Writing a winning supporting statement in 3 steps

09/02/2021

writing pad and typewriterCompetency based application forms are an integral part of the recruitment process in both public and private sectors. If you are job searching right now, you may have noticed more companies require you to complete online application forms or provide a competency based supporting statement as an alternative to a CV.

This article guides you through 3 simple steps when putting together a supporting statement, ensuring you stand out from the competition.

What is a competency based application form/supporting statement?

Competency based application forms are designed to help you present relevant evidence so decision makers can evaluate how well you 'fit' the requirements of a particular role. You may be asked to provide a detailed supporting statement or cover letter that demonstrates how you meet the criteria of a person specification.  Implementing a competency based application process, enables companies to assess a candidate’s skillset in a fair way. They provide insight into working and leadership styles, how the applicant typically approaches problems, and illustrate strengths and weaknesses.

Competencies

Competencies are a mix of skills, knowledge and behaviours that enable you to execute your job successfully. Companies tend to define which competencies are necessary for success in their business so they will differ depending on the role and organisation. Typical competencies include decision-making, results orientation, problem solving, team leadership, commercial acumen.

Here are 3 steps to writing your supporting statement:

Step 1 - Research & Gather Information

Before you start writing your supporting statement, you need to be clear on what the employer wants. Gain information about the job role and analyse the Job Description and Person Specification. If the competencies are not clearly outlined, you will need to analyse the specification and draw out the key skills necessary to the role. Be aware, some jobs may have detailed competency frameworks as PDF supporting documents, usually when you scroll to the bottom of the advertisement. Ensure you have all the information you need before you start writing your supporting statement.

Ask yourself:

  • What will I be doing in the role?
  • What skills will I be using?
  • When have I used these skills before?
Step 2 - Be specific and provide evidence using STAR examples

Start your supporting statement by explaining who you are, what you do and why you are applying.

  • I am writing to apply for the role of [Job Title] as advertised on your company website. I’m currently in the role of [current job title] with a proven track record of [transferable skills] and 4 years’ experience in leading sales support teams.

Following your introduction, you will need to provide evidence around how your skills/knowledge/experience meet the requirements of the Job Description and Person Specification. Group together the key areas of the person specification and provide evidence for how you meet each competency. Use the STAR structure - Situation, Task, Action, Result to provide clear succinct examples so the hiring manager can predict how you will behave in the role. There is often a word limit attached to the answer.

Step 3 - Conclude with your interest in the role

Be specific and pick a few key reasons behind why you want the role, what is sparking interest for you? Are there particular projects, company news or industry changes you can refer to? Why is this role the right step for you? Concluding with your career aspirations and why you want the role will reinforce your interest and reaffirm why you are the best candidate for the role.

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.uk.com

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