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Competency based application forms
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At thunkup we can help you with filling out a competency based application form.
So here is the bad news: Pretty much every job you ever apply for will require you to fill out an application form. Around 40% of the form will consist of standard questions such as your name, age, address and so forth. Clearly, we can’t help you with filling out that. However, what we can help you with is the competency based element of the form.
The types of questions that you will be required to answer. In essence these types of questions enable the recruiter to make an informed decision on the applicant based on the responses they give to certain questions.
The questions themselves are usually not that difficult. However, writing a response that firstly, covers all the criteria the recruiter will want to see covered and secondly, writing a better answer than your peers, is the main objective when completing this form. Ultimately this will facilitate you getting through to the next stage of the application process. Remember the recruiter doesn’t know you, or how diligent and lovely you are. They only have the application form to judge you on how suitable you would be for the specific role that you have applied for.

The majority of applications that you fill out will have a specific area to answer these ‘service delivery’ questions. Yes you can Google some examples and rip other peoples ideas and assume another persons experience. However, most Human Resources departments have anti-plagiarism software available to them and will see through your guise. Further if all the applicants have plagiarised the same examples from Google or other search facilities then you will not stand out from the crowd and unlikely be given a chance to prove yourself!

So here is the good news: In this section thunkup want to give you the tools to write a competency based application based on the knowledge of writing many applications, which has seen our employees through recruitment processes from the Police and central government, to PGCE and University applications. This knowledge has been built up over many years of both rejected and successful applications.

Writing the application
The idea is to look for patterns or themes in the subject matter, which will normally be relevant to the kind of job you are applying for; and, most importantly, to study the criteria.

There are seven major themes running through
every competency based application you will fill out.

So you will be asked questions that will require you to demonstrate skills in the following areas.
1. Customer focus
Criteria

Manage conflicting customer needs/demands
Delivers high quality service

And

Works effectively with internal and external partners to meet customer expectations: Click here to
see example.
As designated lead on the Universities Campus Watch Scheme (CWS), in my role as a coordinator, I arranged and chaired a meeting with the University Security Team (ST). Concerns for student safety at the local Night Club and the Student Union were raised. Historically the CWS had not been consulted by the ST, and although CWS was needed, ST wanted to be seen to be taking the lead on tackling the problems on campus.

Early on in the meeting I could see customer expectations were low. I explained that although I had limited resources there were advantages of CWS involvement in local communities, including student faculties, and further explained the role of customer outreach programmes and the ‘high visibility patrol’ function. I requested that CWS officers on my team be provided with 24hr pass-cards and if that was not possible, that the ST accompany my officers out on patrol. I tasked CWS officers to patrol areas where young people were vulnerable through excess alcohol consumption and encouraged engagement, which included handing out ‘Cabwise’ leaflets. I made visits to the security office as part of my patrol in order to strengthen our working relationship with ST. I asked for ST to provide me with feedback regarding the CWS officers that they had contact with; several points regarding CWS officers attitudes were picked up and fed back to those officers in order to improve the service. I arranged for leaflets promoting student safety and advertising the role of the CWS volunteers to be left in the Union building. This resulted in improving both CWS-student and CWS –ST relationships. This also generated 62 applications for CWS from students which was a personal objective of my own.
2. Delivering results
Criteria

Uses resource management expertise to achieve results. Empowers others to deliver high quality results -
see example.
In my role as a Event Coordinator I volunteered to supervise a group of security contractors that were due to carry out security of the Irish Festival, a large event in Hyde Park.


Before the event I emailed all security officers confirming parade time and dress code giving my mobile number in case of problems. I gave each officer a briefing pack detailing public order intelligence, roles, duty timings and verified each had full Personal Protective Equipment. I walked the area of the park with the entire team two hours before the event was due to start and encouraged all officers to identifying access and egress gates, first aid locations and designated Rendezvous Points (RVPs). I deputised an experienced Security Manager to take charge of my team and keep me updated on all officers’ progress. This allowed me to identify risks regarding the alcohol licence at the event and to deal with this obstacle by referring it to senior management. I advised the Security Manager I placed in charge of my serial to encourage Security to try to proactively engage with the public. I set each officer a target of at least 3 stop and searches and made sure I went over s.1 PACE 1984 legislation with all of the team. I submitted a form to the licensing authorities highlighting the need for a designated officer for licensed premises at next year's event. During this time, I liaised and worked closely with the senior management to evaluate my input and ensure it was up to expectations and that planned objectives were met.
3. Financial and commercial management
Criteria

Uses financial and commercial management behaviours to deliver value for money -
see example.

At short notice I was asked by my head of department to devise a course on ‘Engaging with Parliament’ for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). I clarified the resources and budget that was available to me. I had to re-organise my work load and spent a day training a colleague on elements of my job that had to be covered whilst I worked on this project. This allowed me to design a course and consult various stakeholders within the department to ask for advice. I collated these responses and designed a presentation and arranged a tour of parliament. I did this by identifying an experienced officer who knew their way around parliament and the key aspects of parliamentary work for NGOs to be aware of. I arranged parliamentary passes for those taking the tour. During this time I feed in details of the course to senior management, and provided an inventory of resources used and total cost, I was determined to stay within budget and amended some elements of the course to facilitate this. I requested that I give the presentation to my department in order to obtain feedback from all colleagues. Most feedback was positive; I did however implement a few changes. This course has now been implemented as part of my departments external training package for NGOs.

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