The white paper, Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers notes that “resumes rich with STARs, CARs, OARs, and SOARs get the most attention and drive the most action.” The brainstorming day was held in December 2010 by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, publishers of the white paper. These acronyms represent — essentially — story structures. Here’s the breakdown:
STAR = Situation, Tactic, Action, Result
CAR = Challenge, Action Result
OAR = Opportunity, Action, Result
SOAR = Situation or Opportunity, Action, Result
While we agree that stories are an essential tool for resumes, we recommend telling stories backwards — results first — because hiring decision-makers read resumes very quickly and want the results to jump out at them. “This type of information adds remarkable value to today’s resumes,” the white paper states, “by communicating proof of what a candidate has learned and can immediately apply to the hiring company.” You can learn much more about stories in resumes in my book by Tell Me About Yourself by buying the book; by reading the resume chapter in the Tell Me About Yourself blog, beginning here: CHAPTER 5: Resumes that Tell a Story; through the Facebook fan page for the book; or page by page, here.