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What Is the Bottom Line, Anyway?

If you've ever sat through an organized round-table meeting at work, you're probably all too familiar with the phrase "bottom line." It's thrown around almost as much as "at the end of the day," but bottom line has more meanings than simply trying to summarize a point, and whether you're employed or looking for a job it's important that you understand them.

When you're employed, you need to contribute to what makes your company tick and show that your unique skills and work ethic are not only noteworthy, but valuable. Understanding your company's bottom line will allow you to figure out what skills you should develop or sharpen to be the ideal employee.

Most for-profit companies see profit as their bottom line, which means cultivating skills that will support making your company money. Depending on your position within the company, the particular aspects of your position you should focus on will differ. Find how the bottom line fits into a job seeker's mentality when you


Résumés are all about the bottom line: Show potential employers you understand what they want and respect their time by dishing out solid facts on your résumé. This is where the whole puzzle fits together. Focusing on how you contributed to the bottom line during previous jobs is exactly what makes up the bottom line of a résumé.

Did you contribute to a certain percentage of growth, did your hiring efforts lead to a greater employee retention rate, or did readership expand because of you? Filling your résumé with specific accomplishments suggests you did your job well and are able to report them in clear terms — that's the bottom line, in a nutshell.


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that depending on the situation and the environment, the bottom line can carry different significance. i feel like sometimes it's the fastest way to conclude a discussion - making sure that every one's aligned on what you're talking about and on what the deliverables are. in terms of your resume, you might as well just cut to the chase and be clear on what you can do and what you're going to contribute since you know that they are looking at several resumes for the same role. you need to show that you're the go to person for what they want - and what you're expecting in return. (i.e. your bottom line on salary, title, responsibilities etc)
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