Posts Tagged ‘PARs’

For most of the past three years, I have had the great opportunity to work with John Hall in teaching his Advanced Career Strategies and Advanced Career Transition classes. One of the tools taught in the class and that I have adopted for my private practice is the use of case studies as a marketing tool to help professionals land their next career position. It is an idea that really makes sense. Every company that I have ever been with, either had, or I created one page case studies demonstrating the value that the product or service has brought to other customers.

As professionals, we have numerous accomplishments throughout our careers. Many professionals who are in career transition are familiar with the concept through the use of various acronyms such as PARs (Problem, Action & Result). A case study is a one page expansion and Illustration of the PAR and how you can impact an organization. You might be thinking “I have never seen anyone else create or use a case study, why should I”?

  1. If nobody else is doing it, that is exactly why you should be doing it. You need to differentiate yourself from all the other job seekers. Getting a job may be the most important thing you do, so why wouldn’t you go above and beyond, to demonstrate you are the best person to achieve the objectives of the position.
  2. Most professionals tend to ramble, and give irrelevant or even damaging information when answering questions in interviews. By taking the time to create a case study, you cement the information in your brain, in a concise and simple manner that allows you to answer interview questions in a succinct manner, focusing on the benefit to the interviewer and employer.
  3. Case Studies are great content for portfolios. Many people think that portfolios are only for marketing people or graphic designers. Putting together a portfolio of your accomplishments including case studies sets you apart from the competition
  4. Everyone learns differently, and the more sense you can facilitate the interviewer using, the greater chance you have to positively stand out in their memory and selection process. Having a well designed and laid out case studies including diagrams and graphs, allows the interviewer to absorb information visually as well as through auditory input.

If you live in the Orange County area, and are interested in learning how to create compelling case studies join our workshop on Tuesday October 16th.

The first step in recognizing your personal brand identity is to understand what sets you apart from every other person competing with you for jobs. First, we are all created different. As I mentioned in the introduction we each have a unique set of skills, passions and experiences. We need to do a self-assessment to determine what those are. What are your motivating skills that really energize you when you are at work? Next, assess what your accomplishments have been throughout your career. In looking at your career, don’t think in terms of “I just did this process” or “I just did this task”. Every employee, in order to earn his or her salary needs to do one the following:

Think in terms of “In doing this task, I contributed this to the company. For example, rather than saying “I perform financial audits”, think about why the company needs you to prepare financial reports. In other words, the statement in a generic sense might change to “I reduce company costs and help the company operate more efficiently by performing financial audits”. The best indicator of success in a prospective position is past success. So, to take it a step further you need to develop specific accomplishment statements for what you have achieved throughout your career. These are often referred to as power stories or PARs (Problem, Action, Result) or STARs (Situation/Task, Action, Result), and can be generated by following:

Congratulations! You have your first PAR, or Power Story. Now repeat this process to create a bank of power stories that can be used throughout your job search as well as your career management. In my upcoming blog, I will talk about how these PARs and how you did them become the foundation for your branding.