How to write a winning Rising Star Awards application

Advice from our Head of Education & Partnerships, Sophie Kirby

Sophie KirbyWhat’s written on the Rising Star application form is our first and only impression of someone, so the way it’s put together is crucial. We’ve received thousands of applications in the years since we first started the awards, and have found some key elements in the applications that are most likely to be invited to interview and ultimately receive an award.

So, before you submit your application this year, read on to check what’s helpful for you to cover. 

The best application… 

… Helps us to get to know you and what you care about.  What does your job mean to you, and why do you want to progress? What excites you personally about the industry you work in?  We can spot a mile off when you’ve copied and pasted marketing text, so we’d always encourage you to write your own answers.

… Is logical. Once you’ve helped us get to know you better, help us to understand why you have chosen to request what you have, why this is your chosen path, how you hope to get there, and, crucially, how our support will help you achieve this.  Any research you’ve done and conversations you’ve had with trusted advisors, is also great to include.

… Shares what development you’ve already achieved – whether that’s shadowing a colleague, free online courses or networking via a trade association. This helps us understand what you’ve done so far, and how your organisation has helped make this happen. 

… Is one that’s been thought through and discussed with other people. We always find it’s best to share your ideas and gain some feedback before you submit. It’s even better if the Rising Star Award clearly fits as part of a bigger personal development plan that you’re working on with a manager or mentor. 

Is not one dimensional. Your development doesn’t have to be linear. For example, if you are in Sales, then you also: build relationships, demonstrate resilience, manage time and priorities, network and make presentations. Whether core practical skills, or softer personal skills, you can develop your capabilities in every direction. In fact, seeking new challenges and opportunities can be very rewarding. 

Top Tips 

  • We’re not looking for essays, or even checking your spelling or grammar, just focus on getting what you want to say across to us
  • It might be useful to draft your answers offline in Word and review them a few times before submission.  You could share them with a trusted advisor too and ask for their feedback
  • We have lots of other articles on our website to help with skills you might consider boosting

Rising Star applications close 2nd April. Find out more and apply, and contact if you have questions. Good luck!

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If you, or someone you know needs support, or you’d like to know more about our free, confidential helpline, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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