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February 24, 2010


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great really well.

I find this advice to be so niche based and so assumptive of generality as to be laughable.

If you work in sales, cost management, or some kind of middle to upper management and probably a few other positions then it probably applies.

But this is written as if this is some kind of generic advice for people in all positions like HR, accounting, engineering, nursing, etc. Seems kind of tone deaf. Can you imagine hiring a nurse and looking for how much profit they could show that they contributed to the hospital bottom line? You want to go to a hospital that uses that as their primary hiring concern for nurses? If you hire good employees who do their job well and, you have a good business model, you will make profit.

Far more people get hired for good jobs that have zero references to profit contribution on their resume than those that do. Here's a test. Go to Monster and scan resumes for people who don't work in sales or upper business management and tell me how many of them have references to profit contribution to the company bottom line. Almost none. Why? Because its generally bad advice except for the specific few job types for which that information is relevant.

MasterPo agrees with Apex.

And also adds - these are "magic numbers".

Even in something like sales it's meaningless for all intents and purposes. Looks great on paper. But meaningless because it's unprovable and unverifiable (in most cases anyway) in any kind of objective way.

I agree, nurses (and other non-financial people) aren't hired specifically to increase profits, but shouldn't we try? I worked at hospital where one nurse saw that we were using the more expensive gloves for most procedures, even when the cheaper ones would work fine. She raised the idea with our management and it was announced that it saved us $50,000 per year. Our profit margin was never above 10%. How much patient money would we have had to bring in on the top line in order to get that same $50K on the bottom line? Isn't it $500K? Am I missing something, or is that the correct math?

Anyway, she didn't find this money INSTEAD OF doing her job--she found it WHILE doing her job. She later got a promotion. I hope SHE put it on her resume. Where were the cost management people for the five previous years that we were using the more expensive gloves?

Maybe employers these days ARE scanning Monster looking for profit contributions...and not finding any. If I were on Monster, I'd want my resume to stand out.


Yes, we should always speak out when we see something in the course of our job that could be improved. But I don't think it's valuable to use that information in a hiring decision for most jobs like nurses.

This nurse you discussed may have just seen one obvious oversight and never see another one. This one instance of "find a way to save money" might not say much about their ability to find similiar opportunities at a new hospital. If she is regularily finding these opportunities, perhaps she is in the wrong job. When hiring for a nurse, I would expect to hire for expected nursing qualifications. All things being equal I might give some weight to some pro-active cost savings but if one nurse was slightly more qualified thats who I would hire, not the slightly less qualified nurse who had suggested a change that saved some money.

Or better yet, simply lie on your resume. Nothing wrong with stretching the truth. 9 out of 10 employers never follow up on researching the facts of your resume.

The sales comparison is impressive indeed, but I think it's a bit far-fetched / long-winded for recruiters reading your resume. But sure, it's impressive for sure (savings of a few million a year, as in my case, converts to hundreds of millions of 5-year sales - not bad!!).

An interesting thing I found is the following: turns out I was about the only guy in the company passionate about these things (saving money, improving cost efficiency, ...). Which led to me leaving the company in the end (for no other reason). And the problem isn't really the company, but people in general: nobody seems to really care (this is Europe, perhaps it's different in the US?). Nevertheless, I still put these achievements in my resume, if only for myself, and fortunately it does occasionally impress people. Not everyone, just the right kind.

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