Tag: Applying for jobs

  1. Crafting an Effective Supporting Statement for Job Applications

    In the realm of job applications, the significance of a well-crafted supporting statement cannot be overstated. Unlike traditional cover letters, some applications require a dedicated supporting statement to compliment your CV or Resume, where you are tasked with detailing the skills, experiences, and qualities that highlight your suitability for the role. This supporting statement holds considerable weight in the evaluation process, potentially serving as the deciding factor for progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process.

    Structuring your supporting statement is a crucial step in presenting a compelling application. Begin with a succinct and positive introduction, setting the tone for what follows. Align your statement with the person specification, adopting the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) outlining how your experience meets the criteria for the role. Unfamiliar with STAR? Don Georgevich explains the technique on his YouTube channel.

    For ease of review, consider incorporating headings for each point in the person specification. This facilitates a streamlined evaluation process for those tasked with shortlisting applications. The more specific and unique your examples, the clearer the mental image you convey to prospective employers. Crafting a vivid portrayal of yourself in the role enhances your chances of meeting with the employer’s expectations.

    Conclude your supporting statement with a brief but optimistic summary, leaving a positive impression on the reader.

    To enhance your supporting statement, adhere to these top tips:

    • Thoroughly research the job and person specifications to ensure your responses meet with the employer’s requirements. Find out as much as you can about any projects you would be working on to ensure your examples are relevant.
    • Substantiate each claim with concrete evidence, ensuring your supporting examples are both relevant and specific.
    • Take the time to select the most fitting examples that vividly illustrate the demanded skills and qualities.
    • Leverage the STAR method to structure your examples in a coherent and meaningful manner.
    • Draft your statement in a separate document, such as Microsoft Word, before transferring it to the online application form. This aids in review and editing.
    • Avoid assumptions—explicitly reference each essential skill to ensure it is acknowledged in the evaluation process.
    • Be mindful of word count or space limitations. Aim for conciseness, ideally around 500 words, to maintain focus and impact.

    Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

  2. Don’t Judge A Job By Its Title

    When looking for your next role it’s worth staying open minded when it comes to job title. Different companies have different titles for similar roles and unfortunately all too often potential candidates dismiss jobs simply because the title doesn’t match with their idea of what their next position should be called.

    It sounds obvious but it’s always worth checking the full role requirements and carrying out your own research on the company and key people within the business. Even if a job title sounds like a sideways move, it may in fact be a big step forward with increased responsibilities and better prospects for future development.

    A Manager in one organisation may have similar duties and salary to a Senior Manager or Assistant Director in another company – it all depends on many factors which might include company size and Human Resources policies. In fact, some organisations inflate titles to attract or retain employees. So don’t rule out roles based on title alone. The next career step for you in another company could have a different title to the one you expect.

    When considering a new role look beyond the title and consider what the post offers you:

    • Increased levels of responsibility and strategic input
    • The opportunity to work on larger or more complex defined projects
    •  The potential for future personal professional development and growth
    • The chance to work for an organisation which has values you share and goals you want to achieve
    • The ability to move your career in a new direction
    • A benefits package that will attract you

    It’s also essential to consider where the role sits in the organisation, who the direct line manager is and who the senior management team are. If you can find out where the role fits within in the organisation and about the key people in the business, it will help you to build a better picture of what the future might hold for the organisation.

  3. So tell me about yourself

    With an increase in employment levels and record numbers of people applying for jobs now is the perfect time to hone your interview skills.  In this, the first of our insight guides on interview tips, we’ll tell you how to answer the common question of ‘tell me about yourself’.

    Those fateful words come up in the majority of job interviews; they’re an opportunity for you to really get your personality across while showing you’re the right person for the job – so why do so many interviewees stumble at this question?

    Firstly, don’t panic when you hear these words. The interviewer isn’t looking for a way to trip you up, rather, this question is usually used to get the conversation going. It’s a chance for you to talk naturally without having to worry if you’re giving the right or wrong answer, and for the interviewer to jump in and delve deeper on relevant information.  This is your chance to make a great first impression – and one that leads to a job offer, so answering this question well can genuinely make or break your chances of success.

    Preparation is key

    Before the interview take the time to jot down a list of bullet points about yourself and your attributes. Think about your personality, and which of your experiences and skills (both in and outside of work) would benefit you in this job. Using bullets will help you to remember different key points that you can then expand on during the interview.  You’ll want to sound natural and talk spontaneously, rather than trying to memorise a script.  Follow our 3 stages below and make bullet points for each stage.

    Who you are

    Start with a succinct summary of your current role and an overview of your most relevant skills and experiences. Remember, your interviewer has read your CV so already knows your full employment history, they don’t need a longwinded account of your whole life.  Use this opportunity to grab their attention by summarising your key strengths in just a couple of minutes.

    Why you’re the right person for the job

    Next, briefly outline why you’re qualified for the job. Think about your key accomplishments that would suit this particular role, for example how long you have worked in the sector, particular experiences and achievements or successful projects you’ve been involved with. Be sure to tell them your accomplishments and competencies that are relevant for the role.

    Why you applied

    Wrap it up in a concise and confident way by letting the interviewer know how enthusiastic you are. Talk about why you’re there, eg because you’re looking for a new challenge and you want to step up your career. Ideally make it relevant for the job in hand and show you’ve researched the company.

    Once you’ve made the bullet points for each of the 3 sections above, practise speaking aloud at home until you have a pitch for yourself that sounds natural yet confident and reflects your personality.

  4. How to ask for feedback on your job application

    Woman holding hand up to ear to listen

    There’s no getting around the fact that rejection is tough in any aspect of your life. However, when it comes to job applications it’s important to use rejection as a learning opportunity that will set you up for future career success. Asking for feedback on your job application is the best place to start.

    When you receive a rejection letter or email don’t take it personally. You may be crushed, especially if you put your heart and soul into the application. But an emotional response will come across as unprofessional.

    Here are the things to do when asking for feedback on your job application:

    1. Reply in writing

    This will allow you to draft and then redraft your response to make it as measured and professional as it can be. It will also give the recruiter time to offer you considered feedback. A cold call could catch the recruiter unprepared and not in a position to give you the information that you need for future applications.

    2. Make it timely

    Don’t wait too long before getting in touch with the recruiter. They may have contact with lots of candidates and you want to pick their brain while you are still fresh in their memory.

    3. Ask for specific feedback

    ‘Can I have feedback’ is too broad a question. Ask whether there was anything you could improve in your written application, your interview technique or your skill set.

    4. Keep it upbeat

    Always thank the recruiter for their time and for considering you application. You may not feel on top of the world, but staying positive and polite is really important for two reasons:

    • there is always a chance the person who got the job doesn’t work out
    • there may be another suitable post at the company in the future.

    If your application was promising and you have continued to show interest in the company then there is a chance you could get a call for another interview.

    If you are looking for your next opportunity in the affordable housing sector then we can help. Ocean Edge is a specialist recruitment agency with offices in London and Southampton.

    Read more of our advice for candidates and get in touch with us to discuss our services.

  5. 5 things you must include in a supporting statement

    Man writing in note pad while sat at laptopA supporting statement is a golden opportunity to say why you are the ideal candidate for a role. You can also pack it with all the information recruiters need when deciding whether to take your application to the next stage. So what should you include in a supporting statement to tick all the right boxes?

    First, let’s be clear about what a supporting statement is. If you are thinking that it is similar to a covering letter you’d be right. However, in today’s job market you are more likely to be asked for a supporting statement as CVs and applications are often submitted online or by email rather than by post.

    A supporting statement can be added to the body of an email with your CV attached or copied and pasted into an online form. Either way, you need to make sure it meets some basic requirements.

    Essential tips for writing supporting statements

    It’s important that your supporting statement is tailored to the specific job and doesn’t just repeat what you have said in your well-written CV. Keep your paragraphs short and make sure the overall length is no more than one side of A4.

    Here’s the essential things to include in your supporting statement:

    1. An introduction

    Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and showcase your talent. Think about your career highlights and make sure they are mentioned high up.

    2. Your desire to work for them

    Use your supporting statement to explain exactly why you want to work for this particular organisation. What is it about them and this role that compelled you to apply?

    3. Your relevant skills

    Refer back to the requirements mentioned in the job advert or specification, and make sure you demonstrate how you match the skill set being sought. Give examples of your experience and the projects where you have excelled.

    4. Bullet points

    Make your supporting statement punchy by including bullet points to highlight key information. This will also make the page easier for recruiters to read and refer back to.

    5. Your name and contact details

    In case your supporting statement and CV get separated once printed make sure your basic details are on both documents.

    Help finding a new job

    If you are looking for new opportunities in the affordable housing sector then take a look at our services for candidates. Ocean Edge has nearly 20 years experience helping candidates find the perfect job.

    You might also find our blog posts on essential interview skills, job hunting etiquette and finding the perfect job opportunity helpful.

    To find out more about our recruitment consultancy services in London and Southampton get in contact: call 023 8000 1153 or email info@oceanedge.biz.