Can You Spot Your Resume Accomplishments at Cursory Glance?
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
There is a difference between mediocre résumés and high-quality résumés that stand out. Such résumés can be spotted at a cursory glance.
A great résumé harmoniously incorporates the key elements in fine balance (content, presentation, design, format, style, mechanics), but it also depends on how you position the accomplishments. Ultimately, it's all about applying a robust Master-level résumé strategy.
Some accomplishments can be in a sentence at the very front, and I have seen many positioned at the end of the statement. They actually conceal the candidate's value, However, not all jobseekers are aware how the positioning of their accomplishments can impact their candidacy.
✘ Revamped brand and stakeholder management, improving productivity 25%.
✔️ Improved productivity 25% by revamping brand and stakeholder management.
Spot the difference?
In sum, you need to draw the eye of the employer or recruiter to see your value, with accomplishment results front-loaded and bolded as per the above example.
The Resourceful CAR Method
Just recently, I coached a client applying for a Customer Service Support role. The Challenge-Action-Result (CAR) Method in résumé building helped him see his offerings and milestones more clearly. It helped him thoughtfully convey his career story and envision greater career possibilities. He could see how he progressively honed his customer service skills, while his current role helped him refine adaptability and independent project management in the ever-changing IT industry.
What's so great about the CAR (Challenge-Action-Result) Method is that it can be applied in the interviewing process. When you lead with results, your statements will be much more compelling in the interview process and throughout the résumé.
CAR Method: Generating Creative Storytelling with Powerful Results
Challenge – What is the exact challenge that you were tasked with navigating?
Think carefully about the situation and the context.
What was so unique about this situation?
Did you have to lead or manage a project? What was the project value/budget?
What was your assigned mission or purpose?
What were you specifically tasked to do?
For example: Challenge: Productivity was steadily declining due to obsolete IT needs not being met. The focus: driving innovation and fostering greater productivity and security.
Action – What were the actions taken to resolve the challenge?
What strategy or strategies have you applied in this case?
Describe all the steps taken to resolve the challenge.
What was your exact strategic plan?
DId you implement best practices and what were they?
For example, possible strategies for the above challenge could include:
Observing the activity, behaviour, and work habits of staff members.
Researching IT needs by various leading providers including service quality, benefits, pricing, and vendor support.
Garnering constructive feedback by staff members.
Pooling a team together to execute the goal.
Results – Now, think about and evaluate the impact.
What were the exact results – both qualitative and quantitative?
What resulted by applying those specific actions to that problem?
How did the strategy impact you, the team, and organization?
How did the action (s) impact strategic goals?
What employers clearly want to know is CAR with a big emphasis on RESULTS -- quantitative and qualitative.
The secret to superior résumé building is essentially taking a deep-dive to extract the results.
When you look at your accomplishments with a critical, objective eye, you will understand your unique value more clearly.
✘ Installed a new brand of technology for the entire company.
Now look at the second statement:
✔️ Revitalized team performance 45%, reducing downtime 20%, while fostering innovation by installing new brand of technology that met the needs of global clients.
You can further break this statement down to include strategies below the accomplishment statement as such:
--> Pooled a high-performance 5-member team to research and deploy IT needs and offer constructive feedback on IT strategy.
The above statement clearly leads with quantifiable results. It conveys the strategy.
✘ Established a high-performance team.
✔️ Helped the company retain and engage technology users 35% by responding to and analyzing consumer feedback and establishing a high-performance, cross-functional 10-member team.
Resolving the "Impossible to Quantify the Accomplishment" Issue
Finding it hard to quantify or express your accomplishments in detail?
This is not uncommon.
Does this sound like your concern?
> Your company is / was not keen on quantifying or tracking metrics.
> You did not take the time to log or track the exact information or the information is missing. (This is where my career resources help!)
> You are uncertain of any accomplishments worth mentioning, especially for your most recent experience.
> You have not even had to dig deep for the results.
> You've worked for this company for several years, and this has not really crossed your mind -- until now that you are seeking to make a career transition.
Here's the reality:
Every professional has accomplishments of value to present. Track your accomplishments every step of the way so that you can see the unfolding of your skills, talents, and abilities.
I can help you extract your amazing accomplishments through discussing career stories using the CAR (Challenge-Action-Result) Method.
When it comes to the résumé building and interviewing process, you will need to help the employer see the clear picture of those results, and ACCURATELY too!
So you can start by:
Understanding your responsibilities and what impact you have made as a RESULT. What were you hired to do or achieve? Did you meet or exceed a certain quota or target?
Reflecting upon your accomplishments and how you have met strategic goals.
Asking yourself: How big of an impact did you make with this project or task?
Quantifying the Accomplishment:
> What was the scope of the impact that you made -- a little? (example: 10%–30%)
> Average impact (40%) ?
> Double the impact (50%) ?
> High impact (70% and up, usually 80%+ = above average impact) ?
What impact did your initiative have on the company's strategic goals or buying motivators such as revenue growth, cost savings, efficiencies, customer satisfaction, compliance etc. Think about what your mission is/was when it comes to your role.
For instance, if you implemented a new process –– was it a first in the company?
✔️ Did it improve efficiency? By how much? ✔️ Save costs? By how much using #s, $ or %?
✔️ Boost performance? By how much?
✔️ Improve compliance? By how much?
>> Each time you ask yourself these questions, dive deeper to extract further results. Be specific to determine the key quantitative information.
>> Dissect the challenge/problem or issue to identify how you made a difference.
>> Was there a certain theme or pattern that you have noticed with your accomplishments? For example, the ability to drive high customer satisfaction over a 5-year period or securing awards for timely project management.
>> Ask yourself: what were you recognized for?
If you could sum up in one concise statement how you made an impact, what would you say?
What have others said about this milestone? (for example, boss, co-workers or team members, customers, vendors etc).
Here's an example of a high-impact statement that sums up the essence of a client's accomplishments. This type of statement can be highlighted in a textbox or in the centre as a visual to draw the eye.
Known as Top Performer in troubleshooting deskside technical issues to 100% customer satisfaction. Supported technical teams in milliond-dollar projects with after-hours support.
If you are unable to immediately remember the details of your accomplishment, please take some time to create a map and brainstorm.
> Draw a picture.
> Use keywords (point form).
> Be concise.
> Then expand in sentence form to see the big picture.
> Apply the CAR Method:
Challenge -- My challenge as to: Action -- The actions or strategies taken were:
Results -- The above resulted in:
Just like my client, you will see the true value of your accomplishments in a whole new light –– which can open up a whole new, world of exciting career possibilities!
Think creatively and visualize a new horizon!