Many organisations in the charity and social purpose business sector ask candidates to submit a CV and supporting statement when applying for their live vacancies. These documents will be carefully reviewed and considered as part of the organisation’s shortlisting process.
A supporting statement is your opportunity to demonstrate to your potential employer that you are an excellent candidate for the job. It is really important to take the time to write a thorough statement that reflects you professionally – your unique skills, background, experience, qualifications (if applicable) values and motivations for applying for this opportunity.
Your supporting statement is essentially an extension of yourself as it reflects your personal professional brand, and it is likely to be the first impression the hiring manager and organisation receives of you.
You can see your supporting statement as being a complement to your CV, giving you the opportunity to expand on your experience by demonstrating clear examples that prove your expertise relative to the core competencies required for the role.
The time you invest in writing your statement is good preparation for an interview, as it offers you an opportunity to reflect on your professional experience, accomplishments and successes, and it focuses you to recall specific examples for a set of competencies relevant to your job which will be important for you to be able to demonstrate at any interview you attend in the future.
Tip: If you are active on the job market you may wish to write a template supporting statement. Although you will still need to tailor it for each role you apply for, saving a master copy is likely to save you some time down the line.
First and foremost, spend a little time reading the job description in detail. Reflect on the requirements and responsibilities outlined and how you can genuinely demonstrate that you and your expertise are the solution to the needs of the hiring organisation in this role.
When starting to write your supporting statement it is advised to start by introducing yourself and sharing a short person professional summary that impactfully and concisely outlines your experience. You need to be able to present yourself succinctly in your introductory statement to stand out from the crowd. Focus on the common points of your experience relative to the job and highlight your expertise.
The opening sentence of your introductory statement may include:
‘As a dynamic and innovative Communication Manager with over 6 years’ leadership experience, managing communications and marketing strategies and teams nationally and internationally across Europe and Asia, I feel confident in my ability to successfully deliver the requirements of this role for your organisation.’
Next, outline what motivates you personally to apply for this specific position, in this unique organisation. Your reasons will be real and genuine to you. Your motivation for applying for the role is likely to be aligned with your primary skills, expertise, attributes and career plans, all of which are critical to the success of the deliverables of the position.
Take a little time to research the company you are applying to. Consider what it is that interests you about them. Look at their employer careers page, values, company strategy, LinkedIn page and recent social media posts and news feeds. You may you be passionate about the mission and vision of the organisation, or feel aligned with the company values. You may admire the organisations successes, its plans for the future, its employer brand, its ethical environmental policies, or you may know someone who works at the organisation and has recommended them as an employer to you. Express your motivation for applying for the role, and state why you are attracted to the organisation.
Presenting your unique skills and experience…
Some organisations share a set of guidelines for writing the supporting statement or ask applicants to address certain specific criteria, competencies or values in their written document. If there aren’t any specific instructions shared by the employer, it is recommended to address each point listed in the essential requirement criteria headings from the job description and demonstrate your relevant experience for each one, along with addressing your alignment with the values of the organisation.
By evidencing the specific tasks you completed relative to each criteria, and sharing concrete examples and measurable achievements, you will demonstrate that you possess the experience and skills required for the role.
Closing your supporting statement…
How you close your supporting statement will be unique to you and your personal and professional style. The shortlisting panel will be taking the time to review your application in detail, so it is always advised to thank them for their time, and to reaffirm your enthusiasm and strength of candidacy.
If you are transitioning your career into a new sector or into a new role you may wish to consider ending your statement with a clear intention which communicates what exactly you’re looking for in your next position. 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.
Finally, it is recommended to have a friend proof-read your supporting statement to check for any spelling or grammar errors. Your recruitment consultant at Longmire Recruitment will also be happy to proof-read your statement for you.
Lynda Morrissey, Senior Recruitment Manager, Longmire Recruitment.
Lynda specialises in supporting social purpose businesses and not-for-profit organisations to recruit talented HR, IT and Digital professionals up to executive level, so that their organisations are resourced and empowered to continue to make important and unique contributions to individuals and communities in our society, and to the living natural world.
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