It is unquestionably necessary that you have your essential job search data available at all times. You do not know when you will be asked to complete a job application, respond to job leads, or provide reference information. Remember, any face-to-face meeting with a decision-maker may be considered an interview for a present or potential job opening. This high level of organization is absolutely necessary for any serious job seeker.
Keep a list of three KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS that best prove your ability to do the kind of work you want. These are S*T*A*R* STORIES that emphasize skills and accomplishments that support your ability to do the job you want.
S*T*A*R* stories are an interviewing technique for responding to behavioral job interview questions. The premise behind the behavior job interview is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance. With that said:
- “S” stands for situation. You must describe the situation with enough detail so that the interviewer understands the specific event that was at issue.
- “T” is the task you needed to accomplish.
- “A” is the action that you took to accomplish the task.
- “R” are the results that you achieved. The results do not have to be yours alone if you worked with a group to resolve the task.
List your EDUCATION AND TRAINING, beginning with high school and including all formal or informal learning, workshops, military training, college, certificate programs, etc.
- What are the names of the schools that you attended and the years of attendance.
- What subjects and extracurricular activities, hobbies, associations, etc. relate to your employment objectives.
- Do not forget to list any accomplishments or things you did well and any special skills learned.
Work and Volunteer History: List your most recent job first, followed by each previous position/job. Military experience, unpaid or volunteer work, and work in a family business should be included here, too. If needed, use additional sheets to cover all significant paid or unpaid work experiences.
- Emphasize details that will help support your job objective and your interest in the present position. Include metrics (numbers, statistics, ratios, etc.) to support what you did.
- Emphasize results you achieved, using metrics to support them whenever possible.
- Examples are the number of people served, the number of transactions processed, the percentage of increased sales, the number of people supervised, total budget you were responsible for, percentage of increased response time to customer inquiries, etc.
- Make sure to repeat this information in the interview to reinforce your skills for the position.
References are those people who know your work well and will report positively as to work and character. Contact past supervisors, work peers, customers, subordinates, etc. about serving as a reference for you. Tell them about the position you want and your skills and quaifications for the job. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they will say if contacted by a potential employer. Some employers will not provide references in a phone call so ask them for a letter of reference in advance.
If a past employer may provide a negative reference because not all partings are amicable regardless of the circumstances, negotiate what they will say in the reference. Also, get written references from others you worked with while employed by that past employer to counteract what may be a negative reference.
Now, get to it . . .
Source: Quick Online Job Search, Michael Farr and The Editors @ JIST, 2011 ed.
This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.