How to write a supporting statement (2023)

A supporting statement is the evidence a manager uses to short list you for the job you’re applying for. It is a chance for you to write about your skills and experiences and how you would be suited to the role. The statement is likely to be the first impression the manager and organisation have of you so it’s important you take the time to write it.

We can help you understand what managers are looking for, and more importantly, how to lay out your answers in a way that will make it clear to the manager which criteria you are writing about.

Prepare

Preparation is key and getting everything you need before you start to write your statement will make all the difference.

First draft your supporting statement in a word document. This will make it easier for you to make changes and send it to other people to read over it with a fresh pair of eyes. You can then copy and paste it into the application form. If you have received support to complete your statement, make sure you understand what you’ve written. You will be asked to expand on your supporting statement if you get an interview.

After you have finished writing your supporting statement, read it back carefully. Then read it for a second time, aloud. You might feel a bit silly but it’s easier to identify any mistakes when you read it out loud. It’s important to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, try to get someone else to read over it before submitting it. Once you're happy with what you've written, you can then copy and paste it into the application form. Things to remember:

  • Write in short paragraphs to avoid a wall of text. Choose a clear font such as Arial, to make sure that your statement is easy to read.
  • Lay your answers out in the same order as the criteria. This will make it easier for managers to find your answers.
  • Remember to save your work as you go along. The online application form ‘times out’ after 30 minutes.
  • There is a word/character limit. If you don’t have enough space, you can group your answers together. If a project you worked on shows different skills, group them into a single example and write about the project once, highlighting each of the qualities in the question.

Handy tip: Save or print a copy of your application form and the job profile, so that you can read over it in the future. Once the post closes online, you won’t be able to get access to your form again through your online account. You will however be able to get a copy by sending an e-mail to our recruitment team.

How to write a supporting statement (1)

Prepare

Preparation is key and getting everything you need before you start to write your statement will make all the difference.

First draft your supporting statement in a word document. This will make it easier for you to make changes and send it to other people to read over it with a fresh pair of eyes. You can then copy and paste it into the application form. If you have received support to complete your statement, make sure you understand what you’ve written. You will be asked to expand on your supporting statement if you get an interview.

After you have finished writing your supporting statement, read it back carefully. Then read it for a second time, aloud. You might feel a bit silly but it’s easier to identify any mistakes when you read it out loud. It’s important to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, try to get someone else to read over it before submitting it. Once you're happy with what you've written, you can then copy and paste it into the application form. Things to remember:

(Video) Supporting Statements | Brunel PDC

  • Write in short paragraphs to avoid a wall of text. Choose a clear font such as Arial, to make sure that your statement is easy to read.
  • Lay your answers out in the same order as the criteria. This will make it easier for managers to find your answers.
  • Remember to save your work as you go along. The online application form ‘times out’ after 30 minutes.
  • There is a word/character limit. If you don’t have enough space, you can group your answers together. If a project you worked on shows different skills, group them into a single example and write about the project once, highlighting each of the qualities in the question.

Handy tip: Save or print a copy of your application form and the job profile, so that you can read over it in the future. Once the post closes online, you won’t be able to get access to your form again through your online account. You will however be able to get a copy by sending an e-mail to our recruitment team.

Identifying your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you and you already have lots of them. You might pick them up through work, study or activities you do in your spare time. Skills can be developed at school, college or university. You can build them through extra-curricular activities, like clubs or teams you’re a part of.

If you’re able to recognise and talk about your skills, you’ll find it easier to work out what you want to do. When you’re applying for jobs, they’ll be the things that convince employers that you’re the right person for the job.

Handy tip: Look back over your work, studies or leisure activities and think about the tasks you completed in each. For example, if you’ve had a job where you’ve had to work to strict deadlines, you’ll probably have good time management skills. If you’ve been in a debating club, you’ll have developed your communication and persuasion skills.

Research

Researching a company is not only a great way to make sure you’re a good fit for them, but also that the organisation would be a good fit for you.

Why not take some time to look around our website? It’s good to show that you have researched our organisation. If you read about something that interests you, you can add this into your statement, for example: “I was impressed with your regeneration project…”.

We would also encourage you to take a look at our core values, they are very important to us. One of our values is working as one team, this is important as we can see that by working together and making strong connections across the whole organisation, we can make the best use of our resources by focusing on our customers and our communities.

Handy tip: Use your research, and include it in your answers.

How to write a supporting statement (2)

Identifying your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you and you already have lots of them. You might pick them up through work, study or activities you do in your spare time. Skills can be developed at school, college or university. You can build them through extra-curricular activities, like clubs or teams you’re a part of.

If you’re able to recognise and talk about your skills, you’ll find it easier to work out what you want to do. When you’re applying for jobs, they’ll be the things that convince employers that you’re the right person for the job.

Handy tip: Look back over your work, studies or leisure activities and think about the tasks you completed in each. For example, if you’ve had a job where you’ve had to work to strict deadlines, you’ll probably have good time management skills. If you’ve been in a debating club, you’ll have developed your communication and persuasion skills.

(Video) How to write a "Supporting Statement" for Job applications in the United Kingdom

Research

Researching a company is not only a great way to make sure you’re a good fit for them, but also that the organisation would be a good fit for you.

Why not take some time to look around our website? It’s good to show that you have researched our organisation. If you read about something that interests you, you can add this into your statement, for example: “I was impressed with your regeneration project…”.

We would also encourage you to take a look at our core values, they are very important to us. One of our values is working as one team, this is important as we can see that by working together and making strong connections across the whole organisation, we can make the best use of our resources by focusing on our customers and our communities.

Handy tip: Use your research, and include it in your answers.

Using the STAR model

When you are writing your supporting statement, you need to make sure there’s some structure to your answers. The STAR model is a great way to structure your examples.

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

It’s important to follow the layout of the essential criteria, making sure you don’t miss anything out. It also helps us as employers evaluate the skills, qualities and experiences you have that would help you fit with the job or company.

Here, we will show you how you could use the STAR model to answer the following example question:

Q: Can you give me an example of working as part of a team?

Situation: Describe the situation in which the event took place.

"Whilst in school, I did my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. As part of this I had to work as part of a team to get from one camp site to another".

Task: Describe the task you were asked to complete. If there was a particular problem or issue you were trying to solve, describe that here.

"I was in a group of 4 with my friends. We each had to carry different parts of the equipment we needed, e.g. tent, tent poles and cooking equipment. I feel I have good communication skills, so I made sure we each knew what each other was carrying, so that we didn't leave anything behind. I was nominated to be first in the group to read the map and use the compass to get us to the first check point which I was happy to do".

Action: Explain what action you took to complete the task or solve the problem: What you did, why you did it, how you did it and what skills you used.

"As a group, we worked well together. Once of the boys was struggling with the weight of his backpack so I suggested we all take some of it and put it in our bags, which made it easier for him to carry on".

Result: Explain the result of your actions. For example, if your actions resulted in completing a task, resolving a conflict, improving your company’s sales record, etc., explain this. Try to focus on how your actions resulted in a success.

"We reached our next camp site within the time allowed. I felt we worked well as a group and talked through anything we were unsure of along the way. My friend felt happy that he completed the walk as he didn't think he would manage to do so, but as a group we encouraged him to keep going, and by going a little slower and taking some of his equipment, we were able to get to the camp in good time".

(Video) PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE! (The #1 PERSONAL STATEMENT TEMPLATE for Job Applications & Interviews!)

Handy tip: If you are applying for a graduate role, we will ask you to use the STAR model to demonstrate your skills and how they link to our Strengths Framework when writing your supporting statement . Further information is available on our Graduate Programme page.

How to write a supporting statement (3)

Using the STAR model

When you are writing your supporting statement, you need to make sure there’s some structure to your answers. The STAR model is a great way to structure your examples.

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

It’s important to follow the layout of the essential criteria, making sure you don’t miss anything out. It also helps us as employers evaluate the skills, qualities and experiences you have that would help you fit with the job or company.

Here, we will show you how you could use the STAR model to answer the following example question:

Q: Can you give me an example of working as part of a team?

Situation: Describe the situation in which the event took place.

"Whilst in school, I did my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. As part of this I had to work as part of a team to get from one camp site to another".

Task: Describe the task you were asked to complete. If there was a particular problem or issue you were trying to solve, describe that here.

"I was in a group of 4 with my friends. We each had to carry different parts of the equipment we needed, e.g. tent, tent poles and cooking equipment. I feel I have good communication skills, so I made sure we each knew what each other was carrying, so that we didn't leave anything behind. I was nominated to be first in the group to read the map and use the compass to get us to the first check point which I was happy to do".

Action: Explain what action you took to complete the task or solve the problem: What you did, why you did it, how you did it and what skills you used.

"As a group, we worked well together. Once of the boys was struggling with the weight of his backpack so I suggested we all take some of it and put it in our bags, which made it easier for him to carry on".

Result: Explain the result of your actions. For example, if your actions resulted in completing a task, resolving a conflict, improving your company’s sales record, etc., explain this. Try to focus on how your actions resulted in a success.

"We reached our next camp site within the time allowed. I felt we worked well as a group and talked through anything we were unsure of along the way. My friend felt happy that he completed the walk as he didn't think he would manage to do so, but as a group we encouraged him to keep going, and by going a little slower and taking some of his equipment, we were able to get to the camp in good time".

Handy tip: If you are applying for a graduate role, we will ask you to use the STAR model to demonstrate your skills and how they link to our Strengths Framework when writing your supporting statement . Further information is available on our Graduate Programme page.

Put it into practice

Let’s start writing it down! Once you’ve mastered the research and preparation it’s all about putting it into practice and writing it down. Think of it like a set of cogs, if you miss one out, they won’t work together!

Use real-life examples:

These help to show a manager what you can do and explains why you’re ideal for the role. Instead of ‘I have strong leadership skills’, talk about a project you worked on or a process you implemented.

Honesty:

Always be honest in your application form about previous employment, experience and your role. You may get asked questions about your statement during an interview.

Be clear and concise with your answers:

Don’t make managers hunt for clues and piece together your story. Use the supporting statement to your advantage to show your skills and qualities.

If you don’t meet the essential criteria:

It can be tempting to not write about these and hope no-one notices, be positive by acknowledging them and use an example that gives the employer confidence that you can pick up new skills quickly.

Handy tip: Submit your application form on time! Check the advert to see if there’s a submission time specified. If it doesn’t mention a time, it will be 11:59pm on the date the application closes.

Good luck, and we hope to see you soon!

Back to 'How to apply'

(Video) Completing your application on trac job: Supporting information

How to write a supporting statement (4)

Put it into practice

Let’s start writing it down! Once you’ve mastered the research and preparation it’s all about putting it into practice and writing it down. Think of it like a set of cogs, if you miss one out, they won’t work together!

Use real-life examples:

These help to show a manager what you can do and explains why you’re ideal for the role. Instead of ‘I have strong leadership skills’, talk about a project you worked on or a process you implemented.

Honesty:

Always be honest in your application form about previous employment, experience and your role. You may get asked questions about your statement during an interview.

Be clear and concise with your answers:

Don’t make managers hunt for clues and piece together your story. Use the supporting statement to your advantage to show your skills and qualities.

If you don’t meet the essential criteria:

It can be tempting to not write about these and hope no-one notices, be positive by acknowledging them and use an example that gives the employer confidence that you can pick up new skills quickly.

(Video) VA Claims Personal Statement How to Draft and Importance!!!

Handy tip: Submit your application form on time! Check the advert to see if there’s a submission time specified. If it doesn’t mention a time, it will be 11:59pm on the date the application closes.

Good luck, and we hope to see you soon!

Back to 'How to apply'

FAQs

What is a supporting statement example? ›

For example: “I am now looking to apply the skills I earned throughout my career as a commercial marketing manager into a challenging career role with an organisation that has a clear social purpose mission and impact. ' Remember to add your name to the supporting statement, and to date it.

How long should my supporting statement be? ›

You want to be concise and to the point without writing pages of words. If there's no guidance aim for around 500 words.

How do I write a good NHS supporting statement? ›

You can include, among other things, details about:
  1. your duties and responsibilities;
  2. your skills, knowledge and/or experience which is relevant to the post;
  3. identify any employment gaps;
  4. voluntary work you have accomplished;
  5. research, publication and/or presentation experience.

How do I start my supporting statement? ›

The first paragraph should introduce you and give a brief summary of who you are and why you are best for the role, eg 'I am an award-winning fundraiser with strong corporate experience'. It is important to give a strong and positive impression of yourself right from the start.

How do you write a good support statement? ›

How to write a supporting statement
  1. Write in short paragraphs to avoid a wall of text. Choose a clear font such as Arial, to make sure that your statement is easy to read.
  2. Lay your answers out in the same order as the criteria. ...
  3. Remember to save your work as you go along. ...
  4. There is a word/character limit.

How do you end a supporting statement? ›

Here are three points to cover at the end of your supporting statement:
  1. Re-emphasise your suitability for the role. This doesn't need to be a long-winded account of how you match what the hiring manager is looking for. ...
  2. Highlight your key selling points.
10 Oct 2022

How do you write a 500 word supporting statement? ›

Tips on writing a 500-word personal statement essay
  1. Brainstorm themes or stories you want to focus on. ...
  2. It should be personal. ...
  3. Answer the prompt. ...
  4. Show don't tell. ...
  5. Just start writing.

How long are supporting statements UK? ›

How long should a supporting statement be? Some applications will provide a word count for you to meet. It is important you follow this instruction and do not go over it. If a wordcount is not provided, 1-2 pages of writing is recommended.

How do you write an exceptional personal statement? ›

10 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement
  1. Read the instructions carefully. ...
  2. Focus on yourself. ...
  3. Demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm. ...
  4. Start early. ...
  5. Explain any discrepancies in your application in your personal statement. ...
  6. Review good sentence and paragraph structure. ...
  7. Use the active voice.

How do you write a strong medical personal statement? ›

Follow these personal statement tips to help the admissions committee better understand you as a candidate.
  • Write, re-write, let it sit, and write again! ...
  • Stay focused. ...
  • Back off the cliches. ...
  • Find your unique angle. ...
  • Be interesting. ...
  • Show don't tell. ...
  • Embrace the 5-point essay format. ...
  • Good writing is simple writing.

How do you start a statement example? ›

Try to avoid cliches and the most obvious opening sentences so you stand out from the very first line.
  1. From a young age…
  2. For as long as I can remember…
  3. I am applying for this course because…
  4. I have always been interested in…
  5. Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…

What is a good opening sentence for a personal statement? ›

The TAB revealed the 10 most common personal statement opening lines: From a young age, I have (always) been [interested in/fascinated by]… For as long as I can remember, I have… I am applying for this course because…

What is a supporting statement in an essay? ›

The supporting sentences, also called the body of the paragraph, are used to support, explain, illustrate, or provide evidence for the idea expressed in the topic sentence.

How do you write an academic supporting statement? ›

The supporting statement must explain how you meet each requirement of the selection criteria for the post using examples of your skills and experience. This may include experience gained in employment, education, or during career breaks (such as time out to care for dependants).

How do you write a professional statement? ›

Do:
  1. Make sure your tone is polite, friendly and (most importantly) professional.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. ...
  3. Include relevant information, such as previous experience.
  4. Highlight your key skills.
  5. Make it clear what kind of role you are looking for – this will help highlight your suitability for the one you are applying for.

What is a strong closing statement? ›

Direct closing statement

Include an offer to answer any concerns or questions they have that might influence their decision. Example: "Thank you for meeting with me today. Based on our conversation, I am confident that my proven sales record and experience would make me a strong asset to your team.

Do I put my name on my personal statement? ›

In the absence of any guidelines provided by the graduate school, your heading should include the name of the document you are submitting (e.g., “Personal Statement”), the school and department for whom you are writing it (e.g., “Ohio University College of Education”), and your name.

Should you say thank you at the end of a personal statement? ›

Therefore, while it may seem polite and courteous to end by saying “I hope that I will be admitted to your university”, or “thank you for your consideration”, these sentences are too general and would not do justice to all the impressive aspects of your application you've mentioned in your personal statement.

How do you write a 250 word personal statement? ›

Keep It Brief: Essays are typically limited to 250–500 words or one typed page. Statements should be concise, clear and detailed. Focus each paragraph on a single idea. Use a thesaurus word variation and to avoid repetition but avoid vocabulary that you are unfamiliar with.

What makes a good personal statement? ›

Your work experience and future plans are important to include. You should share details of jobs, placements, work experience, or voluntary work, particularly if it's relevant to your course. Try to link any experience to skills or qualities that'll make you successful.

How do you write a 2 500 word essay? ›

An essay of 2500 words is approximately 10 pages double-spaced or 5 pages single-spaced. The most common format for all the major citation styles is 12-point Times New Roman, double spaced. This is about 250 words per page.

What words should you avoid in a personal statement? ›

Here are some words you should remove if they feature in your personal statement.
  • Passionate. Possibly the most overused word when it comes to personal statements. ...
  • Team player. You're a team player and can also work well individually? ...
  • Watching TV. ...
  • Extensive. ...
  • Also. ...
  • Jokes and puns. ...
  • Expert. ...
  • Overly long words.
17 Nov 2021

What should you not say in a personal statement? ›

The ten biggest mistakes when writing your personal statement
  • Telling a story. ...
  • Repeating information already contained in your application. ...
  • Spending too long discussing personal issues. ...
  • Making simple grammatical errors. ...
  • Failing to demonstrate capability of university-level study. ...
  • Using clichés.
15 Sept 2022

How do you sell yourself in a personal statement? ›

Start with why you're the perfect fit for a place on your course. Mention the most important aspects of your relevant skills and experience early. Prove the points you've introduced – it's here you'd talk about your current and previous studies, your skills, and your work experience.

Can you write a personal statement in 2 weeks? ›

Once you've gathered all of your content, you're ready to enter the final phase of writing your personal statement. You should aim to write the final draft of your personal statement around two weeks before you plan to submit it.

What skills can you bring to this role Example answer? ›

“I can bring positivity, experience, a creative approach to solving problems, and the ability to embrace change enthusiastically. I can bring drive, a passion for this industry, and the ability to always treat your clients and customers in a way that will ensure they become long-term advocates of the business.

How do you write a supporting statement for a council job? ›

describe your role and evidence the skills and abilities you used and the outcome. make sure your example is relevant and provides evidence of the skills and abilities we are looking for and are references in the job description. make your answer specific. describe your actions and your reasons for them.

How do you introduce yourself in a statement of purpose? ›

In the first paragraph, you should introduce yourself by briefly giving your background and stating your current career goal or objective in the thesis. Your introduction should be relevant to the specific program and its coursework you're applying to.

What is the max words for personal statement? ›

Personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

What is supporting personal statement? ›

A personal statement is a document written in support of your application to study at an educational institution. A supporting statement is a document written to apply for jobs using the person specification, to show an employer how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for that job.

What is the Best Supporting sentence? ›

When writing supporting sentences you should be giving examples, reasons, or descriptions to support your topic sentence. - There are usually 2 - 4 supporting sentences in a paragraph. - They should be arranged in a logical order. - They should NOT begin a new topic or introduce a new idea.

What are good closing sentences? ›

Concluding Sentence

Restate the big idea of the topic sentence using different words or a different order. Think about your message. What do you want your reader to know or understand and introduce that idea in one sentence. Summarize the big idea of the paragraph without repeating the exact same words.

How do you write a killer personal statement? ›

University Applications: How to Write a Killer Personal Statement
  1. Firstly- don't wait to get started! ...
  2. Make a plan BEFORE you start writing. ...
  3. Know what's expected. ...
  4. Perfect the format. ...
  5. Let your personality shine. ...
  6. Show real interest in the subject. ...
  7. Tell them why should they choose you. ...
  8. Get someone to proofread your writing.
14 Oct 2018

How do you write a strong personal statement? ›

10 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement
  1. Read the instructions carefully. ...
  2. Focus on yourself. ...
  3. Demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm. ...
  4. Start early. ...
  5. Explain any discrepancies in your application in your personal statement. ...
  6. Review good sentence and paragraph structure. ...
  7. Use the active voice.

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