STAR Statements and Your Resume
Drafting a resume is a good way to begin your STAR Statements
career search. On the one hand, your resume One of the most effective ways for you to
will give people you meet a quick sense of communicate your accomplishments is by
who you are and what you’ve done. More using a brief narrative structure that includes a
importantly, though, the process of composing targeted beginning, a short explanatory middle,
your resume will help you identify and articulate and a strong ending that illustrates clearly what
your strengths and key accomplishments— you can do for an employer. You can format
which in turn will help you communicate your these stories using the STAR technique:
value confidently when you start networking,
writing cover letters and interviewing. Situation: Define the general context.
Task: Identify the key objective.
The Accomplishment-Based Resume Action: Describe the action you took or initiated,
In a traditional resume, you would probably emphaisizing the skills you used to complete
itemize your job description, detailing what was the task.
expected of you in each role. However, this Results: Summarize the outcome in business
approach tells an employer nothing about you terms.
as an individual.
Use the following worksheet to develop several
An accomplishment-based resume, on the STAR examples for each position you’ve held.
other hand, gives an employer more accurate As your career search progresses, you’ll find that
information by describing how you made a these STAR statements are a valuable reference
difference in that role, as opposed to anyone else for more than just your resume. They will also
who might have held that position. Moreover, help you:
it tells an employer that you are somebody who • Develop a concise elevator pitch
gets things done—and therefore that you would • Write effective cover letters
potentially bring value to the job or internship. • Prepare for behavioral interviews
Remember, when talking with potential As you learn more about your target industry
employers, who you are is almost entirely and function, you may want to revise these
determined by what you’ve done. To present statements to make them more relevant.
yourself credibly, you need to substantiate
every assertion you make about yourself in a
situational example. It isn’t enough to say you
are a leader, an effective communicator, a team-
player and so on; you need to show it. Nothing
you say will have more potential impact than
when you describe a time when you proved
that you are x or have skill y.
Who else was involved or impacted:
One problem I had to overcome was:
One specific issue I addressed was:
To solve the problem, I:
The end result was:
Drafting Accomplishment Bullet Points A Living Document
For each of your last three or four jobs, refer No matter how many times you revise or rework
back to your STAR statements to highlight your your resume, it will never be “finished.” Not
most significant achievements, particularly only will you want to keep your resume updated
those that you enjoyed and that would be with your latest accomplishments, but you also
relevant to the next stage of your career. need to revise your resume for each application
Quantify these achievements wherever possible, you submit. This will allow you to highlight
but don’t hesitate to include other types of those aspects of your experience that are most
accomplishments: learning accomplishments, relevant to each specific job opportunity. (See
management accomplishments, process the Applications section for more details.)
Before Fall Quarter starts, you should prepare a
Depending on the significance and relevance of working, first version of your resume. Because
the experience, find three to five accomplishments you will submit this resume to the MBAFocus
for each job and draft them into bullet points. resume book [see sidebar], it should be a
Bullet points typically follow this structure: polished representation of your career to date.
However, consider this version of your resume
Verbs that describe your role in this as a starting point, one that only shows where
accomplishment. What you did. What was you’ve been.
the result? Why—in business terms—was this
important to your organization? As you learn more about where you’d like to
take your career, you’ll revise your resume to
Example #1: reflect where you want to go. This will involve
Led a team from Customer Services, CRM, “translating” your experience into the language
National Marketing, IT, Legal and Finance of the target industry and company.
through the planning and development of a
$38M national customer services cost savings
Rather than just accept applications,
Example #2: some employers actively pursue students
Teamed with Samsung global ERP division to they think might be a good fit for their
develop a new sales logistic model, streamlined organization. Typically they will identify
order fulfillment processes and implemented candidates by searching various resume
SAP ERP and i2 supply chain management books.
system for the visual display product division.
You can add your resume to the resume
Effort led to 10 % increase in order fulfillment
books in Foster MBA Jobs. These books are
rate, 30% reduction in account closing time, generally used by employers who have a
and 30% increase in inventory turnover rate. working relationship with the Foster MBA
We ask that all Foster MBA students use the To reach a wider pool of employers,
including many large, national employers,
Foster MBA resume template for their resumes.
we also give you the option to include your
You may download a soft copy of this template
resume in the resume books compiled by
from the “Sample Documents” section of your MBAFocus.
Foster MBA Jobs account or from our website:
foster.washington.edu/CareerToolbox in the
“Put it in Writing” section.