Planning for 2012: Creating an effective résumé

Published by | Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy 2012! Now is a great time to start creating an effective résumé, and author Mariann Siegert has all the tips you’ll need to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and use those to plan goals for the new year.

To help you start the new year off right, Mariann has shared some fantastic tips for updating both your résumé and online profile (LinkedIn, for example)—whether you’re in the market for a new job or not.

Updating Key Information

  1. Any changes to your personal information?
    1. Delete physical addresses (these are no longer used as a way of communication while job searching and may lead to identity theft). Remove your work phone number if applicable (unless you work for yourself).
    2. Remove any fax numbers—this is an antiquated means of contact.
    3. Check your contact email address and cell number to be sure they are current and accurate. Make sure you include the best way of contacting you.
  2. Have you attended any classes, workshops, or professional training courses? For example, have you completed any courses?
  3. Have you won any awards or received any certifications?
  4. During the last year, how did you:
    1. Save or make the company money?
    2. Improve efficiency?
  5. What new software applications or programs did you use?
  6. Have you worked on any new projects?
  7. Did you receive a promotion or other special recognition?

Adding PAR Statements

Replace any clichés you find with powerful PAR statements (Problem Action Result). PAR statements take advantage of using numbers, dollar figures, and percentages to tell a business story—in this case your story. It’s a proven fact that using numbers, dollar figures, or percentages to illustrate the impact you have made in your career will have a greater impact on your audience or résumé reader by proving what you have accomplished in the past and what you can bring to the table in the future.

It’s easy to write a PAR statement. Here’s how it works:

Problem: What problem have you solved this year?

Action:  What action did you take to resolve the problem?

Result:  What was the result of your action?

Then quantify your statements with percentages, money saved, or time saved (whenever possible). Here’s an example of a PAR statement:

“Designed new Flash web site based on competitive market evaluations and client needs, resulting in a 70% increase in web site traffic and 55% profit margin for the client.”

Mariann’s tips reminded me how many wonderful developments the past year has brought and all the important work I have ahead of me. For more tips on updating your professional profiles in 2012, be sure to check out Mariann’s course, “Creating an Effective Résumé” and Richard Colback’s course “LinkedIn Essential Training.” Here’s to a fantastic and fruitful year!

Interested in more?
• All business courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
Creating an Effective Résumé
LinkedIn Essential Training
Pitching Projects and Products to Executives
Time Management Fundamentals

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4 Responses to “Planning for 2012: Creating an effective résumé”

  1. Nick M says:

    “Have you attended any classes, workshops, or professional training courses? For example, have you completed any courses?”

    Really? It’s OK to add a ton of courses to our resume? I don’t think so….but prove me wrong. Thanks for the blog post.

    • Chelsea Adams, managing editor says:

      Hi Nick! Like any other item on your résumé, we recommend that you choose only the Certificates of Completion that are most relevant to the position you are applying for, and even then, we suggest that you are selective; maybe include three very relevant Certificates of Completion, and leave the other dozens you’ve acquired during your tenure off. Remember, each résumé you write should be specifically crafted and unique to the job you are applying for. Certificates of Completion from show your potential employer that you have studied a specific software, programming language, or business skill in depth and help you offer quantifying information to transform a vague skill statement into a specific qualifying statement. In other words—rather than just saying “proficient in Photoshop” adding a certificate of completion that documents 26+ hours of Advanced Photoshop CS5 One-on-One training is a significantly stronger way to give potential employers a more specific idea of your proficiency, your dedication to your field, and your commitment to learning and adapting as quickly as the technology that surrounds many fields.

      Thanks for checking out the blog, Nick! Looking forward to hearing from you again!

  2. Nick M says:

    Chelsea (my sister’s name is Chelsie), thanks for that info! I’ll add it to my resume.

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