How to Create a Star Method Resume (Examples + Template)

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June 19, 2024
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Edited by
Camille Trent
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19
min read

3 key takeaways

  • The STAR method is an acronym for situation, task, action, and result. 
  • While this framework is typically used in job interviews, it can help you write more impressive resume bullet points and an impactful resume summary.
  • Teal’s AI Resume Builder makes the resume writing process easier by auto-generating achievements and professional summary based on your experience.

Think your resume should look like a job description? Think again.

Bullet points summarizing what you did in your previous jobs aren’t enough to catch the attention of hiring managers. You need to dive deeper into your specific actions and accomplishments, the impact you made, and the outcome or end goal you achieved for your employer.

It sounds like a lot of information to get across in a few resume bullet points, but a STAR method resume can help. It’s an acronym for situation, task, action, and result—and it’s a winning recipe for a standout resume. This guide covers:

  • What is the STAR method?
  • How to use the STAR method on your resume
  • How to create a STAR format resume with AI

Struggling to land interviews with your resume? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder for free.

What is the STAR method?

The STAR method is a framework typically applied when answering interview questions. However, you can also use the STAR method to craft a compelling and metric-rich resume. Here’s a breakdown of the letters in the acronym:

breakdown of the STAR acronym
STAR acronym meaning

Again, this framework is most frequently used in job interviews—especially when answering behavioral interview questions (those “Tell me about a time when…” questions that all job seekers dread) or achievement-driven questions like, “What are you most proud of?

But this approach can be equally useful for transforming your resume bullet points from flat and generic to clear and impactful. 

For example, take a look at how using the STAR method transforms this single bullet point:

Without the STAR method: 

  • Assisted customer base with inquiries and resolved issues.

With the STAR method: 

  • Implemented a streamlined ticketing system, resulting in a 30% reduction in response times and a 25% increase in customer satisfaction within three months.

It’s not hard to see the difference. The first bullet does nothing more than give insight into your previous job duties, not how you exceeded them. In comparison, applying the four elements of the STAR strategy provides plenty of context, highlights your skills, provides real-world examples, offers hard data about what you accomplished, and gives the employer confidence you’ll add value in a new role.

A STAR method resume is powerful and overlaps with another popular framework: the CAR method resume, which stands for challenge, action, and result.

The biggest difference from the STAR method is that the CAR method provides less context and background about your contribution and instead focuses on a specific problem or challenge you faced.

How to use the STAR method on your resume

Wondering how to apply this method on your own resume? To create a STAR method resume, you’ll focus on two specific sections during your resume writing process:

  1. Work experience
  2. Professional summary

Here’s a closer look at how to use the STAR method in both sections and give potential employers the level of detail they’re looking for on your resume.

How to use the STAR method in your work experience

When you’re ready to write your work history bullets and resume accomplishments, here are the steps to take to craft your STAR method bullet points: 

1. List your previous responsibilities

Start by choosing one of your past jobs to focus on and write a list of all of the things—tasks, responsibilities, solutions, recognition, achievements, and more—you did while you were in that role. This doesn’t need to be a polished list. Your goal is to get everything down on paper.

If you're struggling to remember what you did in a past role, look back at resources like:

  • Your LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn recommendations
  • Performance reviews
  • Meeting notes and summaries
  • Emails 

Those provide a solid refresher on what you were responsible for. Knowing how to write achievements on a resume is as much about thoughtful reflection as it is about the actual writing.

2. Compare your list to the job description

You’ve likely heard this career advice before: the best way to make sure your resume stands out to recruiters and hiring managers is to confirm it’s a solid match with the job description.

The point of your resume isn’t to present you as qualified—it’s to present you as qualified for that specific role. It’s your resume’s job to draw parallels between the position’s requirements and your capabilities, rather than leaving the potential employer to connect the dots. 

Return to the job posting and look for relevant skills, qualifications, and traits that get a lot of emphasis. Compare those to the list you created in step one, spot the areas of overlap, and highlight the responsibilities you need to include in your document.

Matching Mode in Teal’s Resume Builder can help. Attach a job description to your resume and Teal will suggest top keywords and skills that should appear on your resume.

3. Describe the situation

Using the STAR method you can now craft your first STAR bullet point. Choose one specific responsibility or achievement to focus on first—that’s less overwhelming than working through multiple bullet points or talking points.

Ask yourself: What was happening in my organization or on my team when I did this? Was your company going through a rebrand? An acquisition? Were you in the thick of a new product launch? Or planning a big event? Or was there a major strategy shift?

You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty details. Rather, you just need to give a bit of background so the hiring manager can get the bigger picture.

Situation example

Our organization was grappling with declining sales in a key market. 

4. Determine your task

Of the four elements in the STAR method, task and action are the two most easily confused. But there is a difference between the two:

  • Task: The responsibility or objective you were assigned.
  • Action: The specific steps you took to fulfill your responsibility or achieve the objective.

Now, still looking at that single responsibility, ask yourself: What was my role in that situation? What was my obligation to the company? 

On a STAR method resume, most of your assigned tasks will be implied with your job title—it’s not something you need to explicitly spell out in every bullet point.

Task example

As a senior sales representative, I was tasked with revitalizing sales and meeting my quarterly targets.

5. Highlight your action

Now it’s time to go beyond the high-level description of what you were supposed to do and describe the details of the actions you took. 

Ask yourself: What specific steps did I take to fulfill my responsibility to my company? 

The more specific you can get here, the better. Recruiters don’t just want to see buzzwords—they want powerful action verbs and tangible examples.

Action example

Developed a targeted sales strategy, revamped my sales pitch, and conducted personalized outreach to high-potential clients.

6. Define and quantify your results

What’s the most important piece of the STAR resume format? The results. This is when you provide proof that you didn’t just do work—you did work that made a meaningful difference and added real value for your employer.

Look at your action and ask: What happened? What results did I achieve?

Wherever you can, quantify your results with real numbers for extra impact. But that doesn’t mean every single STAR bullet point needs to include a hard digit. From forging strong relationships to streamlining processes, there are plenty of results you can include that aren’t strictly metric-driven.

Results example

Increased regional sales by 40% and exceeded quarterly targets by 15%.

7. Pull it all together

You’ve laid the groundwork and now you’re ready to pull it all together into an impressive STAR bullet point.

While you want to subtly incorporate all four elements of the STAR method, you don’t need to use them in their exact order every time. Here are a few different approaches you can use to mix things up and keep your bullet points engaging:

  • [Situation] [task] [action] [result]
  • [Task] [action] [situation] [result]
  • [Action] [task] [result] [situation]
  • [Result] [task] [action] [situation]

Starting with action verbs is important regardless of which order you opt for, as they demonstrate ownership over your work and stand out to recruiters. Here’s a look at how the same single bullet point could take shape using those different approaches.

STAR bullet point examples

  • [Situation] [task] [action] [result]: Overhauled declining sales in a key market region by developing a targeted sales strategy, revamping the sales pitch, and conducting personalized outreach to high-potential clients, resulting in a 40% increase in regional sales and exceeding quarterly targets by 15%.
  • [Task] [action] [situation] [result]: Developed a targeted sales strategy, revamped the sales pitch, and conducted personalized outreach to high-potential clients to revitalize sales in a declining market region, resulting in a 40% increase in regional sales and exceeding quarterly targets by 15%.
  • [Action] [task] [result] [situation]: Developed a targeted sales strategy, revamped the sales pitch, and conducted personalized outreach to high-potential clients, achieving a 40% increase in regional sales, exceeding quarterly targets by 15%, and revitalizing sales in a declining market.
  • [Result] [task] [action] [situation]: Achieved a 40% increase in regional sales and exceeded quarterly targets by 15% by developing a targeted sales strategy, revamping the sales pitch, and conducting personalized outreach to high-potential clients, leading to revitalization of sales in a previously declining market region.

It’s a lot of work for a single bullet, especially when you have plenty more resume bullet points to work through. But it’s well worth the extra effort to help your resume stand out.

You can make this process a little easier on yourself with the AI resume achievements in Teal’s AI Resume Builder. Click “add an achievement” and then “write with AI” and Teal will automatically write  three bullet point options for you to tweak and include on your resume.

Teal's AI Achievement feature in its AI Resume Builder
Teal’s AI Resume Builder generates three metric-driven achievements at once for you to use in your resume.

Wondering how many bullet points to include with each job? It depends on the recency and relevance of the position. You can use five to seven bullet points for more recent and related jobs, and fewer (around three to four) for older positions. 

STAR method resume examples for your work history

Software engineer STAR method resume bullet point:

Led the development of a new feature for the company’s flagship product, which involved collaborating with cross-functional teams to gather requirements and implementing the feature using Agile methodologies, resulting in a 20% increase in user engagement and positive feedback from key clients.
  • Situation: The company’s flagship product needed a new feature to increase user engagement and meet client demands.
  • Task: Tasked with leading the development of the new feature, ensuring it was delivered on time and met all requirements.
  • Action: Collaborated with cross-functional teams to gather requirements, designed the feature, and implemented it using Agile methodologies. Conducted regular code reviews and testing to ensure high quality.
  • Result: Successfully delivered the new feature, resulting in a 20% increase in user engagement and positive feedback from key clients.

Human resources generalist STAR method resume bullet point:

Designed and implemented a comprehensive employee wellness program, collaborating with various departments to identify key needs and organize wellness activities, resulting in a 15% reduction in employee absenteeism and improved overall employee satisfaction.
  • Situation: The company was experiencing high employee absenteeism and low overall employee satisfaction.
  • Task: Tasked with creating and implementing an employee wellness program to address these issues and improve employee well-being.
  • Action: Conducted surveys and focus groups to identify key wellness needs, collaborated with various departments to organize wellness activities and resources, and promoted the program through internal communications.
  • Result: Successfully launched the wellness program, leading to a 15% reduction in employee absenteeism and improved overall employee satisfaction.

How to use the STAR method in your resume summary

Your resume summary (often called your professional summary) is an overview of your most relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. It goes at the top of your resume just under your headline and it’s another place you can apply the STAR method.

Doing so works similarly to how you approached your bullet points, except you’ll look holistically at your entire career rather than individual job responsibilities.

Ask yourself:

  • What major goals have I achieved?
  • What big problems or challenges have I solved?
  • What meaningful responsibilities have I fulfilled?
  • What achievements are most notable?

Don’t forget to return to the job description to confirm the highlights you include in your summary aren’t just impressive, but also relevant to the job. 

STAR method resume example for your resume summary:

Seasoned content marketing professional with 5+ years of professional history driving significant improvements in digital marketing performance through strategic content initiatives. Experience developing and executing content strategies to address declining audience engagement and implementing data-driven optimizations and marketing techniques, resulting in a 30% increase in website traffic and a 25% boost in lead generation within six months.
  • Situation: Previous company (or companies) faced declining audience engagement.
  • Task: Tasked with developing and executing a comprehensive content strategy to improve engagement and drive lead generation.
  • Action: Implemented data-driven optimizations and marketing techniques.
  • Result: Achieved a 30% increase in website traffic and a 25% boost in lead generation within six months.

Want to skip the legwork? Teal’s Resume Summary Generator can write you a tailored professional summary in a matter of seconds.

How to create a STAR format resume with AI 

Writing impressive resume bullets and achievements can be time-consuming and a little tedious. Fortunately, technology can streamline the process. 

How to write STAR method bullet points with ChatGPT

You can use generative AI like ChatGPT to craft your resume bullet points, provided you know how to prompt it effectively. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Find the job description and save it to your Teal Job Tracker with the free Chrome extension to surface hard skills, soft skills, and emphasis words from the posting.

Teal's resume keyword feature in Matching Mode
Teal helps job seekers find top job description keywords to use in their resumes

  1. Compare those to your own qualifications to narrow down the skills and keywords you most want to include.
  2. Enter this prompt into ChatGPT: Write a resume bullet for a [TITLE] position that describes impact and uses metrics. Include at least 2 of these keywords: [A, B, C, D, E, F]. [Copy/paste the top 5 hard and/or soft skills highlighted in Teal].

ChatGPT will automatically generate a bullet point for you. Even if you don’t use it in its exact form (it’s always best to tweak and customize AI-generated content), it’s a helpful starting point.

How to write STAR method bullet points with Teal

You can do all of the above—analyze the job description, identify important skills and keywords, and auto-generate bullet points—directly within Teal. Here’s how:

  1. Start your resume in Teal’s Resume Builder, whether you upload an existing resume, import your LinkedIn profile, or start from scratch.
  2. Attach a job description to your resume by navigating to the “Matching” tab and choosing a job from your Job Tracker or creating a new job.

Attach a job description in Teal
Attach a job description in Teal to automatically tailor your resume bullet points to match

  1. In your Work Experience section, click “add an achievement” and then “write with AI.”

Use Teal's AI to write bullet points for a resume
Use AI to craft effective resume bullet points in Teal using the job description keywords

  1. Teal will automatically generate three bullet point options you can edit and add to your resume.

Teal generates resume bullet point options using AI
Teal offers multiple bullet point options to use in your resume

  1. Click the “try again” button to prompt AI to generate new bullet points or click the “customize with AI” button to add more keywords or even write a custom prompt.

Prompt Teal with keywords
You can give Teal's AI more guidance with additional keywords

Use Teal to write your standout STAR method resume

A star resume is exactly what it sounds like: a resume that stands out from other candidates. And the STAR method is a surefire way to make that happen.

This framework keeps you focused on the details that matter most—the situation, task, action, and result—so you can demonstrate your impact, impress hiring managers, and get one step closer to your dream job. 

Ready to apply the STAR method and write a resume that lands interviews? Get started with Teal’s AI Resume Builder for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the STAR criteria for a resume?

The STAR criteria for a resume refers to the Situation, Task, Action, and Result method. This framework helps job seekers structure their resume bullet points to showcase their experiences and achievements effectively. It highlights the context, responsibilities, actions taken, and the outcomes achieved.

How do you write STAR achievements?

To write STAR achievements, describe the situation you faced, the task you were assigned, the actions you took, and the results you achieved. This method allows you to present your accomplishments effectively. For example, you might explain how you developed a new sales strategy that increased sales by 40% and exceeded quarterly targets by 15%.

What is the STAR method achievement statement?

A STAR method achievement statement is a structured way to present a professional achievement by detailing the Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method clearly communicates the context, your role, the steps you took, and the quantifiable outcomes. It is effective for both resumes and interviews to provide a comprehensive view of your accomplishments.

What is the STAR format for writing?

The STAR format for writing involves structuring information into four parts: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This format is useful for writing resume bullet points, professional summaries, and responding to behavioral interview questions. It ensures that your achievements and experiences are presented clearly and concisely, highlighting the impact of your work.

Can you use the STAR method for every position on a resume?

Yes, you can use the STAR method for every position on a resume. You can reorder the elements of STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for each achievement to keep your resume from becoming formulaic. This flexibility ensures your resume remains engaging and clearly communicates your impact in various roles.

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a freelance writer focused on the world of work. When she's not at her computer, you'll find her with her family—which includes two adorable sons and two rebellious rescue mutts.

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