So you’ve written and re-written your executive resume, but it still doesn’t feel right to you? Maybe you’ve added metrics and detailed your career promotions, all to no avail.
If so, it might be time to up your game—especially if you want to generate interviews.
To create a powerful and effective leadership resume, you can find relief from using a concept called the S-T-A-R (Situation-Task-Action-Result) strategy.
This method (aptly named for a reason!) helps you to capture and sharpen the information you’ll need for a masterpiece resume, starting with the description of leadership tasks and situational challenges, and ending with the results of your work.
Specifically, it is designed to avoid the common blunder of skipping ahead to present revenue or cost-saving metrics without describing how these successes came about. To really gain attention from employers, an executive resume must use a storytelling approach instead.
Note that are several variations of S-T-A-R, such as S.M.A.R.T. (Situation with Metrics, Actions, Results, and Tie-In) or C-A-R (Challenge, Action, and Result). The theory behind each method is the same, where the context of your work becomes the real “meat” of your leadership brand.
Does your leadership resume need the S-T-A-R overhaul? It does if you’ve written it to simply serve up your end results, as in these examples:
-Exceeded 2008 quotas 140%.
-Built 2 new offshore data centers.
-Staffed Dublin office with 300 team members.
Now, consider that it could provide more detail on each situation instead, as in these examples:
-Exceeded 2008 quota 140%, despite market entry from 5 new competitors and downward pressure on pricing that impacted revenue.
-Responded to increasing storage and monitoring costs, slashing expenses 30% with design and buildout of 2 offshore data centers.
-Dampened staffing costs for 300-employee Dublin center while bringing in new talent pool, reducing time-to-hire by cultivating relationships and volume contracts with European-based recruiters.
To extract the valuable information needed for a well-rounded executive resume story, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1 – First, make a list of all career accomplishments you’d like to use as examples of your success.
These can be strategic initiatives that you’ve led, projects that you’ve championed, or company-wide changes that you have implemented.
To be on the safe side, ask trusted colleagues to help if you can’t recall sufficient high points or projects from years past.
2 – Next, use the S-T-A-R formula to describe the situations you stepped into in each of your leadership roles.
Repeat as often as needed for each highlighted success story on your resume—and you’ll soon be the recipient of more requests for interviews at the leadership level.