Challenge Action Result Statements: CAR Statements Part 3

Make your experience stand out on your resume.

Are you struggling to make your experience really stand out and grab attention on your resume? Does your resume read like a boring job description? Consider fixing these problems by incorporating Challenge Action Result (CAR) statements to add more dynamic context that highlights your experience and accomplishments.

As a quick overview, there are three basic resume types: functional (also known as skill-based), chronological, or a hybrid of the two. A functional resume focuses on the skills you have gained through your past experience, chronological resumes highlight work experience in reverse chronological order and hybrid resumes combine the other two in various ways.

Once you have created your CAR statements, focus on the action and result pieces of your statements as the descriptions of your experience. The challenge portion of your statement is usually represented by the job or activity you were involved in. So, if you address three jobs in your resume, those are your three challenges; you would include actions and results as the statements or bullets below each challenge.

Below is an example of a CAR statement adapted for a hybrid resume:

CAR Statement
As a new employee at ABC Employer, I was tasked with developing over 100 work-based training sites for at-risk youth with local employers in a three month period. This assignment required me to quickly develop an understanding of my organization’s training policies, make connections and develop relationships, and explain training benefits and requirements in a persuasive manner to employers.

I began by drafting a letter and developing a mailing list and sent the letter to potential employer sites, following the letter with calls to each employer in an attempt to set meetings to discuss the program. I had to clearly explain the specifics of how the training program supports them and the benefits they would gain from participating. Additionally, I worked with each employer to tailor training positions to their specific needs, to ensure the best possible match between trainee and employer. As a result of my efforts, 105 at-risk youth were placed in work-based training sites with a 95 percent rate of successful completion.

How it looks on the Resume
(Note: This is only the “Work History” Section of the resume with only a part of the experience described from one job)


ABC Employer, Anywhere, MI

STRATEGIC THINKING: Coordinated site development and strategic placement for work-based trainings.  Strategically selected and established 100+ training sites for at-risk youth. Collaborated, in person and via written communication, with local employers to enhance the quality, longevity and success of work-based training programs for at-risk youth. 

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS:  Established and maintained relationships with industry representatives and community groups to develop training positions with local employers for workforce development programs serving disadvantaged jobseekers.

In this example, the job seeker extracted some of the action pieces from the CAR statement to highlight certain skills targeted to a specific employer’s needs. In this case those skills were “Strategic Thinking” and “Interpersonal Skills”.

Michigan State University Extension offers a variety of additional resources to help with resumes. Check out the Career Preparation page on the MSU Extension website for other job search ideas.

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