Your resume is a professionally written summary of you as an individual, your skills and experience, as well as your chronological work history. It is typically used by job seekers who are moving up the ladder, changing careers, or whose work history is not directly related to the job. It is an essential document, and no job application is complete without one. Using the STAR format can help you stand out from the crowd.
In addition to your resume, you may be asked to supply a key selection criteria document to give your prospective employer a clear idea of how you are relevant to the job at hand. These documents will be carefully worded, and it is important to bear in mind what is being asked for. For example, there is a vast difference between ‘Knowledge of…’ and ‘Demonstrated ability to…’. The former requires only that you have a familiarity with the topic gained from experience, whilst the latter is asking you to provide an explicit example where and how you have performed this function.
And this is where many candidates fall. It is is not enough to simply state, for example, “In my position as Audit Manager, I carried out many financial audits on ASX listed companies”. This simply states that in general terms you have experience in auditing but the question requires that offer a specific, measurable example that has a positive outcome. You need to be as precise and unambiguous in your response as possible. To help formulate your response,
we at Select Resumes are firm believers in the STAR format. Simply put, this simple rule will focus your mind on producing a clear, concise paragraph that is explicit, to the point and has a quantifiable outcome. It is, of course, an acronym:
But if you follow this simple formula you will find all you need to compose a precise case in point that will tell your prospective employer that you understand the needs of the job and have demonstrated your experience clearly and concisely.
For example, if you are asked to “Demonstrate your auditing skills”, firstly think of the Situation – The context of your experience – where did it occur and what was the relevant environment, and in which position. Then explain the Task – What was required of you? This may have been a technical performance, project, or dealing with a problem. Then comes the most important element, the Action – What action did you take to deliver the task, resolve the problem, or present a case? Finally, you summarise with the Result – What was the outcome and how did your actions affect this positive result?
So, going back to the question “Demonstrate your auditing skills”, your answer could look like this:
“During 2013, whilst working as Audit Manager for ABC Ltd, I was placed in charge of the five-person dedicated team to manage the financial statement audit of Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) listed energy company XYZ Ltd. The company was transitioning from being listed on the ASX to the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). Whilst they were ASX-listed this required twice-yearly reporting deadlines to be met and also when they were in the non-operational research and development phase, there was a large amount of accounting issues to manage including convertible notes, intangible assets, technical issues to be dealt with as well as other reporting deadlines. When they transitioned to the SGX, this required considerably more attention, and we had to carry out complex and meticulous due diligence with regard to their financial statements, all in a timely manner. XYZ Ltd took up approximately 80% or more of my time, and I had to ensure that my smaller clients were also catered for. Ultimately the client was extremely pleased with all our work over the two year period and retained our services for a following 24-month contract.”
At Select Resumes, our professional writers are experienced in writing STAR examples for an extremely wide variety of industry and situations. We know what the job providers are looking for and we will l help you to find those perfect examples and convert them into winning prose that will get you noticed.
So contact us today and let us unleash your STAR potential.
Are you seeking a resume writing service? Select Resumes can provide this service to you at the highest standard. Select Resumes also offers dedicated selection criteria writers to give you the help that you need for even the most complex government job applications. Once you have secured your interview, talk to us about our experienced and passionate interview skills coaches so that you can feel more confident at your next job interview.