Get the facts about the job
If you’ve seen an APS (or any government) job posted on a non-government portal or website, I recommend you find the original advertisement posted by the employing department or agency. Australian government website domain names end with ‘.gov.au’.
Do you really want the job?
Quote: “Don’t apply just for the sake of it. Select the right job for you and prepare a strong (and accurate) application highlighting your skills, abilities and experience, and how they meet the requirements of the job.” (from the APS website).
Read the job advertisement, position description and any other job documentation several times so that you understand the nature of the job and appointment prerequisites.
Before starting an application – consider whether you think you can relate – in writing and at interview – some good examples and scenarios about challenges, tasks and projects you’ve faced and handled at work in the past.
Answering selection criteria
According to the ‘cracking the code’ information provided on the APS website, most of the time just submitting your CV won’t be sufficient to get you an APS job.
You will generally need to submit a written application – usually involving answering or addressing selection criteria – if you’re a newbie, you may need help to see how it’s done.
Some examples of selection criteria you may be asked to address in writing:
- demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively
- good organisational and administrative skills
- proven ability to work as part of a team
- well-developed customer service skills
- proven ability to manage projects.
Using the STAR method in your application
The ‘cracking the code’ information on the APS website offers the STAR model for addressing selection criteria. I recommend a simpler version: The SAR model, i.e.:
- Situation—Set the context by describing the circumstance where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience. Describe the specific role you played in the situation or scenario
- Actions—What did you do and how did you do it?
- Results—What did you achieve? What was the end result and how does it relate to the job you are applying for?
Submit a professionally formatted and written CV that contains the following:
Personal details – your name, email address and phone number. There’s no need to include your age, gender, or marital status.
Education – details of relevant education and qualifications.
Work experience – your work experience and highlight the main responsibilities and achievements relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Other experience – if relevant, briefly mention any activities, interests or volunteer/community work that you participated in and highlight what you gained from that experience.
Referees—the name and contact details of referees who can validate and support your application.
Some do's and don'ts
BE CLEAR AND TO THE POINT
BE HONEST AND FACTUAL
CHECK WHAT FORM YOUR WRITTEN APPLICATION SHOULD BE IN
USE RELEVANT EXAMPLES
MAKE SURE YOU PROVIDE ALL INFORMATION REQUESTED.
WRITE LENGTHY RESPONSES (comply with any page or word limits)
RELY JUST ON YOUR CV
If you need help to produce a quality APS job application, please contact me for advice and a quote.
Peter at Contentify Resumes.
More resources and information
- On Contentify Resumes website: What’s involved in addressing selection criteria?
- On the Australian Public Service website: https://www.apsc.gov.au/working-aps/joining-aps/cracking-code/3-applying-aps-job-cracking-code (opens in new window)