Completing the Supporting Information Section on Job Apps

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Completing the Supporting Information Section on Job Apps

Post by nettyb »

Completing the Supporting Information Section on your Application Form

This section of the application form is the most important part of your application and if the section is not filled in adequately it may affect whether or not you are invited to attend an interview. Before completing this section, read through the Job Description and Person Specification and think carefully about why you are suitable for the post, relating your skills, knowledge and experience to the duties of the post as fully as possible, it may be helpful to list the skills the employer is looking for and the type of experiences that you have which demonstrate that you have developed those skills before sitting to write the form.

The person specification contains key skills that you need to complete the role effectively and in the supporting information section you need to provide an example of how you have demonstrated each skill in the past. The example you give should outline what you have done to demonstrate that skill, and state what you have learned in developing the skill and how this applies to the post for which you are applying, rather than just stating what you have done in your various jobs or experiences or what you would do if a particular situation arose in the future. The example may be from your current job or from an activity you have done in the past, including in the completion of your undergraduate degree, or any voluntary work you have completed.

For example, if one of the skills on the person specification is 'the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals' it will not be adequate to just state ‘I am an effective communicator’. You must provide an example of how you have demonstrated effective communication skills in the past so that the selectors can see that you will be able to do this in the role that you are applying for. One relevant example would be:
"My current post has required me to have effective communication skills, for example, I recently delivered a presentation about my undergraduate dissertation to my colleagues. In order to ensure I got the key message across, I spoke with several staff members beforehand to gauge how they might react to the content, and any questions they may have. I also prepared some notes and practised my presentation with a colleague. During the presentation I recapped on key points to clarify important things and invited questions at various stages. I made sure everyone had understood the key messages by asking staff to repeat back to me what they were. The feedback I received was excellent"
"In the completion of my current role as support worker I have worked with people with varying levels of intellectual disability. This has taught me the importance of monitoring my communications with people and checking for comprehension in order to facilitate understanding. It has also made me aware of reducing the level of 'jargon' and explaining psychological concepts in a way that the lay person can understand, this is a key skill for the completion of the job for which I am applying as communicating effectively with medical staff and clients is a large part of the role."
You should attempt to provide an example for each skill listed on the person specification, although you do need to be mindful not to make your application form too long-winded. One example per item on the person spec is all that is required but you may even be able to group two or more together e.g. build therapeutic relationships and communication skills can be demonstrated within one example.

When completing this section of the form, try to list your examples in the order they appear in the Person Specification, as this will help the short listers recognise each skill when they are short listing. Try to ensure that you mention all relevant experience and previous learning from your past jobs etc and relate them to the post for which you are applying, but try to keep it as concise as you can. Remember that jobs vary a lot, even if they have the same title, so you need to say what you have done in each role. The short listers cannot assume anything from a job title you may have had in the past.

It is often really helpful to read your application form out loud to a non-psychologist, to see if it flows well, makes sense, and is clearly written. They might also be able to help you remove anything that is not relevant, or simplify anything that sounds overly verbose. Finally, ensure that you proof-read everything several times and check the spelling and punctuation (especially if you are bragging about your excellent communication skills).

Good luck!

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Content checked by qualified Clinical Psychologist on 20 May 2016
Last modified on 20 May 2016
Last edited by nettyb on Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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