The world of the job seeker is a dynamic one, constantly evolving to keep up with changes in technology and the needs and desires of employers. As the workforce changes, so must the ways in which applicants communicate to potential employers how they can best fit their needs.
We already know that your resume is a living document, and as such, it is regularly evolving. More than a simple list of your prior work and education experiences, your resume communicates to employers the story of your professional development, including all relevant and important accomplishments you have achieved.
One effective way to realize this is to utilize the CAR/PAR method. The acronyms CAR and PAR stand for Challenge > Action > Results or Problem > Action > Results. This is an efficient and effective way to build your resume and practice answers for interview questions.
Consider each job that you have listed on your resume – what were the most important tasks that you were given? Then, reframe your thoughts a bit – every “task” can also be seen as a problem or challenge. Think specifically about the important tasks that you have taken on – the ones that required true strategy and resourcefulness in order to solve. These are the ones that employers are most interested in hearing about.
Instead of: Accountable for sales quota
Try: Tasked with maintaining accurate sales records for three sales teams
Now that you’ve identified the challenge, the next step is to spell out how you solved the problem. You should be as concise as possible, stating simply how you were able to affect change for the better on your resume or to your employer in an interview. This is the shortest part of the CAR/PAR statement, so be careful not to spend too much time on it.
Example: Developed a comprehensive product library consisting of 4,820 models
Engineered and implemented company intranet using Google Sites
Now you’ve reached the important part – the section that employers care about the most. You’ve identified your problem and talked about the action that you took in order to solve it – were you able to succeed? Typically we call these your “deliverables” in your resume, and, where possible, they are quantifiable. At a minimum, you should have five in your resume.
Example: Tasked with streamlining business operations, engineered and implemented user-friendly company intranet via Google Sites, increasing productivity and reducing data errors by 20%
Interested in trying the CAR/PAR Method while sprucing up your resume? Check out the worksheet here for a little help!