The OAR Method: Describing Your Accomplishments

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The OAR Method: Describing Your Accomplishments

Part of convincing a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job is being able to readily articulate your past accomplishments. You must convince them that you've had a history of success in each of your previous positions.

To start this process, get out several pieces of paper. List all the jobs you have had over the last 5 to 10 years. If you are a recent college grad, include part-time and seasonal work, clubs and organizations, and academic experiences.

For each experience, ask yourself these questions and jot down notes as accomplishments come to mind:

Did you increase sales (make money for the company)?

Did you decrease costs (save the company money)?
Did you introduce new concepts, products, services, or ideas?
Did you design a new process or system that improved workflow or efficiency?
Did you create technological improvements?
Did you increase company/organization morale?

Did you train others or help others receive professional development?
Did you do perform with fewer resources than normal (people/money/equipment)?
Did you receive any awards or recognition, formally or informally?
Did you solve problems?
Did you innovate?

Next, decide how you will convey these accomplishments to a potential employer. Try using the OAR Method.
O - Opportunity for Improvement
A - Activities You Engaged In
R - Results You or Your Organization Achieved

Here's an example:

O: (Opportunity) "I was asked to take over the implementation of our annual assessment by my supervisor."

A: (Actions) "After reviewing data compiled from previous years, I decided to make changes to the assessments to make the questions more clear and improve our response ratio. I led the entire staff of 12 people in implementing the annual survey."

R: (Result) "We experience a 20% increase in our response rate for the assessment initiative, the highest the organization had ever obtained. I was able to gain valuable information that my manager used for strategic planning the following fiscal year."

When using this technique, try to keep it short and to the point, adding detail only to illustrate critical points. Try to demonstrate your your actions added value to the organization as a whole. This could be in dollars saved (number or percentage), improved processes (quality, customer satisfaction, efficiency), or in dollars earned (through revenue, greater quantity of clients/customers, etc.)

   

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Barbara Gibson