Your supporting statement
Last updated: 10/02/2014
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Your supporting statement should explain how you believe your
experience, skills and personal qualities could make you suitable
for the job. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and present
your experience in the best light.
Tip: We recommend that you draft your supporting statement in a
word processing application (such as Microsoft Word or
Notebook). This will allow you to save what you have done and
complete a spell check before copying and pasting in to your
The STAR approach
A helpful approach to completing your supporting statement (and
preparing yourself for an interview) is to use the
STAR model, which helps you build your examples in
a structured way.
- Situation - Set the scene. Describe
the situation or problem.
- Task - Outline the task required to
solve the issue or problem.
- Action - Describe what
you actually did. How and when you did it, the
rationale for the choices you took and the key things that you did
to overcome the issue or problem.
- Result - What the outcome was and
the difference it made.
The Role Profile
Adverts on our website should contain a link to a document
called the Role Profile. The first few sections of this document
explain the role and what you are expected to do. To complete your
supporting statement, you need to refer to the “competencies and
other requirements” section. This explains the type of person we
are looking for; each requirement is called a competency.
There are three sections: “behavioural competencies”,
“functional competencies” and “qualifications, training and other
- Tip: Read this first and think about how you meet the criteria
before starting to write.
How do we decide who to interview?
The “competencies and other requirements” table shows at which
stage of the recruitment and selection process each competency is
assessed, ie application, interview and/or assessment (normally a
written or practical exercise).
The shortlisting panel will score how well you have demonstrated
that you meet the competencies assessed at the application
What should I write?
You need to provide examples of situations that you have
experienced, either within work or in your personal life, that
demonstrate what is asked for. You must provide at least one
example for each competency.
- Tip: We advise that you always use the STAR approach when
completing an application for a role profile.
The behavioural competencies describe what we want our employees
to demonstrate when performing the role. These form part of our
employees’ performance management and development system, so we do
not always need to see evidence of how you meet behavioural
competencies during the selection process (which will be shown by a
blank “recruitment and selection” column).
Example competency: “Focusing on customers”
An applicant might write: “Throughout my work I have always
ensured I put the customers’ needs first”.
However, the following provides an example using the
STAR approach: “In my current role I receive
queries by telephone from customers regarding their invoices. I
received a call from a customer who was angry that she had been
charged twice for an item. I listened patiently until she had
explained everything that she felt was important, before asking
questions to obtain the information I needed. I calmly explained
that I would investigate this and get back to her ASAP.
Unfortunately, I found this could not be resolved easily and needed
to be escalated. As I realised it would take 2-3 days for our
escalation team to investigate, I phoned her and explained why I
was escalating the case and who she could contact if she had any
queries in the meantime. I asked her if there was anything else I
could help with. The customer seemed pleased with my efforts
thanked me for getting back to her so quickly.”
Functional competencies are specific to the role for which you
Example competency: “Knowledge and understanding of
computerised database systems in order to input data, edit records
and extract information (produce reports).”
An applicant might write: “I have experience of working with
databases, mainly Microsoft Access”.
The following uses the STAR approach: In my previous role as
Administrative Assistant, I used Microsoft Access on a daily basis
to manage our pool cars. I created new records when we had a new
employee/car, edited information such as the car MOT due date and
‘booked out’ the car to an employee when requested. I then produced
monthly management reports on how many cars had been booked and by
Before you finish:
- Tip: Think about the person reading this. Is your statement
- Tip: Do you explain why you would be good at the job?