Don’t abbreviate the word million. Spell it out.
Many people want to abbreviate million, but it opens the door to confusion.
For example, I asked Google for guidance on how to abbreviate million here. As you can see, that got me pages full of conflicting search results.
Abbreviation for Million
When business people read reports and recruiters read resumes, it’s common to see this — $1M.
While recruiters love to see numbers on resumes, they also like them to be accurate (more here) and make sense.
When they see $1M, many readers have no idea if the writer means $1,000 or $1 million. That’s a considerable difference ($999,000, to be exact).
Let’s say you’re talking about sales growth of $1 million. If you use $1M, some of your readers might think sales grew $1,000 instead of $1 million. You go from being a hero to an underperformer without knowing it.
Numbers produce anxiety and confusion in many people. Help them by making your quantifications crystal clear.
If you’re talking millions, use the word — $1 million.
If you’re working on your resume and are desperate for space, use $1MM. It’s understood that “MM” means million. But no, wrong! See the comments below. “MM” won’t work for UK readers. It can mean “billion” there.
ChatGPT likes M, but also suggests mil, MM, and mrd. As you can see, confusion reigns. In one iteration I ran, it acknowledged that “million” provides the most clarity.
Abbreviation for Thousand
If you’re talking thousands, use the number: $1,000.
A single “M” can mean either thousand or million, so that doesn’t work.
Again, if you’re desperate for space, use $1K for $1,000. Most people understand that “K” means thousand. If they don’t, they can Google it and get a straight answer (I checked).
But why use an abbreviation your readers have to Google?
Abbreviation for Billion
Spell it — $250 billion.
Click here to find samples that show you how to present large numbers on your resume.
Read the comments below for more information, plus global insights, on how to abbreviate thousand, million, and billion.
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Updated January 2023
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
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