In this article, I will be revealing formulas in the form of acronyms developed by professional career counselors that will help you to frame your job search stories. These formulas while varied generally invoke a common theme.
Typically, you will identify a problem or challenge that you faced on the job, the hindrances you encountered while trying to fix the problem, what actions you took to overcome the hindrances, the results of your actions to fix the problem and what impact your solution had on your department or company.
Here are five of the most popular acronyms used when creating stories:
PAR: Problem, Action, Result
SAR: Situation, Action, Result
SHARE: Situation, Hindrance, Action, Results, Evaluation (by Fred Coon)
SOAR: Situation, Obstacle, Action, Result
STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result
You can pick any of the formulas above to use as the framework for structuring your stories. All of these formulas follow a logical sequence making it easy for you to present your stories in an organized fashion. Stories created using these formulas are most often used when interviewing. However, they can be applicable to other aspects of the job search such as resumes, cover letters and portfolios which will all be discuss later in the report.
Hint: When detailing the results that you obtained in your particular story always try to quantify them by using numbers, percentages etc. Remember to keep the stories short and memorable.
Use adjectives and verbs that will help the interviewer visualize the story as you tell it. If there are any negative aspects of the story always end on a positive note and let the interviewer know how this experience impacted you and made you a better person.