civil service personal statement examples

Different Types Of Statements

Personal statements are usually required when applying for jobs within the public sector. These are often called “personal statements” because they are written about your personality, skills, experience, education, and any other relevant information. 

If you are applying for a job in another sector, then you will need to provide a Statement of Suitability (or SOS) instead. 

  • A Statement of Suitability (also known as an “employment reference”) is a document that describes your suitability for employment in a particular organisation. You will probably be given a copy of this document at the interview if you are successful.
  • A Behaviour Statement is a document that describes your character traits, personality, and skills. It should be written using the STAR Method. It is not a CV or resume, it is an outline of your character and what you bring to the table. It should be tailored to each position you apply for.

Why Does The Civil Service Request Personal Or Suitability Statements?

When applying for any civil service job, you will need to complete a personal statement that needs to be assessed against the relevant civil service success profiles and strengths that apply to the role. 

You should also consider your own personal experiences and achievements when writing your personal statement.

What Should A Civil Service Personal Statement Include?

A personal statement is an opportunity to highlight why you are suitable for a particular position. You should tailor your personal statement to complement your CV and show that you meet the essential criteria for the role. 

The essential criteria will be outlined in the adverts or job descriptions. Use these to showcase your relevant experience and transferable skills.

Remember, when writing your personal statement, you need to focus on what you did, not why you did it. Focus on the skills you have gained and how you applied them. Showcase your achievements and explain how you learnt the skills. Use examples of how you were successful at applying the skill.

How To Structure A Civil Service Personal Statement?

The most essential thing to do is to structure the response clearly and ensure that your response focuses on the essential criteria. 

You may use headings or bullets if this works best for your response. Remember that all of this will eat away at your word count. 

How To Write a Civil Service Personal Statement for Jobs

When applying for a civil service role, your personal statement should not just highlight your skills and experience but also show what kind of person you are. 

You may think that your CV is all about your qualifications and achievements, but there are other aspects that will help recruiters understand if you’re right for the job. 

Your personal statement should demonstrate your interest in the position, your motivation to work in public service and your commitment to serving the public. If you’re unsure about what to write, here are some tips to get you started.

What To Include In A Civil Service Personal Statement

  • A civil service personal statement should start by explaining why you want to apply for the position. This will help you stand out from the crowd and give recruiters an insight into your personality. 
  • Next, you need to explain why you’re qualified for the role. Make sure you highlight any relevant experience you’ve gained throughout your career and point out the skills you’d bring to the table. 
  • Finally, you need to talk about why you think you’ll fit in at the company. If you mention something about the culture of the organisation, this could really help you get noticed.

Try to show how your skills were acquired through your previous work experience. Practicing what you’ve done before will help you stand out from other candidates. 

You should also mention why you want to change jobs, and what you hope to gain from the position. Your resume should have at least three pages, and if possible, four.

Share Relevant Skills Experience Or Interests

In the body paragraph of your statement, consider the following topics when writing about yourself:

1) What skills do you bring to the table? How will those skills help the company?

2) Why should the hiring manager hire you?

Achievement: 

Mention any degrees or certifications you have earned and describe how they qualify you for this role. Civil Service jobs often require education and/or certification, so check out the requirements listed in the job description. 

If you have relevant experience, share what you did before working at the company. This will help demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

Experience: 

Share specific details about previous experiences, including job duties similar in nature to those required for the role you’re applying for. You may also want to highlight why you chose to leave your last employer. 

This will give potential employers insight into your background and interests, as well as provide them with an opportunity to ask questions about your past experiences.

Special skills: 

Share what you bring to the table. What sets you apart? How will you add value to the company? Explain why you’re interested in joining the team. 

Show your enthusiasm and passion for the company and its products. 

Professional Goals: 

Be specific about your long term goals and how this position aligns with them. Describe what you hope to achieve in the next year.

Explain Why You’re Applying For The Job

At the end of your statement, summarize your qualifications and reiterate your enthusiasm for the job. 

You should also mention how you can help the government by working in this position and how you can benefit the public sector by doing so. 

Writing The Perfect Civil Service Personal Statement 

The civil service success profile of seeing the bigger picture requires you to have an understanding of how your job fits into the wider context of the public sector mission and objective. 

  • You need to show that you understand what the public sector does and why it exists. 
  • Your personal statement should also demonstrate that you have the ability and skills to experience a role in the best interests of society.

How Long Should A Personal Or Suitability Statement Be?

In our experience, most civil service personal statements are around 500 – 750 words long. 

For senior posts, you might be allowed to write up to 1,250 words, and sometimes DWP posts ask for 1200 words. We’ve found that there are very few personal statements written in just 250 words. Most often, these are behavioural statements. 

How To Deal With A Limited Word Count?

Regardless of the number of words in your personal statement, it is important to edit it well. There may be ten or more key skills and experiences listed in the job description. 

How can you fit all of these into one document? A great tip is to break down the list of skills into common themes. You might find that your experience and achievements can be used to address several points.

Use headings for your paragraphs and set yourself the discipline of spending only 100 words on each point. 

You may exceed the word limit in your first draft, but don’t worry! You can edit it out and finetune it in subsequent revisions.

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