Sharpen Your Resume with SIR
By Susan Posluszny, OPTIONS for Career & Life Planning
Is your resume making the right first impression? Instead of creating a ho-hum laundry list of work responsibilities that describe past and current jobs - something that could be said by anyone in a similar role - write targeted accomplishment statements using the SIR method.
S - Situation: What was the situation or challenge that you faced?
I - Input: What was your input? How did you decide to deal with the situation or challenge?
R - Result: What was the measurable result (quantitative or qualitative) of your efforts?
Using the SIR method, you will:
- Highlight your skills that are of value to a potential employer
- Showcase your initiative and problem solving abilities
- Showcase the results you have achieved in striving to meet organizational objectives
When you place a bland list of responsibilities next to SIR-focused targeted accomplishment statements, the impact is obvious. You go from the same old stuff to "This is what I have done before to support work goals and, therefore, I can do this for you!"
Here's a great before and after example of how SIR can boost a resume:
Raised funds to support volunteer based health clinic.
Raised funds to start up a volunteer health clinic to serve a community of 8,000 citizens without prior healthcare. As a result, the clinic currently has 50 paid staff members and serves the healthcare needs of 12,000 people.
No matter where you are in the evolution of your resume, here are three steps to get you started on SIR targeted accomplishment statements:
- Consider the skills needed to perform a job that is of interest to you
- Reflect on and write about situations or challenges in which you used those exact same skills
- Finally, use the SIR approach to describe what you did
As you enhance your resume, ask yourself the following:
- What projects are you proud of that support your job objective?
- What are some quantifiable results that point out your ability?
- When have you demonstrated SIRs (Situation, Input, Result)?
- When did you positively affect an organization, your boss, your coworkers, your clients?
- What awards, commendations, published works, etc., have you achieved that relate to your job objective?
- How is success measured in your field? How do you measure up?
- Are you good at using the skills required for this job? When have you demonstrated this to be true?
- What activities (paid and unpaid) have you done that used skills that you would use at your new job?
- When did someone "sit up and take notice" of how skilled you are?
Susan Posluszny is a Master Career Counselor with over 25 years of career counseling experience working with adults in career transition. She loves helping people to expand their vision of career possibilities, identify a direction that's a great fit and follow through to reach their goals. She also coaches teens with college major choices. You can visit her on the web at CareerOptions4Me.com.