Take a look at your resume; do you have endless bullets that cover every task you ever performed at your job? If so, then your resume needs a major overhaul ASAP! In order to show a potential employer the value that you would bring to an organization your resume should focus heavily on your accomplishments. In the resume industry we call this a CHALLENGE, ACTION, RESULT format. Basically, you want to highlight a challenge that you faced, detail the action you took to address it, and emphasize the resulting outcome.
Hiring managers respond to numbers; whether it’s revenue earned, money saved, or processes improved. Seeing it expressed in numerical format let’s the reader quickly see the value potential you possess. Sounds easy, right? But wait, what’s that you say? You don’t have any accomplishments? I hear this all the time from clients. If you work in an industry such as sales, you will probably find it a lot easier to come up with solid, quantifiable numbers to show your achievements, but what about the rest of the job seekers out there?
Everyone has accomplishments or achievements that could be of value on a resume. It’s just a matter of finding them. You might think the filing system you implemented is insignificant, but if it made things easier to find then you just improved a process. Perhaps you authored a new employee handbook; that would require a thorough knowledge of the company’s policies and procedures. This handbook may have reduced the time it took to train new employees or freed up human resources from answering frequent questions.
There are also individuals who are afraid to emphasize their accomplishments because they feel like they are bragging or don’t want to come across as arrogant. Your resume is not the place to be modest. A resume is a marketing tool and the product you’re selling is you. You need to capture your reader’s attention by promoting the heck out of yourself.
Here are a few examples of duty focused bullets:
- Ordered supplies for nine departments and managed inventory.
- Planned yearly meeting for all nationwide company executives.
- Created employee satisfaction survey.
Here are the same bullets but this time they are written in a Challenge, Action, Result format:
- Reduced supply shortages by creating and implementing an inventory management system to streamline ordering for nine departments.
- Coordinated annual executive meeting and all logistics for 24 executives including travel, lodging, and entertainment; maintained availability at the event to address questions or issues.
- Increased employee morale 40% through the development and implementation of an employee satisfaction survey to highlight and address concerns.
Besides showing the reader what you’ve done with a challenge, action, result format, you are also promoting additional strengths you would bring to the position such as strategic thinking, problem solving, and leadership.
When using the challenge, action, result format, your information does not necessarily need to be presented in that order. In fact, you will have the most impact on your reader if you place your results first. This gets the most important information out in front rather than having it buried at the end.
Show your value, sell your accomplishments, and impress your reader with a challenge, action, result resume!
by Megan Koehler