Writing your supporting statement – FAQs

Read our tips on writing your supporting statement when applying for a role at Victim Support. If you have any further questions, please email the recruitment team.

Victim Support has a ‘behavioural competency framework’ which sets out the competence levels expected of those who work or volunteer with us. It explains the different levels of competence needed according to the level of the role.

The competencies describe the types of behaviours we expect anyone who works or volunteers with us to display.

We use our behavioural competency framework to help create our role descriptions. Each role description will have a list of behavioural competencies and the level of performance needed. You should read through the relevant levels of our behavioural competency framework to make sure you are clear on the level of competence you’d be expected to show, and to ensure you pitch your responses at the right level.

Each role description also contains a person specification, which sets out the essential requirements for the role.

In your personal statement you need to describe and show evidence of how you meet the behavioural competencies and essential requirements for the role. If you also meet the desirable requirements set out in the role description, you should describe and give evidence of how you meet these as well.

The role description sets out all the essential requirements of the role in the person specification. It will also show how these are tested. This could be through:

  • The application
  • Testing
  • At interview
  • Through performance
  • A combination of any of the above.

When drafting your answers to the essential requirements, make sure you keep in mind which are tested at the application stage and pitch your response with the right behavioural competence level.

Your supporting statement must describe and show evidence of how you meet the essential requirements for the role. If you meet any desirable requirements include evidence of this as well. But it must also be pitched to show that you meet the behavioural competencies. You should spend time thinking about how best to draft your supporting statement to make sure your evidence shows that you meet the essential requirements, and the behavioural competencies.

For each of the requirements, you need to provide ideally one (or at the most, two) specific, relevant example(s) of a particular situation. This helps tell us where you have demonstrated those behavioural competencies, skills, knowledge, abilities or experience.

Try to use examples as closely related as possible to the job you are applying for. Your examples should be work-based where possible, although you might find suitable examples from other areas of your life, particularly if you haven’t worked for a while or if this is your first job. This could be from volunteer roles, education or training, from clubs, networks or organisations that you are a member of.

Be specific when writing about what you have done. Try not to describe what you do or have done in general terms. Try to choose an actual event, project or achievement. These may include, for example, setting up a department or team, developing and implementing a policy, managing a particular change within the team, dealing with a difficult issue or complaint, or solving a day-to-day problem.

In each example you need to show clearly what your personal contribution was. You should avoid using ‘we’ and describe what you did.

You might find using the STAR technique useful for structuring your application. STAR stands for:

  • Situation (an event, project or challenge faced)
  • Task (your responsibilities and assignments for the situation)
  • Actions (what you did to relieve or rectify the situation)
  • Result (results of actions taken)

The STAR structure can help you to:

  • Clearly describe a situation or problem
  • Highlight the task you had to accomplish
  • Explain what actions you took to achieve the task
  • Show the result – what you achieved and/or what you learned.

Here’s an example of how STAR can be used:

Situation: During my time at university I undertook a six week placement working as a holiday rep in Spain.

Task: I was responsible for organising the evening entertainment. Normally I would hire a local band and provide a barbecue. On this particular occasion the band were taken ill, leaving 60 guests waiting to be entertained.

Action: As it was my responsibility to keep the guests entertained, I explained that there had been a change of plan and there would be a disco instead. I used my phone and the PA system to play music. I also invited the guests to play music from their own devices.

Result: The evening turned out to be a great success with more than half of guests saying how much they’d enjoyed the entertainment. This feedback was used to inform future events planning.

Remember that we are looking to see what behaviours, skills, knowledge, and experience you are evidencing in your answer, and also what impact or result you made. This means the ‘action’ section is probably the most important part. We will also be interested in knowing the result or outcome of what you did, so it’s worth keeping the situation and task relatively short. Use word allowances to focus on your actions and how the outcome was achieved.

  • Write your supporting statement in a Word document first. This means you can easily check the spelling and grammar, then paste it in to the online form.
  • Make sure your supporting statement is within the character limit and that none of it has been cut off by copying it from a Word document in to the online form.
  • Double check your statement against the role description and person specification to make sure you’ve shown how you meet all the essential criteria.
  • Make sure the examples and evidence you’ve used are as relevant as they can be to the role you are applying for. Even if it’s not the same sort of job or sector. Think about what the role is looking for and then think about how to tailor your example to best showcase your experience to match this.
  • Think about picking an example that shows an impact you made, perhaps in terms of results delivered or improvements made.
  • Remember that you bring something unique, so try and ensure this comes through in your application.

And finally, if you are shortlisted we’ll be looking for evidence at interview as well. You may find it useful to use STAR to present your responses, ensuring you get your best evidence across.

We wish you every success with your application!