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Dear Theo... Executive Summary vs Personal Statement

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by LostSplendor, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo (and all others that may contribute),

    I am currently in the process of making job applications and have found that many of the application forms ask for a 'supporting statement' that reflects the job specification requirements and criteria.

    In your opinion, would you suggest that a personal statement in which these criteria are addressed in a more free flow manner be used, or would an executive summary in which criteria is explicitly addressed be more beneficial?

    I ask for your opinion of one over the other because in previous unsuccessful applications, having sent both a personal statement and an executive summary, I have been given feedback that I did not adhere to the rule of having only 2 sides maximum of a supporting statement.

    Thank you,
    Lost Splendor
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    It's never an either / or.
    You should always send a letter of application or personal statement, and yes, it is in actual sentences and paragraphs, if that's what you mean by "free-flow" - but I'd like to think that it was structured rather than just flowing freely from your pen/keyboard!
    The executive summary is an extra. If they are being picky and specifying 2 pages only for a personal statement, then do a 2-page p.s. and have the executive summary as a separate document.
    No school would actually reject a good candidate on these grounds, no sensible school anyway. Feedback from unsuccessful applications is often very hit-and-miss, with the school, to be honest, just saying anything much to get rid of you . . .
    The feedback that I get from schools and governing bodies is that the executive summary is very much welcomed. I am very surprised that this has been the reaction from a school, and even more surprised that you have actually had several schools say this.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.

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