Your supporting statement
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 application.
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 requirements”.
- 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 stage.
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.
The "recruitment and selection" column on the role profile will indicate at what stage of the recruitment process, if any, you will be required to evidence these.
Example competency: “Focusing on customers”
Instead of writing “Throughout my work I have always ensured I put the customers’ needs first” you should use 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 are applying. Again, the "recruitment and selection" column on the role profile will indicate at what stage of the recruitment process, if any, you will be required to evidence these.
Example competency: “Knowledge and understanding of computerised database systems in order to input data, edit records and extract information (produce reports).”
Instead of writing “I have experience of working with databases, mainly Microsoft Access”, you should use 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 whom."
Before you finish:
- Tip: Think about the people reading this. Is your statement clear?
- Tip: Do you explain why you would be good at the job?