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Civil Service job application - personal statement vs skills and experience(7 Posts)
Hi, I'm trying to apply for a CS job and although there is a lot of helpful advice on this site I haven't been able to find an answer to this question - I'd be really grateful if anyone who knows about CS recruitment could give me a steer!
The job is an HEO/SEO policy position. The application form consists of one page with a box for "Employment History", which I assume contains my CV, and a second box called "Skills and Experience". Then there is a personal statement of 750 words, which the job ad says should explain "why you are interested in the role and how your skills and experience would help you to succeed in the role, with reference to the person specification." The person spec in the candidate pack contains 4 behaviours, but these are not the same as the 4 behaviours listed on the actual job advert (which are 4 of the official CS ones).
I am confused about how to divide up my application across these categories. Should the Employment History literally just be dates and places worked, with all the actual info about achievements/experience in the "Skills and Experience" section? Or should it cover behaviours instead, with my actual skills and experience in the personal statement as per the job ad? The ad makes the statement sound like a standard cover letter, but am worried I won't be able to do justice to my full skills/experience if tailored rigorously to the job spec, especially if I am supposed to get the behaviours in somewhere...
Your employment history is like your CV - so you will list your employment history along with a brief summary of your responsibilities.
The statement is a “statement of suitability” - take the person spec and evidence point by point how you meet all those things.
Re the behaviours I’d need to see the job ad to clarify that one - I work in the civil service and often help people with applications (successfully!) - happy to help if you want to PM (or post) civil service jobs reference no.
Hiya I really need some advice for a HEO role, any chance I can send you the CS job spec and my personal statement?
Hi sorry I really needed help, are you guys still around?
I just found this thread as I'm looking for the answer to exactly the same question. What do I put in "skills and experience" in addition to Employment History (CV) and Personal Statement (answering how I fit role requirements)?
Do I need to try to match my experience to the required behaviours? Or should that be covered in the statement? It really isn't clear!
@Isleepinahedgefund @Malvoglia - do you have any insights?
I hate it when recruiters don’t make this clear. I’d definitely email/phone the contact on the ad, even if it’s not a named person (which is common in big campaigns or for brexit/covid roles). As a general rule you should go by what the ad says you’ll be assessed on, so if it says you’ll be assessed on X behaviours in your application then you must include these explicitly in the personal statement/skills section.
My sister is an SEO for the CS and has sat on interview panels and she always advises –that you use the employment history and skills section to highlight how your previous experience is relevant to the job in terms of skills and competencies. Basically don’t put anything in that isn’t relevant and will not help you in getting the job focus on being conscience – the personal reviewing the app and at interview don’t care at all if its not relevant.
For personal statement she says using the STAR method is best and again ensured that all points made and explanation highlight relevance to the role. Make sure you have some sort of point at the end that highlights how all the above points in the statement highlight the competencies. E.g (communicating and influencing) therefore as I was able to use my communication skills to positively influence the outcome we were able to achieve xxx result.
Hope this helps