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How to Translate Your Career Into Impactful Metrics

Since 2017, I've helped over 500 people successfully transition from the government into the private sector. These transitions have come from all levels of the government, including the military, law enforcement, intelligence community, elected officials, senior executive service, and many more.

Every single person, no matter their industry or background, all struggle with the exact same thing. How do I translate my day-to-day into quantifiable impact that is not only representative of my success, but makes sense to a corporate recruiter and aligns to a specific job?

We're going to chat about this today, and I'm going to give you specific examples of how you can do this successfully, no matter who you are or your background. There are multiple formats out there like the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Results), CAR (Challenge, Action, Result), or PAR (Problem, Action, Result). Any of these will do it, but at the end of the day, you want each bullet point to tell a story.

For example, the higher up you go in an organization, the easier this is to do because the scope of your role grows significantly. I'm going to break down metrics for each industry below and give you specific examples you can draw from or modify.

Law Enforcement

  • Conducted 2K+ investigations involving financial fraud, employee misconduct, workplace violence, etc. (Notice I stated employee misconduct and workplace violence. These terms aren't really used in law enforcement, but that's what you want to get away from, your terminology needs to mirror the private sector. Workplace violence can mean bullying, harassment, discrimination, sexual assault, etc. Employee misconduct is exactly what it sounds like and is closely tied to Ethics and Compliance investigations in the private sector. Internal Affairs = Ethics and Compliance.

  • Oversaw 10+ direct reports across multiple teams and a $1.2M budget. (Direct reports are people that report directly to you, indirect reports are the people that report to them. As a Sergeant, you have direct reports, the officers underneath you. As a LT or Captain, you have direct reports which are also managers, the indirect reports are the officers under each manager, make sense? Usually when we talk about budget, we are not talking about payroll costs, only everything else.

  • Initiated and implemented an at-risk kids' program in conjunction with a local group. Improved behavior through positive reinforcement and mentoring, decreased runaways by 75% annually, and identified victims of abuse who had never previously made an outcry. (You are telling a story about how you've created a public-private partnership and made significant gains through quantifiable metrics.)

  • Created, produced, and led realistic safety training for 280+ law enforcement officers, reducing safety incidents by 40% in year one. Administered training budget of $500K+ during course of the instruction.


  • Authored intelligence computer SOP for 500+ personnel, leading to a significant increase in user comprehension and decrease in time required to train. (It's okay if you can't quantify the increase in user comprehension or decrease in time required to train, most people won't remember that unless you were specifically tracking it, but this tells a story and in the private sector, saving money and automating manual processes is a HUGE deal. At the minimum, this shows you can be a change agent and will provide you a good opportunity to verbalize this example during an interview).

  • Deployed overseas and oversaw a $10M budget, including all training, payroll, budgeting, and fleet operations for a 1100 personnel police department. (This bullet point gives the recruiter or hiring manager a very good idea of the scope of your duties and what you can juggle simultaneously).

Intelligence Community

  • Developed a new intelligence analysis and data integration program with a multi-functional team of multiple people managers, 50+ intelligence analysts, subject matter experts, data scientists, and software developers for the agency.

  • Employed PMP best practices and experience to ensure a cycle of continuous improvement of processes, organizational structures, requirements, and reporting mechanisms required for the creation and baselining of intelligence and technology teams. This structured approach to developing the program resulted in immediate impact to the customer and a significant increase in the amount of analysis produced.

  • Created an end-to-end process for identifying, capturing, and formatting data on entities of interest. Designed a database which structured the data and fed it directly into a social network analysis tool.

  • Researched, wrote, and disseminated 10+ tactical intelligence products on a weekly basis for multiple clients and briefed executive stakeholders on emerging trends.

If you compare the impactful statements listed above, besides the obvious terminology that allows you to pinpoint the industry, you can see that "impact" is everywhere and is not relegated to any one industry or job field. Whether you are a teacher, mortgage officer, IT professional in the military, or deputy sheriff for a 15 man department, there is always value and impact you can pull out of your history. What are you most proud of? What awards did you win? In your employee evaluations, what standard were you evaluated or judged against? Are there key performance indicators (KPI) for your position, if so, what are they and how did you meet or exceed them?

No one wants to read a job description, which is what most people do on a resume. They copy and paste their job description, which tells me absolutely nothing about the impact you had, how good you were/are at your job, and what you were involved in. Most importantly, it doesn't give recruiters or hiring managers ANY idea whether you'd be a good fit for the role they are hiring for. Let your resume tell a story of who you are, what you excel at, how you saw a need or gap and created something to address it, and ultimately what the scope of your job duties were.

Hiring processes are expensive and making a "bad" hire for whatever reason costs the company a significant amount of money in time and risks. Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes. You are comparing two resumes side-by-side for a high-impact role on your team. One resume has 5 jobs with zero impact or quantifiable metrics, primarily job description terminology. The other resume shows exactly what they did, the metrics attached to the position, how they saved the company money, identified risks, lower liability, you get the point. Who would you rather advance to an interview?

I'm sure by now everyone has heard of how little time recruiters spend reviewing resumes. It ranges from 7-30 seconds. Candidates spend inordinate amounts of time filling out applications. Do yourself a favor and significantly advance your odds of progressing to an interview by quantifying your impact AND tailoring your resume to fit the job requirements. Recruiters only want to see the experience that aligns to the job requirements, otherwise it distracts from their review (what I've heard). It makes sense though, which is why tailoring your resume is an important part of the process.

If you've read this far, thank you. I go through this with every single person I talk with, because it's the #1 problem by far people struggle with. Hopefully, this has given you some insight into how to do this successfully, or at the very least, get you started on the right path. If you need help, book some time with me at I write resumes, coach job seekers, and build out Linkedin profiles on a daily basis for people just like you. You are not alone. Your story is unique, but your problem is not.

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