The PAR Method
The PAR Method is an easy to use formal method for creating bullet points. With few exceptions you should follow this method whenever possible. Each bullet point in your resume should have the following three features in order (A+P+R):
- Action– An action verb describing a specific skill. Stay away from generic verbs such as “assist”, “Help”, and “Worked with” as they do not convey a skill to an employer. Action verbs should generally be in the correct tense based on the position. If you are currently in a position verbs should be in present tense, and only in past tense if the task was completed and is no longer a part of the position. If you no longer have the position verbs should be in past tense.
- Project– The project is whatever your action verb refers to (i.e. Managed a team of workers).
- Result– How your action benefited others, why you did it, or show some sort of unit of growth. This is the hardest part of the resume as it requires you to think from a top down perspective. Why do you do a task? Why does anyone do this particular task? How does it impact other people? These are the kinds of questions to ask yourself when thinking about creating a result. If you cannot think of a result then it may not be important enough to put on a resume.
There are times when the PAR method does not work in the APR format. In the instances listed below you can swap the order of the PAR Method to RAP to fit your needs. These three instances are:
- Grammar or sentence structure– Many times you will find it does not make sense, or is blatantly grammatically incorrect to have a bullet point in the APR format. Moving the result to the front may fix this fairly easily.
- Describing similar skills in a new way– You have multiple positions where you did the same, or similar, tasks. The goal is always to highlight as many different skills and reduce redundancy in your resume. Moving the Result to the front may fix this issue as long as the sentence is slightly altered.
- Changing the focus of a bullet point– When you are applying for similar but slightly different jobs changing the order of existing phrasing can dramatically change the focus. A good example can be found below. The top phrasing would be an excellent order for a hiring or general manager position, whereas the phrasing on the bottom would be great for a logistics manager.