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Civil Service success profiles

(50 Posts)
Isleepinahedgefund Wed 31-Oct-18 12:25:35

Is anyone familiar with these? My department hasn't started using them yet and I'm applying to one that does, so we have no guidance aside from the Civil Service Learning gumph.

I need some guidance as to how to write the statement they want - do I need to include examples to quantify what I say about myself, or do I just do a blurb? It's limited to 750 words so I can't put too much in.

Eg do I just say
In my current role I often have to work tight deadlines in with my current workload when a defendant provides new information whilst a trial is in progress",

or do I also need to include an example of when this has happened and add something like

"most recently a defendant produced a large volume of financial data two weeks prior to the trial, and indicated that supported his defence. I was required to analyse the data and write a further report to court within a week etc i did it like this and it was a roaring success"?

Any advice gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Planningtheescape Tue 16-Apr-19 22:10:06

I’m also trying and failing to complete an application using the new success profiles confused just wondering if you had a response to your question and how you went about things? Many thanks in advance x

Isleepinahedgefund Thu 18-Apr-19 20:04:28

I winged it in the end, success profiles was so new that no one knew anything about it, my old department hadn’t changed over at that point.

I got the job so I must have done something right! I’ve since helped a few people get through the application sifts so if you still need any help let me know.

OP’s posts: |
thisusernameun Sat 27-Apr-19 08:42:29

Hello - I am applying for a job with the civil service using the success profile - I have never even applied to the CS, so this is all really new. Any tips?

Isleepinahedgefund Sat 27-Apr-19 11:55:02

What does the application require you do you?

OP’s posts: |
thisusernameun Sat 27-Apr-19 14:51:56

Complete a section on my skills and then a personal profile (up to 1000 words) on the 3 success Profile criteria

Isleepinahedgefund Sat 27-Apr-19 17:54:59

Do the skills section as bullet points, using the job spec/criteria as a guide.

For the personal statement, make sure to only enter 1000 words - the form allows for 1250 but they don't assess anything over the given word limit.

You'll need to describe how you have demonstrated the relevant behaviours (listed in job ad) - so not "I am an organised person" but "I organise myself by making sure I allow time for each task" etc etc. Use the STAR method and think of one solid example for each behaviour. For reference, when they ask for each behaviour statement separately, the word limit is usually 250 per behaviour, so break up the 1000 words equally.

Refer to the Civil Service Success Profiles behaviours dictionary to see what sort of actions demonstrate the behaviour for the level of job you're applying for. Here's the link:

OP’s posts: |
thisusernameun Sun 28-Apr-19 07:13:19

Thanks... This is really useful. The difference between the skills and personal profile makes sense now

Yemisi28 Tue 30-Apr-19 23:54:35

@isleepinahedgefund, congratulations on getting the job. I am struggling with completing success profile application and will really need your assistance

Isleepinahedgefund Wed 01-May-19 17:24:28

Hi, What do you need help with?

OP’s posts: |
ThePerturbedPenguin Wed 01-May-19 17:27:23

This is really helpful, thank you!

Yemisi28 Wed 01-May-19 17:58:51

Thanks for your response. My challenge is being able to write the success behavour differently from competency writing

Isleepinahedgefund Wed 01-May-19 20:36:37

Have you looked at the behaviours dictionary?

They are similar to competencies, but less prescriptive. If you refer to the dictionary and use that as a guide it’s easier to write. They give good examples of behaviours that fit the “behaviour” for each grade. Make sure you look at the grade you’re applying for if it’s different to grade you are now.

You don’t necessarily need to write it differently from competencies, but you need to tailor your example to the new criteria. I found it was easier as behaviours are less prescriptive than competencies.

OP’s posts: |
melaniechi2 Thu 26-Sep-19 12:47:20

Congratulations on the new role, Isleepinahedgefund! I'm currently applying for two positions under the Civil Service website. I'm afraid I need a little help/advise with writing a personal statement (maximum words is not more than 500 words). I've drafted the statements for describing skills and experience relevant to each of the stated behaviours, but currently stuck with personal statement.

Wondered if you've got any good examples/tips, or help. I was thinking of writing my opening statement by saying;

A X graduate with a PhD degree from the University of X, looking to secure a X position to use and further develop my research skills and knowledge in a practical and fast-paced environment. My career goal is to assume a role which allows me to take responsibility for the analysis and interpretation of scientific works for a well-respected organisation xxxxxx.

It would be helpful if anyone could help and comments writing on a good personal statement. Thank you.

Isleepinahedgefund Thu 26-Sep-19 19:41:20

Hi. Use the personal statement to show how you meet the essential/desirable skills criteria in the job advert.

The behaviours statements are for evidencing that you can demonstrate that behaviour. The personal statement is to show how your suitability for the role.

Check the job ad for any instructions eg one I saw said "what will you bring to x role?" And I've also seen "show how you meet the essential criteria".

CS is all about evidence. So whilst it's lovely that you have a PhD, unless it's subject specific and they required it (eg must have a science degree) it's not going to get you the job. It's about showing how your experience meets the criteria. For instance if it says "must be a self starter comfortable working autonomously" you could say "whilst studying for my PhD in xx subject I successfully worked to set deadlines on my own initiative". So you showed how you met the criteria AND dropped in your PhD.

I always start a personal statement either by answering the question "you should give me this job because...." or "I want this job because..." (I don't write that in the statement but it helps focus the mind!"

Go through the essential criteria and pinpoint the key phrases to pick out and inject into your statement - eg if it says "autonomously", make sure you use that phrase rather than "on my own without supervision".

OP’s posts: |
Hussain322 Wed 16-Oct-19 19:32:35


I know this is an old post, but I'm currently applying for the Executive Officer role with the DWP. I was wondering if you could help me with the online competency for Managing a Quality Service? I just need someone to look at my answer and provide some feedback.

Isleepinahedgefund Thu 17-Oct-19 13:18:19

Hi, happy to have a look if you want to PM it to me!

OP’s posts: |
JayeJ Mon 21-Oct-19 02:50:04

Hi i’m also applying for the EO post and am struggling with the behaviours. They want Making Effective Decisions and Managing a Quality Service. Please give me pointers on what I should write. I’m struggling to make my current position as a security guard applicable. Any pointers would be much appreciated. Thanks so much

Isleepinahedgefund Mon 21-Oct-19 09:09:16

Hi @JayeJ

Use the STAR technique to frame your answers (situation, task, action, result). Be brief and concise for S,T and R and concentrate most of your 250 words on A.

Don't limit yourself to examples from your current employment, you can use examples from other job/ or other parts of your life.

For making effective decisions choose a decision that you had to make on your own. I don't know the ins and outs if being a security guard but can you think of a time where maybe you had to decide how to deal with a challenging security incident? The describe how you made the decision as to what you did. Be clear "I needed to decide..."

For managing a quality service - answer the question what service was I providing and how did I ensure it was top quality? For security, it seems obvious to me that your service is providing security. For the quality bit, has there been a time when you have improved processes? Maybe you noticed that the visitor sign in system wasn't that secure and made/implemented suggestions as to how it could be better?

Always happy to give you feedback on examples when you've had a go at writing them.

OP’s posts: |
JayeJ Mon 21-Oct-19 17:30:52

Thankyou so much for the speedy reply. This has helped a lot 😊

JayeJ Mon 21-Oct-19 19:11:30

@Isleepinahedgefund Ive just pm'd you

mdimitrowa Wed 30-Oct-19 21:09:49

Hello there, I'm currently trying to complete an application for the NCA and I'm getting very confused with the Technical criteria. I am used to writing competencies and the STAR techniques, however, this application asks three technical questions and advises you use the star technique which totally confuses me as the questions are "Good knowledge of relevant legislation"... do I need to give an example/situation where I demonstrated good knowledge of this wthin the law enforcement and then write it up as if it's a competency??

I'd appreciate any help and thanks so much in advance!!

advicegratefullyaccepted Sat 01-Feb-20 14:25:39

Hi there! This is an old thread but I'm desperate for advice so here goes... I'm also filling in an application for the civil service using success profiles. There's 4 sections, job history (where I've added history together with brief bullet points of the role/responsibilities, education (self-explanatory), skills and experience, and then personal statement (500 words max).

So, thanks to the stellar advice above I now understand what is wanted in the personal statement, but I'm really struggling with the skills and experience bit and how to lay it out! The job is assessed against 4 behaviours - so should I use these as headers and then put bullet pointed lists below giving examples of the ways my skills/experience demonstrates each? And how should it be worded - i.e. for "Communicating and Influencing" would a bullet point saying "Extensive experience of presenting at conferences both in the UK and internationally to a variety of audiences including NGOs, the technology sector, academia and the financial industry" be sufficient or are specific examples required i.e. "Presented to an audience of 800 delegates at the ANOther Conference in London on the subject of XX"

As per username - advice gratefully accepted! I've not applied to the CS before so am a little bamboozled!

Isleepinahedgefund Sat 01-Feb-20 15:36:27

For your job history, put key achievements rather than just listing responsibilities.

For skills & experience I wouldn't put in the headings but you could structure it as you suggest. Better to have a "key skills" section and "experience" section. Highlight any skills you have that are asked for in the job ad, and concentrate on your most relevant experience. If it is not obvious how your experience is relevant, draw the comparison for them - make it as easy as possible for the person sifting.

Most recruitment exercises are sifted just on the personal statement (ie that's the only bit scored) so bear that in mind when you're drafting it. Think of it as a "statement of suitability for the role".

Bear in mind that external CS vacancies often get high numbers of applications. If it's a bulk recruitment (several posts) they will obviously interview a lot more people, but if it's 1 or 2 posts then we're looking to interview max 4 per post. If we get 50 applications and 20 of those are fab, I'll start getting really picky to narrow the shortlist down to 4 people. Often it comes down to how easy it was for me to determine from your application that you might be a good fit for the role.

Happy to help if you want to PM me for more bespoke advice or if you'd like a second pair of eyes over your application!

OP’s posts: |
Natz267 Sat 01-Feb-20 23:48:25

@Isleepinahedgefund you've offered some great advice here. I'm currently doing an application, would you be able to look over what I've done so far on my personal statement?

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