Story? What Story?!?

Projects? Skills? Competencies? Those you have. 

But, let's be real! If you're a student in high school or college or if you've recently graduated you might experience a sudden attack of "brain freeze" when asked to share your life story within the posts of your eFolio site. That's honest. Your story is just beginning and life is happening in the now!

Click "pause" and take a deep breath while we take a step back to explore a more realistic path. Let's do this "eFolio thing" better and use it to represent who you are becoming based on what you have been accomplishing. 

In our most recent post you were introduced to the steps of content chunking through a typical "evidence of skills" example. Hopefully you've taken time to document a few of your competencies or projects using the 4-part format as presented.

Why might that be valuable to you? The short answer relates to promoting your skill set.

If you were to do a Google search today for employment skills you would find several recent articles discussing "job requirements" and "soft skills" (often compared as hard vs. soft skills). And, in most you would discover a count of 10-15 skills that employers are looking for.

What might surprise you is that very few of those skill lists identify "using computer software" or "preparing a cost analysis report" or "completing a successful transplant procedure." Examples of what does not appear on such lists are endless.

In fact, across employment options, careers in criminal justice, information technology, customer service, hospitality industry, medicine, retail, engineering, physical therapy, accounting, business analytics, sales and social work often list very similar (if not the same) employee skills as being the  "most sought-after" in each job posting. 
image shows road sign with two directional options: Hard Skills or Soft Skills
Soft skills are interpersonal skills and attributes needed to succeed in today's workplace. These are in great demand. 
  1. Acting as a team player
  2. Flexibility
  3. Effective communication
  4. Problem-solving and resourcefulness
  5. Accepting feedback
  6. Confidence
  7. Creative thinking
The Top 7 Soft Skills list above comes from Mike Steinerd, Director of Recruiting at

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets and quite easy to measure. 

According to Allison Doyle's post for The Balance in 2017, "While certain hard skills are necessary for any position, employers increasingly look for job applicants with particular soft skills. This is because, while it is easy for an employer to train a new employee in a particular hard skill (such as how to use a certain computer program), it is much more difficult to train an employee in a soft skill (such as patience)."
Opportunities for you to develop your skills will appear in class projects, internship settings, leadership positions or other activities you've experienced. Instructors often align their assignments and capstone projects to specific skill competencies -- check your course syllabus. 

The challenge is to demonstrate your competencies with evidence when asked questions such as those listed below:
  • Describe a time when you successfully worked as part of a team.
  • Tell us about where you have analyzed a large amount of complex data and how you achieved this.
  • Share an example of when you demonstrated excellent time management skills.
  • Most divisions in our company are looking for problem-solvers. How do you solve problems?
myeFolio is ideally suited for organizing  and showcasing evidence of your skills. From myeFolio, these can be easily integrated with your resume, letter of application, interview or other communications. 

Take time to watch a short video clip from Swinburne Technology. In it they explain the STAR[R] technique, a standard model endorsed by career centers, interview mentors and corporate hiring teams when it comes to covering each element you should be prepared to share when asked about your competency. 
Compare the "content chunking" process elements (left column) from our recent post to the STAR[R] technique elements (right column). After you identify the competency or skill you wish to highlight, the chart below shows how well the two processes align:

Project Context
My Process

Note: The second "R" (for reflection) may not be useful in every situation. However, it is helpful to address it while it's fresh in your memory and, build into it with future insights. It serves to add a powerful dimension to your content. 
shows the starr process

To show how easy it is, we'll adopt this technique as we help you create your “S.T.A.R.[R] Stories” using the "SKILL" content form in myeFolio. Click the link below to open a step-by-step guide. 

More models of STAR[R]-style responses can be found online but for now, get started by capturing your "S.T.A.R. stories" with a focus on the following:
  • be prepared for future interview questions by recording these as they occur 
  • be relevant as you align your responses to each selected skill 
  • be transparent by providing examples even when results didn't turn out as expected 
  • be specific by adding the details of what YOU did (not the actions of the team) 
  • be careful not to embellish or omit parts of your story  
  • be authentic by stating quantifiable results when possible 
In the next Spotlight posting, you'll learn how to configure your competency-relevant links as we completely flip the eFolio process! You won't want to miss it. 

If you have questions, remember to contact our Support Team online.