The Benefits of Using a C.A.R. Method Resume

The Benefits of Using a C.A.R. Method Resume

In the job-hunting world, C.A.R. is an acronym for “Challenge, Action, Result.” This is a concrete method that helps job seekers learn to structure their resume and answer interview questions in a way that clearly demonstrates their skills and competencies. Many love this method because it is practical, straightforward, and can yield great success.

What is C.A.R.? 

Simply put, C.A.R. stands for “Challenge, Action, Result.” However, it’s more than just a string of words. Many people looking to land a job have used this method to craft a resume and cover letter that clearly showcase their skills and expertise. 

It provides a structured approach to discussing your accomplishments and telling how you’ve overcome problems by outlining the challenge you faced, the action you took to solve it, and the result or outcome of that action.

When building your resume, C.A.R. method strategies give you a concrete structure for talking or writing about situations in the workplace and keep you from including unnecessary information that crowds out the important details. 

In turn, hiring managers and recruiters are better able to see how your skills and problem-solving abilities can benefit them in the future.

Understanding each element of C.A.R. 

Though building a C.A.R. method resume may seem straightforward, it’s important to understand what is required in each part of your answer to create clarity in your resume. Here is a breakdown of how to approach each component of the method so you can use it to successfully tailor your resume and cover letter examples.


Hiring managers know that every employee faces challenges in their work — including themselves. They don’t want you to hide the fact that you have encountered problems in the past. In fact, they want to know that you can demonstrate self-awareness by clearly describing those challenges.

When writing this portion of your resume, choose tasks you were given where you encountered problems that took strategy and skill to solve. Then, describe it in a few words. For example, you may write that you “tackled a low return on investment” or “needed to find new product markets in the Pacific Northwest.”


Once you have identified and briefly described the challenge you faced, it’s time to tell the hiring manager what action you took to solve the issue. It’s important to stay away from vague verbs and instead focus on telling the reader precisely what strategy, initiatives, or steps you used.

For example, instead of saying, “Completed new market analysis,” you can write, “Obtained statistical information from 25+ industry sources to write in-depth market analysis reports.”


The last step in creating a C.A.R. method resume is for you to illustrate the outcomes and results of the action you took. Rather than just telling the reader what happened, it’s important to give specifics about what you achieved. 

For example, you may have “increased the company’s return on investment” or “improved the team’s sales-per-hour” by introducing a new front-end checkout process.

As most resume articles suggest, be as specific as possible about how the result has helped your team or your company. Hiring managers want employees who will positively impact the business, and the best indicator of that ability is how someone has accomplished it in the past.

Expert Tip:

Quantify your results as much as possible when using the C.A.R. method. This shows hiring managers that you pay attention to details when assessing a problem and helps them better understand the impact your actions had on helping the company reach its strategic goals.

Determine relevant accomplishments 

Before creating a C.A.R. method resume, you need to write down a list of your relevant accomplishments. It’s important that you only include the professional wins that relate to the type of job you’re applying for. This will show the hiring manager that you already have what it takes to help them solve the problems they’re facing right now.

If you’re coming from a totally different industry, focus on accomplishments that demonstrate transferable skills. For example, someone making the shift from customer service to marketing may talk about how they increased product sales by 25% by improving merchandising, as this shows that you understand a customer’s mindset and know how to entice them to buy a product.

"Having a concrete structure for writing about situations you’ve been through in the workplace keeps you from including unnecessary information that crowds out important details."

Create compelling statements about your achievements

Your accomplishment statements need to be properly structured in order to ensure they’re as clear and impactful as you want them to be. Although the coined term for the method is “C.A.R.,” remember that you don’t necessarily have to present your achievements in this order.

In fact, it’s often best to grab the hiring manager’s attention by starting each bullet point by describing the challenge and the results. Then, write about the action you took to get those results. Here are a few C.A.R. method resume examples to model what you should be doing.

  • “Increased sales-per-hour from 15 to 30 by implementing a new produce-labeling system”
  • “Improved conversions by 32% by utilizing the storefront window for discount product merchandising”
  • “Increased cost savings by 49% by identifying in-house talent to produce wireframes for web development projects” 
  • “Improved marketing ROI by 31% by segmenting audiences based on behavioral analysis”

By following these examples, you can create compelling bullet points that impress the hiring manager and help your resume rise to the top of the pile.

Tailor experiences and achievements per role

When creating your C.A.R. method resume, it’s important to tailor your experiences and achievements to the role. This means reading the job description thoroughly and noting any required or preferred skills the hiring manager has mentioned. Then, you need to make sure the achievements you list using the C.A.R. method align with those skills.

How can you accomplish this goal? The best way to do this is to identify keywords in the job posting that relate to the skills you already have. Then, incorporate those keywords into your resume to demonstrate your suitability for the role. 

For example, a job description for a web developer may state that a candidate needs to be an expert in Adobe Creative Suite to get the position. In that case, you can tailor a bullet point to demonstrate how you improved delivery speed on web design projects by 20% by implementing new shortcuts included in Adobe Dreamweaver’s latest release.

Best practices

When structuring your resume bullet points using the C.A.R. resume method, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Do stick to situations and challenges with a positive outcome so that you put your best foot forward in your application
  • Don’t forget to change all bullet points on any resume templates you’ve used so that you don’t confuse the hiring manager 
  • Do incorporate the C.A.R. method into your cover letters; not many cover letter articles mention it, but this method can clarify your storytelling and demonstrate your achievements
  • Don’t embellish any accomplishments on your resume, but be confident in your achievements and your ability to get the job done
  • Do incorporate qualitative accomplishments as well, especially if they demonstrate cultural competencies like teamwork and productivity

Follow these suggestions to create a compelling, professional resume that hiring managers will love.

Use the C.A.R. method to make resume writing a breeze

The C.A.R. method was designed to make your resume bullet points more impactful and much easier to write. By utilizing a concrete framework that encompasses the challenge you faced, the actions you took to overcome it, and the results, you can more clearly demonstrate your readiness to take on the role you’re applying for.

As you use the C.A.R. method, make sure to limit your bullet points to accomplishments that are relevant to the role. You can do this by using keywords from the job description to align your statements with what the hiring manager is looking for. 

Additionally, you quantify your achievements and put your results front and center by incorporating them at the beginning of your bullet point instead of waiting until the end.

If you need help in writing a C.A.R. resume, consider using high-quality examples. With resume and cover letter templates in hand, you’ll be much better equipped to write about your accomplishments and build a resume that helps you set yourself apart from the crowd of applicants vying for each position. 

Share via:

Get ahead of the competition

Make your job applications stand-out from other candidates.

Get started