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Situation Task Action Result
The basics of CV Writing are a bit more complex than many think, but actually you can learn them in five minutes. The basics of CV Writing are:
But what does this mean, and how do you achieve this?
What does the employer want to see in your Professional CV?
The reason we write a CV – which is in essence a factually based sales document – is to get a Telephone Interview with a desired employer: no more and certainly no less. To get that required reaction, we need to create a document which is both:
- Visually engaging: CV Format
- Confirms within its content that this job applicant has the required Skills, Qualifications and Experiences required: CV Writing
If you don’t create both parts, then you won’t get the required reaction. In the second part, even if you have the right SQE, you need to deploy STAR
Situation Task Action Result
STAR is a writing format which has been found over many years to best answer a potential employers questions, and confirm that this job applicant can do this job. In is the CV Writing equivalent of history’s 5W’s: who, when, what, where, why.
The situation is the wider geopolitical climate that the organisation finds itself in. here you can define the organisation, and the market challenges that it faced. If you were painting a picture, this would be the background and the frame in one!
Now we come to the focus that we want the reader to take: what was the task that you – the job seeker, that job holder – was asked to undertake and deliver? Most often you will be part of a team, so its important to explain what your role was inside the greater team, and how you were dependent on/interacted with other team members. Executive will most often own the whole task.
Self explanatory really:, but this is often the second element of what employers recruit on, ir pick up the telephone:
- What action did you take (man power, money, materials, time)
- How did you assure/monitor progress
- What difficulties did you have to overcome?
The first thing to state here is that, obviously, no one talks about failures in their Professional CV, do they? Actually, failure is OK to include in a CV, as long as you focus on the what you learnt/wouldn’t repeat. But mainly Result is about confirming that you achieved what you set out to deliver in Task, in terms of business: £/$ and to time scale.
Most employers read CV’s for Results: its the number1 thing that they engage with. So maijg sure that the results this project delivered match what that employer is seeking is crucial. Most often for Contractors, Interims and Project management CV’s, the fact that the customer/employer extended the contract due to a successful result is the greatest endorsement that you can garner.
Putting STAR into your CV Writing
Now, much as though I can explain STAR and you can probably understand STAR, its simplicity is also its complexity in application. For instance:
- What do you pick? If the job you want to apply for requires three or more core skills, and yet you only have three examples of the deployment of one core skill, how do you evidence that you are right for this job?
- Where do you focus? If the job asks for managerial skills, and yet you don’t have those in a job but do in a hobbies and interests section, how do you include that?
- Which Action? If a job application asks for evidence of application of budgetary control, and yet you were in charge of of project management on that project but not the budget, how can you evidence action
- Which result? Many bid managers end up in this scenario, where by their win/loss ratio won’t be perfect, but often the second project they have a choice of picks from is a loss?
But if you understand the basics of star, and apply it to your CV Writing, then at least you have taken a step forward to presenting a clear picture of you, and hence a better chance of getting employed.