What Is a Supporting Statement? And How to Create One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A strong supporting statement can make a difference when applying for a job. Learn what a supporting statement is and how to create one to help you get noticed.

[Featured Image] A woman interviews at an office and holds her CV, which contains a supporting statement.

To help you stand out from other candidates when applying for a job, it's important to have a strong supporting statement. A supporting statement is the first thing an employer, HR manager, or recruiter sees when scanning your CV. If it is interesting and well-written, a supporting statement encourages the reader of your CV to continue.

You can use this guide to learn how to create a strong supporting statement by following several easy steps and understanding how it differs from a cover letter. Following that, we’ve provided you with an example of a supporting statement to help you understand what employers are looking for. 

How is a supporting statement different from a cover letter?

A cover letter is a formal business letter that accompanies your CV. It can be four to five paragraphs long and typically contains an introduction, reasons why you're applying for the position, information about why you're well-suited for the job, and an expression of interest in having the job. 

In contrast, a supporting statement (a personal profile or summary) is a summary written at the top of your CV or attached. Though each supporting statement is different, most contain information like:

  • A brief introduction

  • Job-related skills, experience, and other strengths

  • Your future career goals

How to create a supporting statement

Stay organised and be thorough when creating your supporting statement by following a few simple steps:

Step one: Review the advert and job profile.

Reviewing the job advert and profile lets you see if you're interested in the position and can give clues about what an employer is looking for. You can pick keywords in the job profile to repeat in your statement. This can help the employer know you're the right job candidate. Some different examples of job profile keywords, depending on the position you're applying for, include:

  • Customer service

  • Design experience

  • Microsoft Office

  • Knowledge of SEO 

  • Collaborated

  • Supervised

  • Team-building

  • Web developer

Step two: Research the company.

Researching a company can help you decide if you want to work there, but it can also help you prepare your supporting statement. By exploring a company's website, following its social pages, checking out review sites, or doing a simple Google search, you can find out about:

  • Company size

  • Diversity in hiring

  • Company culture

  • Financial standing

  • Reputation

  • Current legal issues

Step three: Consider format.

Your statement must be easy to read. Use a font like Arial or Calibri for a clean, legible presentation. If you're applying for more than one position, adapt your supporting statement for each one.

Step four: Keep your statement brief.

A supporting statement should be brief to capture and keep the reader's attention. Aim for one paragraph or divide your statement into two short paragraphs if it needs to be more concise. 

Step five: Highlight your qualifications, skills, and experience. 

You can show your supporting statement by highlighting relevant qualifications, job skills, and experience. For instance, if you're applying for a position as an entry-level marketing assistant, you would want to mention qualifications, skills, and experience like:

  • 2:1 degree in marketing

  • Data entry skills

  • Proficiency in social media and blogging

  • Comfort working alone and as part of a team

  • Superior verbal and written communication skills

  • Experience producing promotional materials like brochures and flyers

  • Experience conducting market research (trends, demographics, competitors, pricing, target prospects)

Step six: Add relevant accomplishments.

Employers also want to see your most significant accomplishments related to the job role. These might include:

  • Scholarships you were awarded

  • Educational or job-related awards you've won

  • Job promotions you've received

  • Types of publications you've authored or co-authored

  • Company problems you've solved

  • Relevant projects you've worked on

Step seven: Check for proper grammar and spelling.

Check your supporting statement thoroughly to eliminate being overlooked due to simple spelling or grammatical errors. Proofread your statement several times to ensure it is clear, concise, and well-structured. Then, check for spelling errors, ensure adequate punctuation, and confirm that all proper names are capitalised.

More tips for writing a supporting statement

To make your supporting statement the best it can be, here are a few more tips to ensure it gets noticed and sells you to the reader:

  • Choose a quiet space to write your statement that will allow you to focus on your work.

  • Take a few hours or even a day away from your statement and proofread it for a final time.

  • For extra accuracy, ask a friend or family member to review your statement.

  • Look for examples of supporting statements online (like the one below) for reference.

Supporting statement example

When creating a supporting statement, it can help to have an example or two to look at. Here is a fictional supporting statement from someone looking for a position as a junior financial analyst.

I am a recent graduate with a 2:1 in finance, demonstrating knowledge and skills in financial analysis, budget creation, forecasting, and reporting. I am experienced in preparing income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and other financial reports. I am well-versed in computer applications and software, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Tableau, and SAP. 

Other skills I possess include attention to detail, problem-solving, time management, organisational skills, and enthusiasm for my work. My last employer was so pleased with my work ethic that she changed my position from intern to paid employee after only two months with the firm. I am currently seeking a position as a financial analyst, with routes to progress to more senior roles.

Next steps

For more advice about preparing for and getting a job, brush up on your interview skills with the Successful Interviewing on Coursera course offered by the University of Maryland, USA. Then, learn more about researching a company to create a winning supporting statement and CV with the Interview Research and Preparation course.

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