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PARs

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Resume / CV > PARs

Problem | Action | Result | Examples | See also

 

When describing your achievements in you resume/CV, a useful format is in PAR: Problem, Action, Result. (The acronym CARS is also used for the same thing: Challenge, Action. Result).

Problem

Describe the problem that you faced. This is typically something like:

  • A planned strategic requirement.
  • An unnecessary cost to the organization.
  • An undesirable business issue that has arisen.

Note that even if the action is planned, there is always an underlying problem that is being addressed. This may alternatively appear as a benefit (as opposed to a direct problem), though this is a still an original problem in that the benefit is yet to be gained.

Key problem words include: issue, cost, customer, failure

Action

This describes the action that you took to address the problem.

Of course you cannot detail everything that you did, so make sure the words that you use are strong and impressive. Verbs describe actions and adverbs enhance verbs, so make good use of these to create a powerful picture of your abilities.

Key action verbs include: lead, drive, analyze

Result

Describe the result that you achieved by taking the given action to address the named problem.

If at all possible, quantify the result, putting it into hard numbers. In many situations, a cash figure is the best way of doing this. Other good result metrics include:

  • Reducing the cost of doing something
  • Reducing the time to do something
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • Increasing sales

Often, achievements are gained not just by one person but by a whole team, and it can make you look very good to show how you took an important role within that team. In describing this role, try to indicate how you took some leadership at least in some part, if not as the overall team leader.

Examples

Extended the product life of an old product by two years through service enhancements that generated an additional $2M of revenue.

Prevented the loss of ten key accounts marked as 'at risk' through effective account management and by solving long-standing problems.

In a declining market, used half the previous marketing budget more innovative to sustain sales whilst competitors lost market share to us.

 

See also

Resume/CV Power Words

 

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