How to Use STAR in Your Key Selection Criteria Responseby Madalyn Trewin
Applying for jobs can be an intimidating process, especially when selection criteria is involved. Using the STAR method (used to develop STAR selection criteria) is one of the easiest ways to simplify the process. Learn how to use it when responding to key selection criteria.
The model stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result:
- S = Situation. Explain the work situation.
- T = Task. Outline the task required, in light of the situation.
- A = Action. Demonstrate the action you took to complete the task.
- R = Result. Show the results of your action.
Using STAR will help you break down selection criteria into digestible information, ensuring that you respond to everything adequately and effectively. The STAR model also helps to illustrate the real-life evidence you have that proves you’re the right person for the job, rather than just saying you’re the right person for the job.
If you want to use the STAR model in your selection criteria response, follow these three simple steps:
1. Get the Facts Right
Read over the criteria while referencing your resume. Your resume should demonstrate the work experience you’re citing in your response, otherwise, your application won’t make sense. Additionally, be sure that your response fits into their required guidelines – some recruiters will request a specific word counts and page limits, or ask you to format your response in a particular way. Getting these details right is essential if you want your response to appropriately fit the brief. It will also demonstrate your attention to detail.
2. Plan Your Response Using STAR
The best way to ensure that you use STAR correctly is to brainstorm your answers in advance, using relevant examples within the STAR model. Lay out the situation you were in at a previous workplace, in reference to the selection criteria. Explain the task that arose in light of that situation, and then detail the action you took when you approached that task. To conclude your answer, outline the result of your approach by discussing the benefits of your method overall. Planning out your answers according to STAR will help you break down the criteria in simple terms, and additionally, make sure that you use examples correctly and tick every single box for the position description.
3. Distinguish Yourself
There is one downside to the STAR model – its strict format. If every applicant is following the same method, every application is going to read exactly the same way. This means that the selection panel is going to be reading over many similar applications. If you follow the STAR model too strictly, your application won’t stand out. While you should use STAR to cover all key points, be sure that you let your individuality shine by incorporating yourself into your response. Illustrate who you really are by incorporating specific examples of your real life experience. While ticking every box is always important on a job application, so is individuality. Don’t get stuck in the limits of the STAR model and make sure you stand out.
Using STAR in your selection criteria response is a great way to make sure you’re clear. You only have so many words to get your point across, and it can feel tricky to say everything exactly right without missing some essential information. Use the STAR method to make sure your work experience translates into your application perfectly.
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