Advanced Resume Writing Tips –
How to Leverage C-A-R for Executive Branding and Job Search.
Compelling career success stories with the results you brought to companies generate chemistry and help them picture you at work, driving the same kinds of advances for their organization.
Concise stories elevate your career marketing documents (executive resume, career biography, etc.) and online social networking profiles with evidence to support your promise of value to your future employer.
Resume Writing Tips – Key Achievements Formulas
To build career stories with my c-level and senior-level executive clients, I have them follow either of these frameworks:
Challenge – Action – Results (C – A – R)
Situation – Task – Action – Results (S – T – A – R)
How to Write about your Key Achievements
Describe a few of your most important contributions to companies within the past 10 years or so. Think in terms of business value that had significant impact on the company. Think about the strengths you tapped into to make those things happen.
Answer these questions for each of the situations you chose:
1. What was the specific CHALLENGE (or Situation) facing the company and/or your team- Were you/the company facing particularly difficult odds with this situation? What were the stakes?
2. What ACTION(s) did you take to meet the challenge and improve things (whatever the goal was or whatever needed turning around)?
3. What were the long and short term RESULT(s) that positively impacted the company? Did you meet the goal and/or turn around the situation? How long did it take to see the results? Monetize the results and/or use hard facts whenever possible ? NUMBERS TALK!.
When I’m working with my clients on this exercise, I ask them to tell the story in depth, step-by-step and not to worry that they’re compiling too much information – their efforts are well spent. After detailing the entire story, we go back, consolidate, and whittle down the information to the essentials.
Benefits of developing C-A-R stories:
♦ Helps you uncover your key personal brand attributes and link them to your value proposition. While developing your stories, you-ll probably notice that certain qualities, strengths, and areas of expertise consistently run through.
♦ Reminds you of key contributions you’ve made and what strengths of yours have benefited your companies. This can be a terrific confidence-booster!
♦ Helps you become accustomed to articulating your value in interviews and when networking. Have you ever been interviewed by an inept communicator? Someone who either hasn’t prepared, just doesn’t know what questions to ask to get the information that will help them assess you, or is so busy talking she never asks you any questions? Find a way to gently interject a story.
♦ Adds brand reinforcement to your executive resume and career biography. Include a few tightly-written, to the point success stories (2 to 3 lines each) in your resume. With a narrative format, career bios are custom-made for storytelling. Including stories makes for a much more interesting read than a typical dry bio.
♦ Transforms your online social networking profiles (LinkedIn, Google Profiles, etc.). into high-impact, differentiating career marketing communications.
♦ Generates a stand-alone career document showcasing top contributions – a Critical Leadership Initiatives brief.
10 Examples of Well Worded Achievements
1. Reduced employee turnover by 50% by increasing salary levels and introducing performance based incentives which enabled enable the organisation to compete with other employers in the industry for the first time and increased the organisation’s overall capabilities by enabling it to attract higher calibre candidates.
2. Mapped the systems architecture and developed the plans to integrate fixed and mobile technologies which enabled the company to offer unique bundled services and become the first in the region to offer client billing services and converged fixed-mobile packages.
3. Grew the company’s online business online with a 30% increase in subscriptions and click through rates which enabled it to focus on pushing the creative envelope online and produce several category firsts.
4. Developed the secondary insurance market which included raising $10m in seed capital to enable the business to move to the next stage and become part of the company’s public listing.
5. Increased profits by 10% in a highly competitive environment by focusing on the less price sensitive customer segments who valued service, eliminating the need to use price to attract new customers.
6. Reduced employee turnover by 20% and significantly increased productivity by introducing a performance management system that recognised contribution, challenged staff to accept responsibility and empowered them to make decisions.
7. Virtually eliminated duplication and enhanced the re-usability of test suites by improving testing and planning through the implementation of discussion forums which enabled team members to share knowledge and identify areas for improvement.
8. Elevated the perception of the company as a contributor to the community by establishing a community fund which has distributed almost $200,000 to local not for profit organisations and has resulted in the publication of an average of 20 articles a year.
9. Increased production capacity by 15% by redefining and restructuring work flows which enabled the company to consistently meet or exceed promised manufacturing and delivery turnaround times and enabled the company to more accurately forecast and more capable of accommodating demand fluctuations.
10. Developed and launched the company’s performance management system ensuring a direct link with its Core Values, role clarity and goals at the individual, business unit and corporate levels. This has provided staff with clarity, aligned staff with the company’s strategic direction and has improved skills and capabilities aligned to business needs and enabled the company to more effectively identify, develop and retain talent.
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