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Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by Daniella
The job search market has become sort of a mess over the years, hasn’t it?
Between outdated job listings that waste your time and glitchy company websites that break before you’ve gotten the chance to submit your application, it’s becoming unnecessarily complicated to just apply for a new job.
On top of that, it seems like you submit your application to an abyss with no communication afterward. Recruiters are only spending 6-7 seconds reviewing each resume, according to a 2018 eye-tracking study done by Ladders Inc. You can’t afford to send through a resume that isn’t fully optimized.
There’s a ton of confusion swirling around in the job search market and no reason to make it even more confusing. It’s the last thing you need, especially if you’re in a highly competitive job search market like what it’s become for remote jobs.
Allow me to introduce you to the STAR method resume, a type of resume that will help you get one more step closer to landing your next job.
What is the STAR method?
The STAR method is a 4 part method for answering job interview questions. STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
This type of method allows the job candidate to give more meaningful detail about their work experience. Instead of telling the job interviewer what you’ve done at your past jobs, you’re telling them about the impact you’ve made throughout your past work experience. This gives you a potential advantage over other candidates.
A STAR method resume is a resume follows the same format, and allows you to showcase your skills, qualification, work experience, and real life examples of that experience, all into one method.
Breaking Out The STAR Method
To better understand the STAR method, it’s helpful to break down each part:
- Situation: When you first give your STAR response, talk about your responsibilities at your past job. Explain the situation that will serve as the foundation for the rest of your answer. What was happening that prompted the task?
- Task: The task is the problem that you had to solve or goal you had to get to. What was a specific task you completed using your unique skills and knowledge?
- Action: The action was the steps you had to take to complete a task. Explain your process up until the completion of the task(s).
- Result: Explain how your handling of the problem left a positive impact on your workplace. This is also where you can list any important lessons learned.
Examples of STAR Method Responses
The STAR method helps you both narrow down on your experience and what you want to showcase about that experience to a potential employer.
Using my own past experience in tech, here is the STAR method used in a real life response example to the interview question, “Describe a time where you were involved in a difficult project and what you did to overcome that difficulty.”
“When I worked as a software engineer, I was a part of a team that supported global rewards programs for credit card holders. I served technical account managers, partner banks, and card holders.”
“After I joined the team, the team was preparing to launch a new Australia and U.S. cross border rewards program but lacked the resources and plan to support the aggressive service level agreement expectations with the customer.”
“I collaborated with several global teams to lead the build and successfully implement an Australia & US cross border reward program, and was the sole responsible engineer for support inquiries of the program. I also documented all processes, created automated reports to trigger when new support tickets or incidents were logged to our team’s queue, and trained an engineer on the Australia team to help cover inquiries during the Australian business hours.”
“With my support strategy and new resource to help, we supported aggressive customer Service Level Agreements through timely execution of tickets and improved resolution SLA timeframes by 50% when compared to other similar projects on the team.”
If you’re looking for remote jobs, be sure to also highlight your experience working with remote teams. This is especially important if you’re interviewing at any remote-first companies.
How to Create a STAR Method Resume
When creating the STAR method on your resume, you’ll follow the same format. However, to keep your sentences brief and punchy on your resume, you’ll either have to combine all 4 into a single bullet or use them in multiple bullets in your work experience section.
First, start with a resume builder to easily put your resume together. Then, dive into the STAR format in the bullets under your work experience.
To make sure your resume will stop the hiring manager or recruiter in their tracks, write your work experience STAR bullets with the job description in mind.
Look at a couple of job descriptions that you want to apply for. Choose two to three key skills that you want to showcase under your work experience section.
For example, the STAR method response example used from my experience as a software engineer and my implementation and support skills would be condensed into a statement like this:
- Collaborated with global teams to implement an Australia & US cross border reward program, developed a support strategy for aggressive customer SLAs, & improved resolution SLA timeframes by 50%.
Or you can use multiple bullets:
Used my role as a software engineer to implement and support several high profile credit card rewards programs. (Situation and Task)
Developed a support strategy to meet aggressive customer SLAs. (Action)
Supported aggressive customer SLAs and improved resolution timeframes by 50% when compared to other similar projects on the team. (Result)
Benefits of Using a STAR Method Resume
There are several benefits to using a STAR method resume.
A STAR method resume allows you to showcase your value and impact with storytelling. You also get to show your experience and skills with more detail in a way that engages whoever is reading your resume — and get a recruiter to spend a longer time with your resume.
Above all else, a STAR method resume gives your resume a competitive advantage to help stand out in a sea of other job applicants, help you get an interview, and ultimately land the job.
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Daniella is the creator and author of iliketodabble.com. When their wife Alexandra and them aren’t globetrotting or playing with their 7+ animals, they are dabbling and working towards a future of financial freedom.