How to Get More Results with a CAR Resume

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No, I'm not talking about the car sitting in your driveway. CAR is an acronym for the three absolutely crucial elements of a competition-killing resume.

CAR resume is an acronym for Challenge, Actions, and Result.

Why is this method important and why is it better than most approaches? You’ll get to know as you read on.

There is a way to get more results by applying the CAR method in writing your resume.

Your resume is a sales pitch to your potential employer. It is a story about you and your professional journey.

Over the years, it’s been the norm for people to only show their previous duties and responsibilities on their resume.

This gives the employer a sense of what they intend to bring to the table since every new hire is an investment and they want to know if yours is cost-effective.


Why the CAR Resume Approach?

The CAR resume approach makes your resume well-organized and brings out the best qualities that employers want to see. This approach focuses mainly on your strengths and results.

The CAR approach is derived from the behavioral interview method where employers assesses a candidate’s previous accomplishments in order to forecast future performance.

C.A.R Resume

Here, the STAR (situation, task, approach, and result) method is used in providing answers to your interviewer and that’s the same format that is used in a CAR resume.


The CAR Resume Format


Challenge

Every company at any point in time is poised with a challenge that they are trying to resolve.

In your last position, be it in administrative, sales, or operations, what problems did you encounter?

You shouldn’t put down each task you were given for every job you have listed on your resume.

The tasks are the issues you are trying to resolve. This is how you resolve issues for your company;

You cannot put down what you are asked to do in your role on a daily basis, rather it should be what demanded your skill, critical thinking, and of course time to get on with the task.

Here are a few examples below.

Bad: Implemented fleet-tracking software.

Good: Guided customization and implementation of fleet-tracking software for natural foods companies.

Bad: Integration of workflows and processes.

Good: Led integration of systems, processes, and workflows for two merging biomedical companies.

Bad: Evaluated core IT systems

Good: Evaluated and streamlined core IT systems for multiple clients.

Now, the key takeaway here is not to make your challenges seem larger than they should be, but simple and impressive.

Just present what issues the company had and what you faced in your role as well on your resume.


Action

Now that you have shown your role in dealing with several issues that you interfaced with, It is important that you show what approach and procedure you took in getting this done and the reason for doing so.

Was your approach helpful in reducing expenses?

Did you administer new systems?

These are action points you ought to look out for and try to make them concise when highlighting them on your resume.

The action part of the CAR resume formula ought to be straight to the point since you have limited spaces on your resume.

Just state what you did and how it resolved the issue on ground. Let’s see some examples.

  1. Built KPI dashboards that improved the accuracy, transparency, and compliance of financial reporting and planning for numerous client businesses.
  2. Retired obsolete apps, established scalable platforms supporting business growth, and strengthened information security.
  3. Supervised up to 25 personnel per engagement, coordinate between in-house and client teams, and kept stakeholders informed of progress and milestones.

Do keep in mind the reasons for carrying out these actions as you may have to elaborate more on each point during interview when asked by your potential employer.


Result

This is usually the sweet spot of the C.A.R resume approach.

While employers are interested in how you handled a challenging situation in the past, the methodology that was implemented, and the rationale behind your decisions, they are most excited to see the results that it produced.

You can get busy doing stuff without any significant improvement to the company.

Let’s see some result-oriented examples.

  1. Sored 90% in a quarterly customer satisfaction survey.
  2. Exceeded sales targets and activity metrics: KPIs at the level of 170% and 25+ new clients
  3. Exceeded agreed-upon sales targets and outcomes by 20% on a regular basis.

Hiring managers usually spend a few seconds glancing through your resume before making a decision.

That’s why you have shown the results you have displayed for them to take a chance on you.

What you present on the CAR resume shouldn’t be tasks performed on your daily routine, rather it should be major challenges you faced, how you were able to solve these issues and the results you generated.

Now, it is okay to disclose projects that failed.

Every employee does have times when things didn’t go well as desired. Also, an employer that is looking for a perfect employee with no errors is one you should definitely stay away from.


Conclusion

Every job opportunity is created because the company has a need to meet.

The CAR resume is concise and makes it easier for the recruiter to scan through and get to see what you have to offer the company.

With the CAR resume approach, you’ll be able to have information about what challenges you have been faced with in the past, what actions you took to solve those challenges, and the result you brought to the company.

Ensure you are well prepared before any interview.

Know what to say to recruiters when you’re asked to verbally explain the CAR approach you incorporated on your resume during your interview.

Do you have a lot of accomplishments in the previous companies?

Now you can get more results with the CAR resume formula.

Write your CAR resume

Further reading:

How to Put LinkedIn on Resume (Correctly) Examples & Guides 2022
Cover Letter vs. Resume: Are there any Differences or Similarities?

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