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Letter of application or supporting statement??

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by gremlin01, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Dear Theo
    I have seen it mentioned several times that the letter of application and supporting statemet are very similar, but could you clarify what the differences are between the two e.g. length, content.
    I started writing what I intended to be the supporting statement but feel that it probably looks more like a letter. I have written about what exam boards I am currently teaching and have identified the topics I have taught - is this relevant or does it just look like i'm giving an outline of what the current school does?
    I'm an nqt, does this need to be mentioned as if I got offered the job I should have (hopefully) completed the nqt year or will the person reading be able to establish this by looking at the dates?
    One final thing, does it look bad or suspicious if when it asks about references I tick the box saying they cannot be contacted unless I get an interview? I want to put no as I want to speak to my current headteacher beforehand and as I am out on a couple of days and the school has interviews going on I don't think I will be able to catch up with him before the form is due in.
    Thanks for your help
     
  2. Dear Theo
    I have seen it mentioned several times that the letter of application and supporting statemet are very similar, but could you clarify what the differences are between the two e.g. length, content.
    I started writing what I intended to be the supporting statement but feel that it probably looks more like a letter. I have written about what exam boards I am currently teaching and have identified the topics I have taught - is this relevant or does it just look like i'm giving an outline of what the current school does?
    I'm an nqt, does this need to be mentioned as if I got offered the job I should have (hopefully) completed the nqt year or will the person reading be able to establish this by looking at the dates?
    One final thing, does it look bad or suspicious if when it asks about references I tick the box saying they cannot be contacted unless I get an interview? I want to put no as I want to speak to my current headteacher beforehand and as I am out on a couple of days and the school has interviews going on I don't think I will be able to catch up with him before the form is due in.
    Thanks for your help
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Letter of application v Supporting Statement. This is a common source of confusion - it's not just you! Basically there are three things:
    • A personal statement.
    • A letter of application
    • A covering letter
    In theory - I emphasise this - in theory they are different, and you would never have all three.
    Letter of application and personal statement are the same thing, except that one starts "Dear Mr Griffiths" and t´other doesn´t. (so don´t do both!)
    A covering letter is just that: it is a letter that acts as a sort of envelope, covering what you are sending off. It is a technical term and is used when you have a statement instead of a letter of application (so don´t do both!). It goes something like this:
    Dear Mr Griffiths
    Teacher of mathematics at Gasworks High School for Girls
    I have pleasure in applying for the above post and enclose my completed application form, personal statement and Equal Opportunities Form.
    Yours sincerely
    A Teacher
    The confusing thing is that sometimes the school doesn't understand what a covering letter actually is, and so they ask you to write a covering letter when in fact they mean a letter of application, so you need to keep your wits about you! No-one ever asks you to write a real covering letter; it's just a courtesy. So if they ask for one, they mean a letter of application.
    If they ask for a personal statement,it can go either on the form of there is a space, or separately. If there is a tiny space only on the form for a personal statement, you can either begin it there and then say Continued on separate sheet, [NB remember to put your name on the separate sheet!] ir you can make the bit on the form very brief, bullet point style rather like the Executive Summary that I speak of in the post at the top of the Forum, and then have a separate sheet or two with the personal statement/letter of application in text form.
    To say NQT or not? Are you a NQT and doing your induction year? No need to mention it, as you get no payrise for successfully complering the year, and if you don't, you cannot take up the post anyway. You could put a casual mention: In the first two terms if my induction year I have learned above all that . . ."
    To ask no references yet or not? No, it doesn't look suspicious, as people understand that you don't want to rock the boat if not going to interview. But as soon as you hear you must RUSH to tell your Head in the hope that you can speak to him/her before the request for reference arrives. They could be a bit miffed to hear about your plans from another school rather than from you.
    What you can't do is ask for references only to be taken up if you are offered the post, as the Government guidelines say that they must be got before the interview.
    Best of luck with the application - have you read the threads at the top of the Forum about How to get Shortlisted and How not to get Shortlisted?

     
  4. Thanks Theo.
    Having looked at the info in the top thread and some of you replies I am still a little confused over the supporting statement and letter of application. On the form there is a page for the supporting statement. However as they have asked for a letter of application am I basically putting the same information in both but rephrasing it or is this a waste or mine and their time? Thanks
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    The confusion is theirs, really, as they shouldn't be asking for them both. Tut tut!
    I shouldn't bother with re-writing the same stuff twice to make it look different. Write a letter of application which should be the major part of what you send them. The supporting statement bit of the form (usually a smallish amount, less than a page) can often be limited to extras such as specific skills (Piano Grade 7) or hobbies (Play netball - would love to coach Under 16s) or qualifications (First Aid certificate) that would make the letter look bitty by listing them all.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Dear TheoGriff,
    I hope you don't mind me hijacking this thread! Please can I ask your advice?
    I am applying to Satffordshire, and on their application form (about 4 pages in) they ask for a letter of application, of no more than 2 sides A4. Am I correct to assume that letter of application is basically a combination of covering letter and personal statement, and I just need to enclose this with the completed application form? There is no mention of a further supporting statement or cover letter on the form, or in any other information they sent.
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes that's it!
    You could also do an executive summary (see the pinned thread at top of the Forum - it's explained inside the clockable How to Get Shortlisted) and either include it as a separate one side sheet (with your name on!), or put it in the application form if they have a space called "Other information".
    Best of luck!
    When you get a job, you need to start a new thread called: Dear Theo - I got the job!
     
  8. Thanks for your advice! Fingers crossed....
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  10. Dear Theo,

    I am currently applying for a job at a school and on the application form it states 'motivation', I have to use the space to explain why I have applied for that job and to include any other details of my skills, knowledge and experience. I take it that this means my personal statement as it states to continue onto a separate sheet if necessary. Would I also include a covering letter? What would I put in that?

    Thanks for your help.

    Heidi
     
  11. I am in the process of completing a job application online. It asks me to upload both a supporting statement and a cover letter. I know in your above post you said that the letter and statement were the same thing, however schools might ask for a covering letter when they mean a letter of application. I am therefore unsure as what to do. As if I write a letter of Application and a Supporting statement they will be similar.
     

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