Whether you are writing a CV, completing an application form or answering questions at an interview the STAR approach is great way to structure examples. It helps employers and course providers evaluate what skills, qualities and experiences you have that would help you fit with the job, course, company or institution.
Explain the situation that you were in. This should be a short description, it could be: ‘during my degree’ or ‘whilst working in a bar’.
You need to briefly explain what it is that you had to do, and what the success criteria was. If you were working as a group explain what the overall task of the group was but be clear about your own role.
This is the most substantial part (around 50-70%) of any example and you need to include:
- What you did.
- Why you did it.
- How you did it.
- What skills you used.
There is little point in explaining the situation, task and action if the employer or course provider is left wondering whether what you did made any difference. So be prepared to explain:
- What happened as a result of the actions you took?
- What you would do differently or improve?
- What impact the result had overall on the team task?
- Use an example that is up to date and relevant.
- Talk about action that you took not just a whole team.
- Make sure that the task and action are as related to a job or course description as possible.
- In the action part of the example cover the skill and qualities that are being sought.
- Try to use an example with a positive outcome.
- Be concise.