I am about to finish a semester internship and looking for the right way to highlight the results of a software that I wrote.

In a nutshell, I automated a task that would take around 6.5 hours for an average employee to complete. It now runs in 20 minutes by using Java. I've been thinking of various ways to highlight this on my resume. Here are the possible scenarios:

  1. Automated a manual task that took 6.5 hours to 20 minutes.
  2. Improved efficiency to 95% when retrieving data from various DBs
  3. X Task runs 19 times faster than before

I'm not sure what the proper metrics are to use when measuring how you improved a process. You can talk about efficiency being 95% (370mins/390mins). You can also talk about the percentage difference between 20 minutes and 390 mins which is 180%. You can also talk about how much faster it is when compared to the old process (19 times faster or XXX% faster)...

How can I show that work in a resume?

  • 3
    Hey Wilo, and welcome to The Workplace. As explained in our help center, "Questions looking for opinions on what to do but with no specific problem are suited for discussion boards (not a question/answer site) and generally will be closed on The Workplace as 'primarily opinion-based.'" Each approach will have pros and cons depending on the job you're applying to and what you want to highlight. You can try to edit your question explaining why you have a problem with your current approach, and may get better answers explaining how to improve it. Thanks in advance!
    – jmac
    Apr 8, 2014 at 3:56

3 Answers 3


I know this is an old post but for future jobseekers... I disagree with the story from O.Jones. It's weaker than the simple line:

"I automated a task that would take around 6.5 hours for an average employee to complete. It now runs in 20 minutes by using Java."

You won't even need the rest of the numbers (95% efficient, runs 19x faster...yo can save that for the interview) I gain so much info from the one above line. Just tweak it, like, "Automated a task using Java...then the numbers in a bullet" It's strong. The % amount of time saved is obvious. Other facts stand out: Initiative, problem solver, team oriented,technical, etc.


I have added savings like this in terms of FTEs (Full Time Equivalents). When you talk about saving 1/5 of an FTE on a process, that means that 1 day of 1 person's time has been shifted to some other task. That's a very serious savings on personnel costs.

I would highlight any time that I had in excess of 1 FTEs savings. That will get any business person's attention quickly.

If you don't know about FTEs, but do know about money, use that instead. Something along the lines of "Saved the company $1.2 million USD over the course of 2 years" will also turn heads.

Whatever you do, don't exaggerate or inflate the numbers. They will be confirmed.

  • That makes sense. Looking at it for a business standpoint that would be the best approach. Thanks Apr 8, 2014 at 4:03

You're asking about what to put on your resume, not what to put in a term paper about your internship. The point of a resume is to get an interview for a job. You can talk about efficiency metrics in your interview.

Keep it simple and tell the story. Try something like this:

I created a Java Servlet web application to guide users through setting up an account in Oracle for a new customer. It improved accuracy, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced the time required from the sales administrator from 6.5 hours to twenty minutes.

Now look: this isn't your story. I made it up. I don't know your story. But you do. My point is this: in one or two sentences you can tell what you did, what technology you used, mention who your users are and describe the benefits to them and to the company hosting you as intern.

This is a species of elevator pitch. If you don't know what an "elevator pitch" is, look it up. It's a vital workplace skill.

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