But does your resume actually show why you’ve been effective in past roles?
The most powerful, attention-getting resumes tell entire stories, helping employers understand how you’ll be the best candidate to tackle their business problems.
To create a resume that truly represents the full spectrum of what you offer, consider taking a look at the results of your work using the C-A-R (Challenge-Action-Result) strategy.
The C-A-R method consists of these steps: first, describe the situation you faced at work (Challenge), then what you did when faced with it (Action). Last but not least, the outcome (Result) that you achieved is the critical part.
The C-A-R formula is a popular solution to BOTH resume writing and interview situations, and for good reason. Employers need to gain a clear picture of your ability to handle obstacles and create the results they need – prior to calling you for an interview.
Use these tips to develop C-A-R success stories and bring your resume to life:
1 – Look at Your Challenges in Context.
Charged with marking improvements in your past jobs? Need to transition a team to a new level of competence?
Perhaps you’ve been asked to help re-organize a department or system, or you’ve found that there are problems with your employer’s methods of operation.
In any case, looking carefully at the problems (those you’re asked to solve, and those you have NEEDED to solve) can help lay the foundation for your success stories.
2 – Describe Actions Taken to Resolve These Issues.
Actions can take many forms such as designing new procedures, training colleagues to correct a skills deficit, or taking the helm of an enterprise-level project.
You might find that the Action required you to address issues outside of your usual responsibilities (such as handling a merger when the company is suddenly acquired or taking on a new level of leadership when the boss is absent).
Whatever the scenario, it’s best to describe Actions in very concise fashion, since you’ll want to save room to show the impact of the situation (the Results) as the most important part of the story.
3 – Quantify Your Results.
Metrics play a crucial role in writing a compelling resume. In fact, there’s no better way to underscore your capabilities than to show a profitable and favorable outcome to your actions.
Where possible, add dollar figures, percentages, year-over-year growth metrics, and other quantifiable information to the story. You’ll find that employers will key more into the Results on your resume than any other information you can present.
In order to round out the C-A-R strategy, it’s best to reformat your story so that the Results appear FIRST, followed by the Action or Challenge.
These examples demonstrate the use of the C-A-R strategy:
Original Sentence: Grew revenue 21% in 3 different markets.
C-A-R Strategy: Grew revenue 21%, adding $1.7 million in 3 markets by training new sales representatives in benefit selling techniques.
Original Sentence: Improved operations efficiency for production plant.
C-A-R Strategy: Added 20% more operational output, despite use of outdated equipment, by developing training manual to increase employee efficiency.
To sum up, employers need top performers more than ever! The C-A-R method allows you to state the context of your achievements, including the difficult situations you’ve faced and the impact of your work – making it an effective tool for demonstrating proof of your performance.
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