Resume Format: Problem Action Result

Carl Mueller

Visitors: 811

What resume format should you use when putting your job accomplishment bullet points together?

Specifically, how should you structure the text in your resume to get the best and biggest positive impact that will result in more interviews?

Hiring managers hire someone because they have a problem that they need solved. Therefore your resume needs to clearly illustrate your accomplishments, proof of the problems that you’ve solved.

When you are putting your resume together and are typing your bullet points describing each job you’ve held, remember that you’re not putting together a job description.

You need to type your bullet points to describe your accomplishments and achievements, not simply state what you did in that position.

A good way to accomplish this is to structure each point with the following format:

Problem, Action, Result.

Here it is explained in more detail:

Problem: Explain a problem or situation that arose in your job.

Action: Explain the action that you took to deal with and solve the problem or situation described above.

Result: Explain the result of the action you undertook to solve the problem or situation described above.

Specifically, let’s say you are a sales manager and you have a group of sales staff who aren’t meeting their sales quotas. You decide to retrain the staff in sales techniques to improve their sales skills and as a result profitability increased by 15%. Here is how you could structure the bullet point in your resume:

  • Took 5 underachieving account managers and upskilled them in modern sales techniques resulting in increased profitability of 15%.
  • The problem you faced was underachieving sales staff, the action you took was to retrain the staff, and the result was an increase in profitability of 15%.

    Doesn’t this sound better and more impactful than simply saying “Managed sales staff” or something similar to this?

    Not only does the first example contain far more detail, it uses action verbs such as “upskilled” and uses specific numbers to describe the number of staff in question and the specific result of the action, an increase in profitability of 15%.

    In short, your bullet points should include as much detail as possible and should use action verbs that explain not what just what you did in the job, but what you accomplished.

    Hiring managers want to read about your accomplishments not simply a rehash of your job description.

    Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.

    Free newsletter: Separate yourself from other job searchers by signing up for his free monthly newsletter:

    Free 5-day course: Sign up for The Effective Career Planner, Carl’s free 5-day course:

    Please feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your website but please don’t change any of the content and ensure that you include the above bio that shows my website URLs.


    Article Source:

    Rate this Article: 
    Best Resume Format - Chronological or Functional?
    Rated 4 / 5
    based on 5 votes

    Related Articles:

    Resume Format

    by: Mario J. Churchill (December 26, 2007) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Resume Format - How to Do it Right

    by: Mike Woods (March 23, 2008) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Resume Format and Layout

    by: Jason Monastra (September 14, 2008) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Combination Resume Format - What Can It Do For YOU

    by: Carla Vaughan (October 15, 2005) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Your Resume Format Guide

    by: Carl DiNello (July 10, 2006) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Choosing the Right Resume Format for Your Needs

    by: Kathleen MacNaughton (November 19, 2005) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Know the Kinds of Resume Format

    by: James Mcovey (January 27, 2011) 

    How To Choose The Right Resume Format

    by: Fayola Peters (February 10, 2005) 
    (Business/Careers Employment)

    Your Resume Format - What Is The First Thing You Need To Do?

    by: David Green (August 31, 2005) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)

    Best Resume Format - Chronological or Functional?

    by: Mike Woods (April 06, 2008) 
    (Business/Resumes Cover Letters)