How to Differentiate Talents and Experience in a Resume

Does your resume differentiate you from other candidates? Are you getting interviews for the roles you want?

At Transition Solutions, we help companies with workforce changes and individuals during career transitions. A core component of career searching is developing an effective resume. The major purpose of writing a resume is to obtain interviews. If your resume is not producing interviews for you, then it likely needs to be revised. This critical document creates an image of the product – you! 

An effective resume provides the employer with an idea of what you have done — not just a job description. Hiring managers already know the job description; they want to know what makes you stand out from others who have held similar positions.

Therefore, your resume should include what we refer to as “BAR” stories. BAR is a format that will help you write about your accomplishments as outlined below.

  • B stands for … Background — a brief statement that describes the situation and/or problem.
  • A stands for … Activities — the actions you took.
  • R stands for … Results — how the department, company, group benefited from your actions. Whenever possible, quantify the results using dollars, numbers or percentages.

We recommend writing out your BAR stories and accomplishment statements in the two steps outlined here:

Step 1: Write out your BAR story as a reference such as the example below.

Background: Our company’s profits were shrinking. We were performing manufacturing operations with antiquated equipment, and we were losing price wars to foreign competition.

Actions: The first thing I did was conduct a meeting with the technical staff to obtain their input on possible solutions.  Secondly, my staff and I worked with the engineering and business departments of the local university to develop recommendations. Thirdly, I brought the team’s recommendations to our bank and negotiated a new capital loan to upgrade the equipment. Finally, I negotiated with the workers who agreed to complete training with the new equipment, partly on company time and partly on their own time, which would decrease the costs.

Results: Our company’s market share increased and profits for the last quarter increased by 75%.

Step 2: Translate the BAR story into an accomplishment statement you can add to your resume, starting with an action verb, which provides a summary of your actions and the results – or how what you did added value to the company and/or department.

Example: Negotiated a capital loan and labor agreement to purchase new equipment, which resulted in a 75% increase in quarterly profits.

Remember these simple rules when writing your accomplishment statements:

  1. Start with an action verb; refer to the list of action verbs on the following pages.
  2. Identify both the action you took and the difference it made to your company or department.
  3. Write concisely.

Once you have completed your BAR stories, you will be ready to write a resume that differentiates you from competitors and helps to prepare you for interviews.

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. If you would like more information on our services please check out our website at or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at