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How to Turn Your “Doer” Resume into an “Achiever” Resume

Top Dog Career Consultants | August 2020

The days are over when your resume is a description of your previous job duties, education, and relevant experiences. One of the most important things you can do with your resume to make it stand out to an employer is to make it accomplishment-focused. In other words, portray yourself not just as a Doer, but as an Achiever. A simple method to creating achievement-oriented statements on your resume is to adopt the Challenge, Action, Result (or CAR) model.

What is a CAR Statement?

CAR stands for Challenge, Action, Result. This is a method of defining your accomplishments throughout your career based on a challenge you faced, the action you took to address the situation, and the result of your actions in the format of a proven metric (% of improvement over time, awards granted, quality improvement, etc.). 

Why Are CAR Statements Important?

Even before over 36 million Americans lost their job during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, candidates needed to stand out in a sea of applicants. Most employers know you are qualified for the job based on your basic credentials listed in your job application, so you don’t have to convince them that you meet the basic qualifications that hundreds of other applicants also meet. Instead, you have to convince them that you are the best fit among the other most qualified candidates. Simplified CAR statements can enhance your resume and position you above the competition by showing how you apply the skills hiring managers are looking for to achieve measurable results. 

Just because you’ve done what the job description says, doesn’t mean you are the best fit for the position. To show that you are the best candidate, you need to show what you have accomplished in previous positions and how valuable you were to each company. Let this sink in a little bit.

The goal with CAR statements is to help you reframe your duties into accomplishments so that you can most effectively show how your efforts made an impact. This shows not only that you can do the job, but that you excel when given increased responsibility. A good professional resume writer will ask you to lay out not only duties, but accomplishments in the CAR format so they can gain familiarity with your professional personality and leadership style.

Exercise and Examples:

Think back on your past job experience. What was a Challenge that you were presented with? Write it down. Next, what Action(s) did you take to help solve the issue? Write those down, no matter how messy or unorganized it is. Lastly, what was the Result of those efforts?

Here are three examples of the CAR workflow and how they translate into a powerful action statement on your resume.

Example 1:

Challenge: I noticed processing time was taking too long, leading to service delays.

Action: I modified the company's standard operating procedures and combined some processes to reduce back-and-forth between departments.

Result: As a result, processing dropped from 1 hour per order to 30 minutes per order and the orders only went through each department once instead of two or three times.

Resume Statement: Reduced processing time from 1 hour to 30 minutes for new orders by combining processes in the HR Department and restructuring standard operating procedures.

Example 2:

Challenge: Our customer service department was generating too many complaints.

Action: I developed a customer and staff feedback form to learn about where the problems were. I implemented new training and introduced incentives to staff based on the feedback.

Result: After 3 months, our customer service complaints were reduced from 50 a month to 1 or 2 a month.

Resume Statement: Reduced customer service complaints from 50 a month to 1-2 a month by gathering and assessing customer and staff feedback, introducing new performance incentives, and augmenting our training program to compensate for problem areas.

Do you see how we tied each statement together and put a bow on top by combining the Result and the Actions? It is imperative for you to showcase your accomplishments in this light versus listing your job duties. By only listing your job duties on your resume, you are watering your capabilities down. I promise you, you have accomplished and contributed more than you think you have.

The CAR statement workflow is designed to assist you in presenting your accomplishments to prospective employers in the best way possible, so that you get noticed and stand out from those other 36+ million unemployed Americans looking for work, hundreds of which are probably also capable of the job you are applying for - but now we know, being capable isn’t the full story. As a resume writer, CAR statements are the backbone and completely essential to learn about what you do and present your compelling story.

To learn more about turning your resume from a Duty-based resume to an Achievement-based resume, get in touch with Top Dog Career Consultants via the links below.

Alexis Ankersen | Lead Writer, Founder | Top Dog Career Consultants

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