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How to Prepare A STAR CV That Will Help You Secure Your Dream Job

The STAR CV writing technique is the ultimate solution to preparing a CV that will get you to your dream job or the employer of choice.

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The STAR CV writing technique is the ultimate solution to preparing a CV that will get you to your dream job or the employer of choice.

On average, a recruiter spends 15 seconds to scan through a candidate's resume. With hundreds if not thousands of CVs to review, most recruiters focus on the most important aspects of the job to be filled. It is therefore important for job seekers to always remember that job application documents are well prepared to capture the recruiter's attenntion not to suit the applicant’s personal views.

A well-presented CV must seek to address the needs of the prospective employer. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers present their work history and academic qualifications without demonstrating how they intend to meet the requirements of the advertised position. The STAR CV writing technique is the ultimate solution to preparing a CV that will get you to your dream job or the employer of choice.

Using the STAR Technique to Prepare a Winning CV

The acronym STAR stands for Situation, Task, Activity, and Result. In this technique, the job seeker demonstrates to the recruiter how their experience or skill matches the job requirements. It is a descriptive method where the candidate explains to the recruiter the context of their past job, the responsibility assigned, actions taken by the individual to provide solutions and the outcome of their efforts or benefits to the organization. In this article, we will demystify the STAR technique as a CV writing method by examining the following excerpt of a STAR CV for an experienced Personal Assistant.

Excerpt of a STAR CV for a Personal Assistant

Career Summary

  • Efficient Personal Assistant with over 4 years’ experience having worked for senior executives of 2 blue-chip companies.

  • Possesses good planning, organization, interpersonal and communication skills. Introduced a time management system that increased efficiency by 10%.

  • Seeking to utilize my skills and competences to improve productivity and communication of the executive office.

Note that in this STAR CV, the profile summary briefly communicates a candidate’s experience and how they intend to better a potential employer.

Skills Summary

The skills summary demonstrates how one utilized a particular skill set in the past and how that matches the job requirements. Instead of listing planning and events management as a skill, the STAR CV technique requires a brief description e.g.

  • Successfully planned and organized a senior management strategy meeting. Single-handedly managed travel and meeting logistics for the team. Achieved zero idle time.

Work Experience

Rather than just list duties and responsibilities, the STAR CV presents the context, candidate’s contribution, the results, and benefits to the business.

  • Tasked with saving time for the executive office. Saved an average of 10 hours per week, which translates to Kshs. 100,000 a week at current salaries.

Education

Only a relevant educational background is required. In this case, a relevant qualification for a Personal Assistant position would include a business degree or a business communication course.

Interests and Activities

Some extracurricular activities demonstrate the ability to handle the complex responsibilities of a similar nature.  Relevant activities for a Personal Assistant role would include working as a secretary to a rotary club.

The difference between the STAR method and the conventional system is the focus. While the traditional CV lists all experiences and qualifications, the STAR method matches the candidate to the job by demonstrating how the experience fits the job requirements of the advertised position.

A STAR resume captures only relevant skills, experiences and qualifications. It demonstrates the ability of the jobseeker to fill the job requirements of the advertised position. It is summarized thus attractive to the recruiter as it addresses the most important information to enable him to make a hiring decision. 

About the author

Getrude Budambula is an Independent Human Resource Professional and a Freelance Writer. She enjoys sharing knowledge as a Content Writer and has authored several professional articles. 

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya


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