 USD - (-150,000 USD)).

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best express your achievements in your resume, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Dennis
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

For this example, it’s probably best to describe it like you did here. Instead of absolute USD values you could use % profit. 

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Maikol
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replied on Jan 06, 2023
BCG Project Leader | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and PE | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

The most effective way is to say that profitability improved from -5% to +3% (fake numbers) in one year.

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Moritz
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replied on Jan 06, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

The simple answer is that you can’t really do it. There’s a workaround often suggested i.e. turning the base into an absolute value but it‘ misleading.

For your example, this would mean:

(300k - (-150k))/(ABS(-150k)) = 450k / 150k = 300%

In my estimation this is misleading because of the following; let’s assume you had the same positive result but dug yourself out of a deeper hole:

(300k - (-200k))/(ABS(-200k)) = 500k / 200k = 250%

Even though your growth was more impressive from a lower base, the % growth has gotten smaller.

Bottom line: Would suggest to use absolute values

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

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Ian
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replied on Jan 07, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Managed $xxM P&L of x department; identified profit initiatives, prioritized, and implemented across xx months and xx teams, ultimately turning -$M annual loss into $xM annual profit

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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