What do these 3 things have in common – CAR, STAR, and OAR?


Recounting duties and responsibilities for specific employment positions is easy and will certainly provide potential employers with an overview of your role(s) with previous employers. What this information will not provide is an impression of your unique and valuable contributions to those employers.

How do you demonstrate your value to a potential employer?
Results. Accomplishments. Achievements.

The use of results, accomplishments, and achievements are beneficial both on your resume and in an interview. Here are a few quick tips to help you recognize and communicate your achievements:

  1. Choose your accomplishment format. There are a number of acronyms used to describe the format for writing accomplishment statements including CAR (challenge, action, result), STAR (situation, task, action, result), and OAR (opportunity, action, result). Notice that the focus in each format is the action you took and the result you achieved.

  2. What outcomes or results are important for employers? There will be some variation from industry to industry and certainly some variation depending on the position you are applying for but you can take your cue from the job posting, a job description, an informational interview, or your own experience. Identify the gap the employer is looking to fill and demonstrate how you can fill that gap – is it increasing productivity, saving money, solving difficult problems, building winning teams, providing exquisite customer service, etc?

  3. Start each accomplishment statement with an action packed verb that captures the essence of your accomplishment and the action you took to accomplish your end result. For example, if the focus of your accomplishment is providing exquisite customer service you could use a word like satisfied, pleased, or delighted.

  4. Once you get started telling your accomplishment story it might be hard to stop. You will want to keep your accomplishment statement to 3 lines on your resume if at all possible – this means you have to be clear and succinct in your description and focus on RESULTS. Your accomplishment statements will capture the attention of the reader and, hopefully, provide you with an opportunity to share the story more fully in an interview. Remember the goal of your resume is to get you an interview and the goal of the interview is of course to get you the job! You will inevitably highlight more than just one skill, ability, or attitude in the accomplishment statement as it takes a combination of skills to achieve a positive result.

  5. You will want your accomplishment statement to briefly describe what the challenge, problem, need, situation or opportunity you were presented with was, the specific actions you took, and the results you produced. These are the basic elements of an accomplishment statement. After you have written your accomplishment statement see what other skills, abilities, and attitudes are identified in your accomplishment statement.

Which of these statements best exemplifies what you bring to the job?

Provided exquisite customer service.

Delighted a first time customer by assisting her to not only locate a difficult to find product but arranging for its delivery within 24 hours, allowing her to meet and exceed her service timelines. This level of service was attainable because of a relationship with a previous supplier and has since resulted in a number of similar outcomes.

Anyone can say that they provide exquisite customer service – what will set you apart from your competitors is HOW you do it and what RESULTS you achieve.

For a FREE 30 minute resume review / consultation please feel free to contact Paula directly at or 780.589.2245.