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Civil service competencies- specific examples?

(14 Posts)
TuftedLadyGrotto Wed 31-Jan-18 15:47:26

I'm applying for a job and the application form is driving me a bit mad!

How specific do the competencies need to be? As in a very specific incident with a client in my job, or more general about types of incidents that I deal with in my job?

Because I've done it as a specific incident and it is so hard to cover the whole competency in 250 words like that!

OP’s posts: |
squishysquirmy Wed 31-Jan-18 20:47:05

Look up the STAR format and try to follow that. Be specific, but if you have the space to do so I would write a general sentence first before zooming into a specific example. Check this: for more detail of what the competencies mean for the level you will be applying for.

I would give more help, but I am supposed to be finishing off an application of my own at the moment! grin

squishysquirmy Wed 31-Jan-18 20:47:23

myrtleWilson Wed 31-Jan-18 20:48:21

oh I feel your pain - the 250 word limit is a killer! But I agree with Squishy....

LadyLapsang Wed 31-Jan-18 21:26:02

Specific & just stick to one situation per competency. Once you've done a first draft, edit down to the word limit. I do check the word count on any I'm assessing and cut off at 250 to be fair to the other candidates (also a test of whether people can follow instructions).That means people who exceed the word limit will lose out as often they have not reached the outcome of the scenario.

TheNoseyProject Wed 31-Jan-18 21:30:35

Specific. If you can’t do it in 250 you’re being too board. 1 sentence context. Make it clear why is was tricky. Say what you actually did. What was the outcome.

maybaby17 Wed 31-Jan-18 21:34:32

Try using bullet points

chocolatecheesecake Wed 31-Jan-18 21:43:19

Make sure you give enough context to explain why your example is a good one. A lot of people make the mistake of using the word count to give a blow by blow description of what you did. I met with x, then I wrote an email to y, etc etc. Use the words instead to explain context, summarise what you did, and explain the impact eg "x problem and why tricky. I spoke to key stakeholders and did x analysis to assess options for resolution and associated risks etc. This highlighted x as a key factor, and meant that i took x action instead of the more usual y, with abc positive outcomes (quantified if possible, comparative if not to contextualise) as a result" good luck!

Coughingchildren5 Wed 31-Jan-18 21:45:36

Make sure you can tick off each of the behaviours listed for the competency.

TheNoseyProject Wed 31-Jan-18 21:47:38

Specific. If you can’t do it in 250 you’re being too board. 1 sentence context. Make it clear why is was tricky. Say what you actually did. What was the outcome.

AnneElliott Wed 31-Jan-18 21:49:46

Agree that the example needs to be specific - it shouldn't read like a general description of your job.

Make sure you say why the task was challenging/complex and make sure you have a sentence summing up the result.

TuftedLadyGrotto Wed 31-Jan-18 21:52:36

@chocolatecheesecake thanks, that is exactly what I had done! I'll go back a redraft that one.

It's so hard to get my head round compared to other applications.

OP’s posts: |
TuftedLadyGrotto Wed 31-Jan-18 21:57:00

I also found my brain went completely blank and I couldn't remember anything I've done. Not helpful!

OP’s posts: |
WeeM Wed 31-Jan-18 22:03:33

Yes definitely specific, if it’s not and you make it through the sift they will ask you to be specific. You can start by giving a couple of sentences outlining the background, then bullet point what you actually did and how this meets the points within the competency description. Tick them off once you’ve mentioned them. Then a couple of sentences to round up the conclusion, how it was successful. You don’t necessarily have to tick off all the points but the more you meet the higher you will score.

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