This example CEO resume clearly shows that it is your accomplishments and contributions that differentiate you.
But an accomplishment alone has little meaning without context. Understanding the adversity overcome provides your accomplishment with the context that makes it meaningful and credible. What is the conflict? Most frequently, it will relate to:
- A challenge related to an organization: Perhaps the one you work in, but it could also relate to your competitors
- A challenge or problem related to a thing: For example, outdated computer equipment that needs updating
- A challenge related to a situation: Such as the need to reverse declining sales, or the need to redesign inefficient processes
- A challenge related to a person: Perhaps you mentored several under-performing employees who delivered record-setting performance the next year
In relation to these challenges, what were the results that you produced? What did you increase? Improve? Enhance? Strengthen? Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments. Recruiters like numbers. Think in terms of your individual results, but also think in terms of overall strategic impact. How did all of these results together solve the big picture problem and overcome the conflict?
To summarize, go through your work history and organize by employer or job. For each, ask yourself:
- Context: What is/was the overall challenge or situation?
- Actions: What did you do to meet those challenges?
- Results: What positive things happened as a result of your actions?
- Strategic Impact: What was the big-picture impact?
Writing your stories in this way is known as the CAR or CARS approach to resume writing. The goal is to align your career success stories to the types of position you are targeting and tell your stories concisely. Get to the point using plain, simple, and direct language free of cliches and fancy prose. Resume stories do not need to be long. They need to be relevant and engaging. Use short paragraphs and bullet points.