PARR: Gateway for Your Career Search — Part A of Two Parts

April 29, 2014

PARR: Gateway for Your Career Search

Assessing your skills before you write your resume

Part A: Creating Your PARR Tool for Your Career Search

Part A of a two-part series on PARR


Dominic J. Frúges 

 In today’s turbulent work environment people can find themselves in a few status stages:

  • Recent college grad or 20-Something Gen Y
  • Returning to Work after Child Rearing or Elder Care status
  • Over 45 – 65 and facing “long-term” unemployed status, skills not up to date, or age discrimination
  • Unemployed – suddenly laid off, downsized, right-sized, or job eliminated

Many people have a shock period with emotional lows, worries about family and economic issues, then an onset of reality.  At that point they sit down and immediately want to create a resume so they can start looking for a job.

As anyone knows who’s been through the myriad of career coaches, books, and webinars there are numerous ways to write a resume.  Many people will agree that if you line up 100 people to review your resume that you will get 100 different opinions.

Some years ago I invested nearly $500 dollars for a professional resume writer to prepare my resume.  The short story is that he in turn passed off the assignment to someone else “on his team”.  What I got back was a document with misspellings, incomplete sentences, and sentences that made no sense.  I had to reach back out to the original writer and express my dissatisfaction.  He then worked directly with me to create a new resume.

However, what I remembered about the entire process was the reams of paperwork that the writer demanded I prepare before a resume could be written.  Ironically, at that time I had a friend going through the same process with a different resume service.  We compared notes and essentially came to the conclusion: that the entire process was like walking over hot coals.

Years later, I acquired the services of a well known career coach in the New Jersey area.  He too had a process and one element he required was the same as the resume writer.  My career coach was quite surprised when I handed in my first draft of this requirement and he said, “You’ve got this done pretty well.”

It’s called PARR: Problem, Action, Resolution, Results

You may have heard the same expressed as PAR, CAR, SARB, and other acronyms.

Here’s why you want to use PARR before you start a resume especially if you are in any of the categories that I described above.

PARR takes you out of resume thinking mode and forces you into a deeper thinking mode.  It makes you reassess all of your experience throughout your entire career.  That could start at the local supermarket when you were a teen all the way up to your most recent position.  Precisely, that’s what it’s intended to do – detach you from resume writing mode to thinker and analyst mode.  You’re analyzing your own career in a way that you’ve probably never done before.

Here’s how it looks in reality.  Open up a new MS Word document and put it in landscape mode.  Then insert a table of four columns.  Add a series of rows for your input.  I would use MS Word here and not MS Excel because most of your input will be verbiage not numbers or equations.






















Add as many rows as you may need, it may be multiple pages.

Here’s a sample:





Customer credit

The company had a problem with customer collections, charge-back investigations, and credit approvals.

Took responsibility for all credit-related issues and wrote appropriate internal rules to address issues.

This improved collections by 15%, decreased charge-back investigations by 10%, and speeded up the credit approval process.

The improved credit process added $100,000 to company revenues.

So, now you have defined a specific challenge / problem that you handled, the action you took, the resolution (that may or may not include a numeric value), and a result that should be numeric in value.

One of the major challenges that I have as a marketing person is that in the old classical marketing days there was often no feedback – either numeric or qualitative – on a given campaign.  Today, as I often half-jokingly say, “You can’t put a stamp on an envelope without a Return on Investment (ROI) on the campaign.”

That’s especially true in the digital marketing world and most of marketing in general.

Look for Part B on Thursday, May 1, 2014: A New Twist on PARR: Results by…


Good luck and don’t forget to pay it forward whenever you can.

Dominic J. Frúges

Dominic J. Frúges

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Dominic J. Frúges Bio

Marketing innovator and thought leader who uses strategic, market, and situational analysis to assess strengths or areas for improvement.  Expert at developing value propositions, strategic messaging, features & benefits that position products.  B2B, B2C, High Tech, Services, and sales experience. 

Achieves vision by extracting intelligence from market research sources, using situational analysis, and then applying it to positioning and marketing strategies.   Marketing efforts instrumental in a one year $51M revenue increase for a tech firm and generating a new revenue stream of $500K through a brand launch for a consumer products firm.  Ex-military officer who brings the discipline of situational analysis along with prior industry diversity in sales and marketing to identify market needs and solutions.  Three solution launches at Lucent Technologies, seven product launches at Adtran, Inc. (carrier telecom equipment). CloudMASTER® Certificate  – NJIT University, Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing, and MBA – Rutgers University. 

1 thought on “PARR: Gateway for Your Career Search — Part A of Two Parts

  1. This is fantastic advice and is the way resumes should be written! I also had outsourcing support after being downsized 10 years ago and the coach presented the PARR approach to me. It was a very tough time in my industry, but using this approach, I ended up with an excellent resume and I did find a job. Remember, the resume belongs to you and not a professional writer. All that the professional writer really helps you with is formatting. The content is yours and using the PARR approach will make sure that content stands out.

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