So a few weeks ago I was talking to a Director of a software development firm. And I asked him …
How do you go about selecting staff?
And his answer was revealing – although nothing new to me. He said …
“I look for value. And credibility in the form of achievements. I want to know that the person has delivered good results in the areas that interest me.”
So how do you build this in to your job search? When I write a CV, for example, I build the entire CV around the concept of value and credibility. And here’s the cornerstone of where I start with that – and coincidentally, it’s exactly the method the Director mentioned above uses. It’s called the P-A-R or S-T-A-R method.
To all my CV writing clients I send the following question – it’s question 14 on my “CV Information Mining Questionnaire”, and here it is:
14. What did you accomplish in the roles you filled in the most recent years (up to 10yrs) – no matter how seemingly insignificant?
What were your 3 most notable achievements in each role that contributed in some way to your department or company’s success?
Use if possible, the P-A-R method: 1) Explain the PROBLEM you faced; 2) The ACTION you took; and finally 3) the RESULT you achieved (give ‘measurements’ if possible – ie “increased turnover by 35% within 3 months” or “reduced turnaround time by 63%”).
Or use the similar STAR method: SITUATION or problem or opportunity faced; TASK required or role you played in discovering/analysing/understanding the problem or opportunity; ACTIONS taken to resolve the situation; and RESULT – using evidence to illustrate the success and impact your actions/plans/strategies had.
So, can you do that? Sure you can. Use it in your CV, your cover letter and to answer job interview questions. If you follow the method you’ll provide all the right elements to an employer looking for a solution:
- You’ve faced similar challenges before and done a great job
- You’ll be giving specific details which adds strong credibility/believability
- You’ll have the whole story clearly in mind and you’ll therefore be concise, not rambling
- You’ll have given good thought to what value you represent – something very few people do
- You’ll give figures and statistics regarding what results you achieved – again promoting credibility
Enough? Sure. Do it. It’ll make a huge difference to the success of your job hunt.