To be in the running for a job you will need to submit an application or an expression of interest. Your application is your first opportunity to tell us about the skills and experience you have, so take the time to make sure it's as good as it can be. The application may ask you to provide some details about who you are, a resume documenting your work history, and the contact details of referees who can verify your claims.
The application will also generally ask you to respond to selection criteria—the skills, knowledge and expertise needed for the role. The selection criteria will be clearly spelled out in the recruitment pack. Some common examples of selection criteria include:
- Shapes strategic thinking
- Achieves results
- Cultivates productive working relationship
- Communicates with influence
- Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
The application might ask you to respond to each selection criteria separately or you may need to incorporate them into a two to three page expression of interest. Answers to the selection criteria should provide examples of what you have done that demonstrate how you meet the qualities, knowledge and skills being asked for. Use examples from other jobs, experience gained outside work such as community volunteering, or from your formal studies.
The STAR model is a good way of presenting information against selection criteria. For each criterion think about the following and use these points to form sentences:
- Situation — Set the context by describing the circumstance or situation.
- Task — What was your role?
- Actions — What did you do and how did you do it?
- Results — What did you achieve? What was the end result?
For more information about writing your application, see Cracking the Code.
Other top tips
- If you are required to complete an online application, it's a good idea to register and create your profile straight away - that way you'll get reminders as the closing date approaches, and you won't have to go search online for the job again.
- It's a good idea to write your application in a Word document first, and then copy and paste your final version into the online application - this will ensure that if there are any technical difficulties with the site you won't lose the work you've done.
- Ensure you have read and understood the recruitment pack. The pack is designed to give you a clear picture about the job and key responsibilities.
- Ensure you have written about each of the selection criteria and that your responses are relevant to the criterion you are writing about. You response should clearly show how your skills and experience meet the key selection criteria.
- Check that your resume highlights the skills and capabilities you have. Emphasise the skills and experience that relate to the role you are applying for.
- Most applications are now completed online. Make sure you have completed every section otherwise your application may not be accepted.
- Double check everything before you submit. This includes spelling, punctuation and grammar. A few typos could be enough to rule your application out if there are lots of applications.
- Contact your referees before you submit the application. You need to be sure they are able to verify the statements you have made in your application.