Many people think that a resume needs to match up as closely as possible with the requirements to a posted job description. That is sensible to a certain degree, but I’ve seen people agonize over word-smithing their resume to match up to that job description while missing the most important purpose a resume provides: allowing a hiring manager to see that you can do best what he / she needs most!
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Your resume gives you the chance to present yourself in a positive way of how you have used your gifts to achieve results at your previous employer.
In Step #3 of our Crossroads Career workbook, we outline the four-question STAR process you can use to describe your accomplishments as you reflect on your Aptitudes. STAR stands for:
What Situation did you face?
What Tasks were to be accomplished?
What Actions did you take?
What Results were achieved?
Ideally, you create a number of STAR stories to answer those questions. Employers like to see people who can check the boxes for a job description, BUT they’re thrilled to find people who accomplish results beyond what they could even think to put in that job description. You can be that person!
By developing these STAR stories, and then translating them into your resume format of accomplishments, you’re giving the hiring manager an easy opportunity to see that you’re absolutely the right person for that job!
Don’t think that you should wait to develop these STAR stories as you prepare for an interview. By thinking through these early in the application process, and including them in your resume, you are able to “steer” the future interview in the direction you’d like.
After all, what is the one document that an interviewer receives that gives them information about you? Your resume!
Who is the one person who gets time to think about it and put together a positive presentation about yourself? You!
Who should ensure that their resume isn’t a “check the box” for a job description and instead be a STAR? You!
Don’t miss the opportunity! 🙂
Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.