Job Search – STAR Stories
I’ve written before about the value of STAR stories in your job search. STAR stories are a great way of recording your key achievements and demonstrating your competencies. With them you can provide evidence that you really do have, and know how to use, the competencies required for a particular role.
As a first step, some people create a timeline for their life– showing roles held at various times. Then they flag up key achievements on the line. These don’t have to be restricted to formal work roles but those in the last 10 years should take priority. I usually ask clients to choose the 10 they think are the most impressive. For these 10 they then create STAR stories. For each one you include your job title and how long you were employed in the role, then set out briefly;
- Situation – Describe the situation, the role and environment
- Task – the challenge – the task you had to complete or the obstacle you had to overcome
- Action – what action did you take and why. Include the competencies you called on and how you used them
- Results – highlight the outcome, the value and benefits delivered – for example, savings made
I’ve mentioned before as well that you can use a summary of your STAR stories to add value to your CV and show what you will bring to any new employer! For the 10 stories above I usually suggest that for each you should produce about one A4 page of text. Of course you then need to summarise these down into short paragraphs for your CV – say three sentences on each with an emphasis on competencies used and benefits delivered.
The A4 summaries make great records for you portfolio. You can use them to refresh your memory before interviews and to help you give evidenced based replies. They are also useful confidence boosters when feeling a bit daunted by a new challenge.
For the five most striking stories, I would recommend going on to fully develop them as case studies. Think in terms of producing a magazine article, white paper, report or slide show. This will give you an opportunity to fully reflect on how you achieve and how to set yourself up for success in the future. But if you have a website you can publish them as examples of what you can do. And of course you can now add them to your LinkedIn profile.