Using the C.A.R. Method on your Resume


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Have you heard me talk about the C.A.R method? If you are a client of mine, you have. It’s a method I use in every single resume. It is, to me, the single most important factor when writing about your accomplishments.

OK, so what does C.A.R. stand for and what does it mean for you?

C.A.R. stands for:   Challenge   Action   Results

When consulting with clients and proceeding with the data mining process, I always ask them about their C.A.R. stories. What were the stories behind their accomplishments? What was going on in the company before they took on the issue? Give the reader some background, not a novel, just a hint of what the environment was like.

So ask yourself, what was the Challenge I faced when either a) I joined the company or B) I took on the new situation or C) I was promoted?  Briefly discuss the Challenge. Again, it doesn’t have to be super lengthy. You  just want to get your message across.

For the Action portion, this is where you can talk about what you did to resolve or change the situation. What action or steps did you take? For some jobs, it might be quite detailed, but I wouldn’t advise talking about every single thing. Summarize as best as you can. Remember, HR people have lots of resumes to review and not a lot of time.

For the Results portion of C.A.R., talk about the results. What was the percentage of production increase? How much did you increase sales or people productivity? Use numbers and percentages whenever possible.

These are the things that stand out and make you more employable as employers want PROOF of what you are capable of doing… it shows them what you can also do for them as well.

C.A.R. is the easiest way to pull out your accomplishments if you are having a hard time thinking of what you did/do. 


Good luck!

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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

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5 Responses to “Using the C.A.R. Method on your Resume”
  1. How can you use the CAR method without going into TOO much detail? Resumes are always so formatted… what do you suggest to do to spice it up without sounding like a run-on biography


  2. Great post and great method! I like what you wrote about Challenges, Action, and Results because these are really the “meat and potatoes” of any good interview. Following this method ensures effective conversations, which is especially helpful when conducting an interview.

  3. Give me some examples of challenge, action and results for peace officer, public safety officer and/or security officer. Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Rodolfo,

    What challenges have you faced in your career? Dealing with civilians– issues, problems, etc.? What actions did you take? What were the results? Think about what you’ve done in your job that was challenging. How did you get through it?

    Hope this helps!



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