Using the STAR method is one of the most effective ways of getting your message across to potential employers whether in your resume or at interview. Applied correctly the STAR method can significantly improve your job search. It works!
The STAR acronym stands for:
Following the STAR technique enables you to give employers a clear, concise and informative response which outlines a situation and the part you played. It tells them how you approached the task and the results of your actions. This gives credibility to your claims.
So how does it work?
Situation: Give an example of a work situation you were involved in with a positive outcome. Briefly outline the situation and your role.
Task: Describe the tasks involved. What were your tasks, duties or responsibilities? What needed to be done? What obstacles had to be overcome?
Action: Describe the action you took to address the situation. What did you do? What steps did you take to complete the task? What was the allocation of resources and/or people involved?
Result: Describe what resulted from your actions. What was the outcome? What were the improvements or benefits? How did the situation end?
An example of a STAR response in an interview works like this:
Question: Can you tell me about a time when you increased sales?
Answer: In my role at ABC Pty Ltd I was hired to drive sales by actively reaching new customers. There was also a major problem with declining sales from existing customers. Many were no longer purchasing from us and of those that were, the frequency and volume had significantly decreased. (Situation/Task)
The first thing I did on commencement was telephone all existing customers including those who hadn’t purchased with us in awhile. I introduced myself as a new member of staff and asked them for feedback on our products and service. I catalogued their feedback into an Excel spreadsheet and identified the key areas of concern. I presented my findings to management who were alarmed to find so many customers dissatisfied with the delivery contractors they were using. (Action)
As a result of this, management negotiated a new delivery contractor who promised to deliver on time. I notified every customer, both in person and in writing, and actively sought their business with an assurance of improved delivery service.
In 6 months I had increased sales in the division by 45% (from 26k to 38k) and am proud to say, managed to get all but 3 customers to buy from us regularly again. (Result)
Can you see how this technique is so effective at actually telling the employer not just what you did, but how you did it and the resulting benefits? Applied to your resume, this technique gives instant credibility to your claims.
Think about using the STAR method for your next interview and why not take a look at your resume again. Could it be improved now you understand the technique?
This article is contributed by Michelle Lopez of One2One Resumes.
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant