STAR Stories Make You a Star!

STAR Stories Make You a Star!

Star stories

STAR Stories – Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview.  This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing  or wants evidence of what you have done so far!  Your STAR stories help to provide evidence of just how competent you are.
 
And preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.
 
Writing your stories
 
The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved
  • R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?
People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they remain positive and they are realistic!
 
You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past.
 
At this stage I want you to go right back to the beginning of your career. 
  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about
    !  But a whole programme
    or initiative doesn’t have to have been a success for your part of it to be something you are proud of!  
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. It will help you later if you include at least five from the more recent past.  But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success.  But at this stage about one page of A4 for each is usually sufficient.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward. 
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events.  You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review!  Enjoy your success.  When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!   
  9. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper!  
  10. Put them in a folder with your name on the front!  

You have begun – your job search portfolio has its foundations. 

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment.  Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community?  Well write the stories and put them in!  They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!
 
And I would love to hear how you get on.  If you have any questions or you need help, please get in touch.


Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search – Have you been searching for a new job for a while now?  Hard isn’t it to keep up that energy?  But there are new and exciting opportunities out there, if you can re-energise your quest. Here are some tips to help you refresh your job search.

Update your image and your attitude.

Give your confidence a boost – revamp your image!  How about a new hairstyle?Consider a new style of dress.  What kind of change could you make as an outward sign that something has changed? Make a change to represent the new you and your new approach.

Work hard on your commitment to positive thinking and your self-belief. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop in your tracks. Have a day when negative thinking and doubt is not allowed in your life. Give yourself a holiday from worry! Catch any negative thinking and flip it over in mind. Think of yourself not so much as looking for a job but, rather, looking for an opportunity to add value. You know that given the right opportunity, that is exactly what you will do. Think every day about the benefits that you will bring to your new employer.

Revamp Your CV/Résumé

An important step in every job search is to equip yourself with a CV that really demonstrates you, your skills and your abilities. How good is your CV?  Take time now to check it and remember this CV is just a baseline that you will tailor for each new role.  Show evidence of your ability to deliver. Get in touch with me if you would like some advice on re-vamping your CV.

Consider new options

Time to think about radical new options. Changing careers isn’t easy. Nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it successfully four times in my life. I enjoyed each career at the time. But there came a time to consider new options. Changing this way has helped me to come to terms with a changing economic environment. Each new direction built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one. Get in touch if you would like some advice on things to consider when considering a career change.

Find New Ways to Network

Find new people to network with using social media.  Are you making the most of sites like LinkedIn?  Are you approaching social networking seriously? It can provide lots of new opportunities. Brush up both general and social networking skills  – there is lots of advice around.

Find yourself a coach

A Career Coach will work with you on all the practical aspects of applying for work.  The coach will help you to look at your achievements and results so far. You will learn how you can build on them to make your next career move work out well. A good coach will help you build your confidence and maximise your chances of landing the right job.

Looking for a new job is a big challenge. But with a positive attitude and the right tools and support, you can be successful. You will find lots of resources here on this blog. And I offer a free half hour consultation, so get in touch. I will be happy to show you how career coaching can make that essential difference to your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

job search - standout from the crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – This post is about applying for advertised vacancies for which you are in competition. Unfortunately, in the present climate, job seeking is intensely competitive.  There are usually many applicants for every advertised post.  That’s is why networking to find work is so important.

When you submit a written application, with or without a CV/Résumé, what matters most is that you convince the recruiter that you meet the criteria for the vacancy.  Include relevant keywords that will stand out like head lights – you can find out more about job search keywords at this link.

Once you get to the interview stage, you are up against others who havea lso shown on paper that they meet the requirements. The interview and your references will show whether what you have said on paper in valid.  And at interview stage you need to stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not without risks.

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – Take into account the culture of the organization when deciding how to make your mark.  When deciding what to wear for the interview, for example, knowing the company dress code is important.  If it is casual then make sure you wear very smart casual attire.  No, you don’t want be so bland that you sink into the wall paper. Wearing, for example, a smart but distinctive tie, scarf or piece of jewellery, can help the interviewers remember you.  The “something distinctive “needs to be chosen with great care and very good taste!

The interview is also an opportunity to show clearly that you will bring added value beyond that required by the job specification.  Show that added value with care. And make sure that what you say is relevant to the questions that you are being asked and to the job.

You can stand out by showing your enthusiasm. Being actively engaged in the process and showing real interest in the organization impresses. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say to you.

Prepare well!

The impression you want to make is that you are intelligent, highly competent and likely to be an asset to the organization and to your future work colleagues.

Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the interview.  Do your best to arrive in plenty of time.  You want to be bright-eyed and relaxed – not red-faced and slightly out of breath.

You want to be remembered but for all the right reasons!

Make sure you do your home work. Find out all you can you can about the job, the organization and the people you are likely to meet. Treat them with courtesy and work hard to show evidence that you are the person best able to do the job.

If you would like support in your job search please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link