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Getting results using PAR statements

From: Creating an Effective Resume

Video: Getting results using PAR statements

There's a simple technique that you can follow to help you create a more compelling and effective resume. It's called a PAR formula. PAR stands for Problem-Action-Result. The PAR formula tells a business story. In the case of your resume, you can use this formula to tell your success story to potential employers, the story that will show how you can help them and why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

Getting results using PAR statements

There's a simple technique that you can follow to help you create a more compelling and effective resume. It's called a PAR formula. PAR stands for Problem-Action-Result. The PAR formula tells a business story. In the case of your resume, you can use this formula to tell your success story to potential employers, the story that will show how you can help them and why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

All the stories have one thing in common, a beginning, middle, and end. The PAR formula works the same way. The beginning is the problem, the middle is the action, and the end is the result. During your career, you've had problems, you've taken the action to solve those problems, and hopefully received positive end results. Your resume should not be a laundry list of boring job duties, and responsibilities that you've performed.

You'll get much greater results by using PAR formula to showcase how you will help their bottom line. As an added bonus, creating PAR statements can even help prepare you for behavior-based interview questions, such as 'what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?' So how does it work? Let me begin by giving you a few examples. Let's say that you're a web site designer. The problem that you may have had as a web site designer is a client who is not getting enough traffic to their web site, resulting in low sales.

What action did you take? Well, you interviewed the client, researched their competition, created a new web site based on your findings, and then performed search engine optimization, or SEO for short. The result was increased web site traffic by 70%, increase in the client sales and profits by 55%. Based on the situation, your PAR statement would be, 'designed new Flash web site based on competitive market evaluations and client needs, resulting in a 70% increase in web site traffic and 55% profit margin.' Doesn't that sound better than 'created a web site'? Now, let's take a look at what PAR statement would look like if you were a secretary.

The problem was that the company was using an antiquated Rolodex system for their contact management system. The action that you took was that you created a new contact management database using Access. Your result was that the company can now use the information from the database to merge addresses for mass mailings and electronic mail distribution, saving time and money. This also increased efficiency, shortening the time it takes to send out mass mailings by 90%.

The PAR statement for this example would be, 'created a contact management system using Access to store data from outdated Rolodex systems, increasing efficiency of mass mailings to our clients by 90%'. Doesn't this sound better than 'sent out letters to clients'? Both of these examples contain action verbs and details. They also use numbers to quantify the results of the action. It sets your experience in motion. How do you write your own PAR statements? Always start at the beginning, the problem.

What are some of the biggest problems that you faced in your career, the action that you took to resolve the problem, and the positive outcome that ensued as a result of your actions? Think of things you've done in your career that you're proud of. Show the employer that you can take action when the situation arises. And don't let PAR statements intimidate you. It's not rocket science. It's easy. Have fun with it! If you're still stuck, try answering questions such as, did you win any awards? Did you direct, oversee, or manage any projects? Did you implement any new ideas? Did you organize an event or a function? Did you save the company time, money, or make something on the job more efficient? It can even be something such as getting promoted quickly.

For example, you could say, promoted from Helpdesk Technician to Helpdesk Manager within eight months of your initial hiring. Think back, think hard, and have some fun creating your own PAR statements.

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This video is part of

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Creating an Effective Resume

49 video lessons · 31353 viewers

Mariann Siegert
Author

 
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  1. 3m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
    3. Filling out the career management worksheet
      1m 34s
  2. 29m 13s
    1. Creating a marketing campaign
      2m 50s
    2. Discovering your dream job
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of keywords
      2m 14s
    4. Finding essential keywords
      6m 34s
    5. Incorporating action verbs
      4m 51s
    6. Getting results using PAR statements
      4m 40s
    7. Researching the employer
      4m 25s
  3. 37m 2s
    1. Targeting your resume
      7m 16s
    2. Sidestepping blunders and the "10-Second Screen-Out"
      5m 44s
    3. Deciding on resume length
      6m 29s
    4. Keeping your resume concise
      5m 23s
    5. Refreshing your resume
      4m 52s
    6. Critiquing your resume
      3m 31s
    7. Avoiding identity theft
      3m 47s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. Entering the workforce
      7m 48s
    2. Filling in employment gaps
      5m 21s
    3. Dealing with long-term employment
      3m 9s
    4. Switching career paths
      4m 56s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding resume jargon
      1m 27s
    2. Reverse chronological
      2m 25s
    3. Functional
      6m 11s
    4. Combined chrono-functional
      2m 35s
  6. 7m 1s
    1. Understanding the curriculum vitae (CV)
      3m 29s
    2. Working with online resumes and portfolios
      3m 32s
  7. 41m 23s
    1. Formatting fundamentals for your resume
      6m 39s
    2. Including (or not including) an objective
      4m 10s
    3. Creating a headline
      5m 1s
    4. Writing a qualifications summary
      4m 47s
    5. Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties
      5m 31s
    6. Including technical information
      5m 22s
    7. Putting your education to work
      4m 41s
    8. Including awards, honors, and other information
      5m 12s
  8. 19m 1s
    1. Knowing which file format is best
      2m 10s
    2. Saving to earlier versions of Word
      2m 48s
    3. Saving as a PDF
      5m 27s
    4. Creating a RTF version
      3m 54s
    5. Saving to HTML format
      4m 42s
  9. 15m 9s
    1. Evaluating online resume banks
      5m 32s
    2. Writing effective names for resume banks
      3m 43s
    3. Double-checking formatting after uploading
      2m 45s
    4. Becoming too visible
      3m 9s
  10. 21m 45s
    1. Creating a cover letter
      7m 47s
    2. Compiling your references
      4m 35s
    3. Writing thank-you notes
      5m 38s
    4. Printing, copying, and the importance of paper
      3m 45s
  11. 52s
    1. Goodbye
      52s

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