As a job candidate, do you have a strategy to clearly communicate your career accomplishments as they relate to the key hiring criteria?

In my executive search firm, every day I interview candidates with the goal of pinpointing highly qualified candidates for a given opportunity. And most do not have a strategy or understand how to talk through their successes in a way that is succinct and compelling.

One of the most challenging tasks when speaking with potential candidates is to have the candidate clearly and concisely communicate their career successes as they relate to the key hiring criteria for the position I’m recruiting for.

Recruiters (corporate or headhunters) don’t have a lot of time to spend listening because they typically are working on multiple search assignments and want to get to the important stuff asap!

The best way to organize career successes is very simple and is used by career professionals to help in the resume writing process. The process is known as creating STAR, CAR or SOAR stories. It lays a foundation for clearly describing (in an interview or in writing) an example of how a past performance can be a predictor of future success for the position being pursued. Recruiters and hiring managers want information to be delivered clearly and relevant and this format provides an easy way to do so and make a strong impression.

STAR / SOAR / CAR – These acronyms basically stand for

S – What was the situation?

O or T – What was the obstacle, Task or Challenge?

A – What was the action taken to resolve the challenge?

R – What was the measureable result? (This is the most important detail)

These stories should be written out and talked through (rehearsed) in advance of phone interviews, informational interviews or in person interviews. Trained interviewers will likely recognize (and be impressed) with this approach and it will make less seasoned interviewers job a lot easier. Basically, they are mini case studies that drive home the key qualifications of the job candidate.

At our search firm www.digital-action.com, we’ve developed on-line tools to accommodate this approach and enable creation of multiple stories that are stored securely online. The site is also available to any job seekers at a nominal cost and two day trial. Visit www.wintheview.com to explore this success story tool and additional tools to get an edge in the job search challenge. Call Ken Diamond with any questions at 215-948-3722.

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