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Andrew Arkley|February 19, 2021

How To Write A Supporting Statement For A Job Application

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Wondering how to write a supporting statement and just what makes one different from a cover letter?

The purpose of a supporting statement, like a cover letter, is to be a summary of your CV, an explanation of how your experience and skills apply to the role you are applying to, and why you want to apply to that particular role. 

Look at a supporting statement as another opportunity you have to share with your potential employer why you are everything they are looking for and more as an employee. 

Read on for our tips which will help you to write a stand-out supporting statement.

Supporting statement vs cover letter

As previously stated, supporting statements are extremely similar to cover letters, so let’s discuss a supporting statement versus a cover letter and why the distinction is important. 

Both cover letters and supporting statements explain to your potential employer why you are applying to a role and what skills, knowledge, and experience you have that will help you find success in the role. 

The main difference is that a cover letter is usually a separate document that is sent with your CV while a supporting statement is included in the application form and answers a statement like “please explain why you are perfect for this role”. 

How to write a supporting statement

A supporting statement needs to explain why you are the perfect for the role you are applying for by illustrating how your past experiences, skills and achievements provide evidence you’ll excel in the role.

You need to write a supporting statement that speaks directly to the employer’s wants and needs and here are some tips on how to write a supporting statement so it does just that. 

The first step, and perhaps the most important step, is figuring out what the employer wants from the supporting statement. 

Some employers will ask you to explain why you are suitable for the role while others may ask you why you are applying and why you want to be hired. 

The second step is to figure out the best way to structure the supporting statement so that you show how you have the key skills highlighted in the job description.

The third step is to decide how you want to describe the skills you possess. 

This might be done by highlighting a project that allowed you to exercise a specific skill or a presentation that allowed you to put multiple skills into practice.

How long should a supporting statement be?

Finding a balance for the length of your supporting statement is important so that you take advantage of the opportunity to promote yourself, but don’t waffle.

The easiest way to know how long you should make your supporting statement is if the employer specifies a character or word limit.

However, if there is no word limit, a good supporting statement length is no more than two pages, with 1.5 pages being a good target. 

This length allows you to share all your competencies in a concise and focused way that will ensure that employers will keep their attention on your supporting statement.

Answer the question

When you are writing a supporting statement, especially when it is a section on the job application form, you need to make sure that you are expressly answering what the employer is asking.

As previously stated, sometimes applications will ask questions like ‘what skills do you have that make you the perfect match for this role?’, but others may ask why you want the role or why you’re suitable for the role.

As such, you’ll need to write a custom supporting statement for each job you apply for, making sure your response is tailored to the question at hand and the individual job description.

Making a custom supporting statement also shows that you took the time to research the company you are applying for and shows just how interested you really are in the role. 

How to write a supporting statement for a job application: a summary

Essentially, to write a strong supporting statement, you should know what makes you the best applicant for the job, and convey that to the employer.

A custom supporting statement directly answering the question set by the employer is the perfect way to grab their attention and help you get your dream job. 

At PurpleCV, we understand how important it is to stand out and we can help you create the perfect supporting statement that will impress any potential employer.

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