Top 10 Tips for Best-Ever STAR Stories


The work of resume writing, networking and interviews is no picnic, but it can prepare you for being picked. Whether you are employed or not, misemployed or happily employed, you are always a potential candidate for a promotion or a new position.

What will make the difference to going higher and getting hired? Your accomplishments make you stand out as a STAR candidate!

Perhaps you don’t see yourself as a STAR? Maybe you don’t see your accomplishments? Or you don’t want to brag?

Yet, we are all God’s workmanship or masterpiece, created for good works, which God prepared beforehand. It’s fair to share good things you have done.

How can you discover and share stories about your accomplishments?

Prepare and Practice

Consider these top 10 tips.STAR Stories

  1. Do homework about your work, educational and personal experiences. Write a list of places you worked and the work you did. Include not only jobs, but also volunteer work, educational projects, internships, extracurricular activities, hobbies and community involvements.
  2. Review your list and circle those experiences, which you did best and liked most. Think and pray about which experiences were most satisfying and engaging.
  3. Select one experience that you remember most vividly. Describe the Situation You Faced. For example, your boss gave you a new work assignment; you joined the football team; or you moved to a new location.
  4. Describe the Task to Accomplish. For example, increase sales; learn the team playbook; research your new community to find best housing and schools.
  5. List the Actions You Took. For example, made sales calls on all current clients and new prospects; memorized football plays every night for 30 minutes; researched by zip code.
  6. Document Results Achieved with statistics and stories. For example, sales increased 27%; made first string on football team; bought great house in neighborhood and schools close to work.
  7. Improve your resume by selecting the most relevant experiences for the job. Highlight the results you achieved.
  8. As you are networking, mention your most relevant accomplishment results in the conversations you are having.
  9. During interviews, be prepared to answer questions that start with “tell me about a time when…” Select the STAR story that most closely describes what the interviewer asks.
  10. Prepare 10 STAR stories and practice sharing them with a friend until you no longer have to refer to notes.

Picnic Story Leads to VP Job

Many years ago one of my clients approached me about a possible VP position in their company. While I had completed several projects for them, they put me through several interviews. One of the questions asked was about my leadership style. I responded with a star story about a personal leadership experience:

  • The SITUATION was that my son was in third grade, and the PTA president had asked me to head up a spring event to raise money for extra activities at the school.
  • The TASK TO BE ACCOMPLISHED was to create an event that would be so fun that most of the kids and parents would come, buy tickets and spend money.
  • The ACTIONS I TOOK started with dreaming up the “Great All-American Picnic” with games, contests, prizes and lots of food and drink. Then I wrote it all down and sent it to parents I knew at school, inviting them over to the house for dessert and coffee. We talked about all the cool things we could do, and I asked who would like to do what. Pretty soon we had a core team of seven to handle food, games, contests, money, promotion and, of course, prayer.
  • The RESULTS were fantastic… over half the families in the school came, and more money was raised than ever before!

At the end of the story, the interviewer said, “Wow! What a great story.” A couple weeks later I got the job, in part because I told a STAR story that illustrated the kind of leadership they were seeking.

Dare to Prepare

You can improve your resume, networking and interviews with STAR stories. Learn and earn more by working through the Crossroads Career Workbook: 7 steps to jobs, careers and God’s calling. You can download and sneak a peek at Free PDF of Step 1 now.

Comments 3

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tips for Best Ever Resumes | Crossroads Career Network

  2. I recently lost my job. I am sixty nine years young. I really need to find employment quickly so I don’t fall behind on my rent or paying my bills.

    My prayer request is that I would find a new job that I like.

    Thank you,
    Sherry Lewis

    1. Hi Sherry –

      Thanks for sharing. How is the job search going? Anything specific we can be praying for you about in the search?


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