If you want your resume to work well for you, make it speak well of your successes and the value you provided your employers & clients. Make your resume better than the average resume and get a better result when recruiters see it.
PAR (Problem/Project – Action – Result) Statements describe a problem/project that you faced, the action you took and the result or value to your employer/client.
PAR statements reflect your skills and abilities, and are a validation of your experience. Using these statements in your resume gives the prospective employer an idea of the kind of contribution you will most likely make in the future.
Another suggestion that helps strengthen your PAR statements further is to quantify them. Read the blog post @ http://resumefactor.blogspot.com/2011/04/quantify-secret-to-improve-your-resume.html. This will make your PAR statements much more powerful.
An example of a PAR statement is:
Tackled a lack-lustre sales team (Problem) by introducing attractive employee incentives, improving team morale (Action), resulting in a 30 percent increase in productivity within one quarter. (Result)
A good PAR statement also displays your skills and abilities in the action you have taken. In the above example, your people-management skills are brought to the fore.
While building a resume from scratch, it is natural to wonder if you actually have any achievement worth speaking of. Here is something to jog your memory.
- The work you are most proud of.
- Any internal processes or systems that you redesigned/improved.
- Money you saved the company or the client.
- Any special projects you worked in.
- Any new programs or systems or processes you designed or implemented
- Awards and recognitions you won
If you found something, then you have a potential PAR statement all ready to be prepared.
Now, structure your PAR statements this way:
- Define the problem/challenge/situation.
- What was your action?
- What obstacles were you required to overcome?
- What was the result, how did it benefit the company?
- What skills did you use when you took action on the problem?
Now, put them all together into one concise statement.
- Problem: An old tool, used for bug-reporting and fixing, was being used for years in the company. It was an integral part of the software process. But it had become unwieldy, as a result of numerous additions, updates and fixes. It also took a very long time to function.
- Action: With appropriate data re-engineering tools, analyzed and restructured the entire system within six months.
- Result: Smooth and fast operation of the tool. Resulted in reduction of 20 percent of time spent on it. Increased productivity by 35 percent.
- PAR statement: Restructured an old and unwieldy bug-fixing tool, critical to the software process, within six months, hence reducing the time spent working with the tool by 20 %, and increasing productivity by 35 %.
- Problem: The inventory system in the factory was outdated. There was overstocking of some items, resulting in deterioration of quality over time. Many items were not available when required. The number of back orders was spiraling upwards.
- Action: Developed and implemented a Master Production Schedule and Forecaster, that overhauled the entire inventory system.
- Result: Within six months, the inventory costs reduced by 35 %, causing a USD 5 Mn saving for the company. Customer back orders were found to be the lowest in the history of the company.
- PAR Statement: Developed and implemented a Master Production Schedule and Forecasting System that overhauled the existing outdated Inventory system, resulting in inventory cost savings of USD 5 Mn within six months, and a record low of customer back orders.
Once you have the PAR statement ready, here is a checklist to see if it is complete.
- Is it specific?
- Is it quantified or measurable?
- Is it realistic?
- Does it mention a time-frame?
Use action words to start these PAR statements, and make them as concise as you possibly can, without letting go of any of the important elements that might impress the prospective employer.
PAR statements are an excellent way to put your achievements into perspective. A good PAR statement helps in boosting your confidence, as well as giving that extra kick to your resume. It is a weapon well-worth having in your arsenal!