Apart From You, What Other STAR Features in Your Resume?
Your resume serves one purpose and one purpose only – to get you ahead of the pack in front of a recruiter and land an interview. Resumes tend to follow a conventional pattern – the candidate’s details, a short list of personal strengths, a list of qualifications, career aspirations, a rundown of the work history with key responsibilities, some referees, and that is it; job done. But most likely, job not won. Why? One reason could be that you did not adhere to the STAR format.
What is the STAR format?
Well, your well-written resume performs many functions. It shows the recruiter that you are qualified for the job and that you understand and appreciate the ethos of the company you are applying for and the needs of the position. Yes, it shows your key strengths, and yes, your work history. But STAR gives you the edge that will make the hirer sit and up take notice.
Situation, Task, Action, Result – it is a simple acronym that unlocks the key to a successful resume. Using the STAR system is like peppering your resume with short, informative stories, tailored to the position being applied for, about you and the key achievements in your career.
The SITUATION is your work environment, your department, the work you do and will then focus on a particular aspect of your role – the TASK – you were faced with that has congruency with the role you are applying for. The ACTION is the sequence of duties you undertook to meet the requirement s of the task, and the RESULT is the tangible, measurable result of the actions – money saved, sales increased, productivity raised.
When the STAR is also a CAR
You may have heard of the same system but using the acronym CAR – Context, Action, Result.
Context involves describing a situation and setting the scene for a relevant example from your past. The key here is to choose your example well – one that clearly demonstrates the quality or skills the employer is asking about.
Action is about going into detail about what action you took. Be really specific (lots of industry names, specific locations and skills used – if applicable – is good here) rather than making vague, generalised statements that are little more than key responsibilities.
Result is about detailing the positive outcome of your action. Offer specific facts relating to the result. For instance, quote figures and statistics, or whether productivity was increased, or efficiencies improved, or feedback from your manager. You must back up your assertions. But always focus on affirmative outcomes.
Why Is STAR so Important?
These stories give your resume its beating heart; it showcases you as an individual, not just a list of qualifications and jobs. More importantly, they get you shortlisted for interview.
As you can see, the STAR and CAR format is the perfect way to create great descriptions of your work experience. You can also use this in your interview when describing your past jobs and projects. In this setting, you might also consider adding a second ‘R’ to STAR – Reflection. Reflect on your job situation you faced and add your own perspective to the job you did. For example, in retrospect, what would you have done differently knowing to improve the outcome even more. This shows self-knowledge and the ability to self-improve and will definitely score highly with your interviewer.
Let Select Resumes Cast You as the STAR of Your Career
At Select Resumes, we are all about making our clients into stars, and we use the STAR format strategically and effectively, which is why we are the number one resume writing service. So, if you want to stop being a supporting player in your own career and show off your STAR potential, call us today for an informal chat, we would love to hear from you.