Team Performance Contribution

Friday, September 4th, 2009 - CV Help, CV Tips, CV Writing, how to make a cv, How to Write a CV, job search, Professional CV, professionalism, project management

Team Performance Contribution

Kiera and Stacy Duo!

Lee, an aerodynamics consultant, asks: How do you put a valuation on team contributions for previous positions? I have noticed that many CV advice articles have many suggestions on “quantifiables,” eg: Increased sales by ¬£/$xxx, or yy%. If a person has worked as part of a team effort (e.g. large aerospace company) that is not directly involved in sales or operational numbers that are ‘findable’, what would be a useful way to signify contributions? I see it as a granularity issue. Of course, your team effort eventually was rolled up into a higher number for management use, but was likely not broken down to individual contributions. There may also be singularity issues, such as if a team’s function was to implement software changes per customer requests. These would vary through the projects cycle, with¬† some months have little or no changes, other months would have much more. Is there a way to track value on a non-linear usage of your team’s functions?

In answer:

What you have spotted Lee is the output of the use of the STAR write-up system, used in many CV/resumes. STAR stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Activity/Action
  • Result

If its an Executive CV, I often leave out the T – they owned the whole accomplishment, so T is pretty obvious.

For most of the rest of us, you have to find a focused Situation in which you added with your part of the Task and defined/chosen Action combination, to the output Result. It is really then a question of where you place the lens, although the fact you worked on the larger XYZ project is relevant.

CV Writing

In example, much as though you could claim input to a whole new aircraft – which probably involved a few thousand people and a few billions of dollars – it is often better to focus on the part of the project your team were tasked to output, and hence how your T&A combination directly contributed. Also take into account, that if the job you are applying for needs specialist skills or focused experience – such as systems documentation for flight control or fuelling – then focusing the Task of the team/yourself would better allow you to focus on your achievements and value adds in that area. An organisation wanting skills in one specific area doesn’t care if you happened to also do something else (eg – navigation), they want that specific skill

The output of STAR also doesn’t need to be money. What it has to be is measurable, specific – and when referenced a later date, supported by your references. In preference, choose an output which is business orientated over anything else first – hence why most state dollars – but lives saved, project hours gained, etc would all be relevant quantifiables.

Understanding STAR is fairly easy, but the key to deploying it is in focus, both in terms of the Task chosen and its output relevancy to the post being applied for.

Good Luck!


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