Good resume style dictates that you are clear about your contributions to a project. The advise is to use action verbs, to specifically describe what your contribution was, and what the outcome was.
While I have participated in academia on many deliverables and projects that have resulted in conference papers, the nature of academic work is not as task-based as in many industry positions. What I am asking is, How can I write effective STAR bullet points for highly collaborative projects in which everyone does a little bit of everything? (STAR is a common resume-writing tip that says Situation, Task, Action, Result).
In my particular situation, a project involves the following steps:
- Designing up experiments
- Running the experiments
- Conducting analysis
- Building analysis tools
- Interpreting and writing up results
However, no single person was responsible for these duties. I helped design the experiment and create some of the materials, but I didn't create all of them. I helped conduct analysis by both writing some Ruby scripts and simply pouring over data manually, but I didn't do it all myself - we passed it around. I made interpretations and inferences of what this data meant and wrote it up in papers, but it wasn't just me. It was me and my team. I didn't write just one section, I touched them all. So did everyone else. I wasn't assigned a task of, "Do this".
Thus, to try to speak of this in a resume ends up sounding weak. I can't say,
- Wrote conference paper describing results that was accepted to ACM Conf. on Human Factors in Computing
because it wasn't just me. I can't say,
- Designed experimental lab study in a cross-functional team to investigate how an intelligent tutoring system helped end users learn, which led to a publication to the ACM Conf. on Human Factors in Computing
because it wasn't just me. The "A for Action" in STAR ends up appearing weak.
Though I do have situations in which I was solely responsible for ("Formatted and delivered the final finishing touches on a conference paper under a tight deadline"), I feel that I do not have space for those kinds of bullets and instead feel it is more strategic to focus on entire projects instead ("Co-designed three qualitative and quantitative studies and drew insights from data using statistical and visual techniques...")
While I've provided a specific example here, I hope that my particular situation is not too localized and that others may generalize from it.
Again, How can I write effective STAR bullet points for highly collaborative projects in which everyone does a little bit of everything?