Writing a job application can be daunting, especially if you haven’t had much experience doing them! We’re here to give you some tips that will help your application to stand out from the crowd!
Proof read – you’ve probably heard it from your teachers and lecturers throughout school and university – proof read! Spelling mistakes and poorly formed sentences are noticed by assessors and can make your application difficult to read. The online application form won’t check your spelling, so it’s a good idea to type your responses up in a word document first. Run a spell check, use short sentences, explain anything technical and make sure your application is clear and concise. This will make your application easy to read and understand.
Use relevant examples – where ever possible answer the question using a relevant example. Simply telling us that you can work well in a team doesn’t really mean much. Using an example of a situation where you have worked in a team (including your role and the outcome) will demonstrate to us how you work well in a team.
Examples can be drawn from previous employment, university, sport teams, volunteering etc. Many of the skills you have are transferrable. If you’re not sure how a sporting example is relevant to an office job, think about how the skills could be transferred. For example, it is possible for a team captain of a sporting club, who had to organise and motivate a team, to use these skills in an office environment.
Use the STAR technique – the STAR technique provides a structure when to responding to questions (both in the application and in an interview situation).
Situation – Describe the situation clearly and concisely to give your example some context
Task – Explain what was required in the situation (sometimes this will combine with ‘Situation’)
Action – Explain the role you took in the situation
Result – Finally, describe the outcome. If you learnt anything or would do anything differently if the situation arose again, include that here as well – it shows self-awareness.
There are plenty of resources available to help you to prepare the best application possible. Ask your university careers centre, read over ‘Cracking the Code – How to get a job in the Australian Public Service’ or post a question below.
Ready to apply? Apply now!
What tips do you have to share?
We posted something similar last year and from the feedback we received you found this information really useful! So we have information below for our 2014 Graduate Development Program! We hope you find it useful!
You’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about all the different selection processes that they went through to get their job. It’s confusing, right? With applications, interviews, assessment centres, testing?! Well, the application and selection process for our 2014 Graduate Development Program is really simple! Let me break it down for you:
Step 1. Online application
First up, you need to complete an online application. The online application asks you to complete your personal details, employment history, academic background (you are asked to provide a copy of your academic transcript – an unofficial version is fine at this stage), and respond to three questions.
The online application is open and will close at 11.30pm (AEST) on Thursday, 4 April 2013, although we’d suggest getting it in early! Apply now!
Step 2. Short-listing
Once applications close, we will be busy shortlisting. Shortlisting is a process of reading through all the applications and scoring each response against a set of pre-determined criteria. Once shortlisting is finished, a list of applicants will be prepared with the person who scored the highest at the top right down to the person who scored the lowest.
Step 3. Assessment Centres
The top 200 people (approximately) will be invited to attend an assessment centre. You will have a limited time to apply for an assessment centre as there will be limited places in each state we are attending – make sure you get in early so you don’t miss out. Invitations to attend assessment centres will be emailed in mid-April and followed up verbally by the end of April. Those not invited to assessment centre will be notified via email in mid-April.
Assessment centres are being held from early May to June in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra depending on the number of applications in each state. The assessment centres will be held from either 8.45am – 12.15pm (morning) or 1.15pm – 4.45pm (afternoon). There will be eight people at each assessment centre.
At the assessment centre you will undertake the following:
- Panel interview– you will be interviewed by two senior Departmental employees. They will ask questions that draw out your experiences and suitability for the Graduate Development Program. The interview will take around 20 minutes.
- Written exercise – you will be provided with information (for example, media releases, background information) and instructions to prepare a hand written response. Don’t worry – we won’t assess the neatness of your handwriting, although we do need to be able to read it – if we can’t read it, we can’t assess it! The written exercise will take one hour.
- Group exercise – the eight attendees at the assessment centre will come together to work through the case study provided. As a team, you will come up with a solution/recommendation and present this to the assessors. The group activity will take 45 minutes.
Each stage of the assessment centre is marked and tallied to determine your overall suitability for the program. At the end of all the assessment centres, everyone will be ranked based on their mark
Step 4. Referee Reports
Verbal referee reports will be obtained for the top candidates in late June. Please ensure your referee knows that they may be contacted.
Step 5. Candidates will then be divided into three groups:
- First round offers– the top candidates will be made verbal offers in late June to early July. This will be followed with a written letter of offer.
- Second Round Offers/Merit List– a merit list is in place to draw on should people in the first round offers decline. The merit list will be notified that they have been placed on this list and will be notified if a position becomes available. Offers to the merit list may be made up until the end of September.
- Unsuccessful – unsuccessful candidates will be advised via email in late June. Don’t forget to ask us for feedback as this can help you improve over the course of your career!
Step 6. Accepting your offer
The successful candidates who accept their offers will be required to undertake a security clearance. Commencing with the Department and on the Graduate Development Program is dependent on obtaining the required security clearance and other pre-employment checks.
You will then be invited to a ‘familiarisation day’ in Canberra in October/November to meet with other graduates and learn more about the Department and Canberra.
Hopefully that clarifies each stage of the recruitment process for the 2014 Graduate Development Program. If you need any further information or have any comments or suggestions, please post them below. Don’t forget to keep up to date with our process ‘like’ us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/DoITgradprogram.
We asked our 2013 Grads about their first impression of the Department and the Graduate Development Program, and for those who relocated their first impressions of Canberra. Here’s what they had to say about the Graduate Development Program!
So, you’ve received an offer? Great! You’re probably starting to think about the move to Canberra! The Live in Canberra website (http://www.liveincanberra.com.au) has lots of information about the activities and events in and around Canberra and is a great source of information for you. So, what’s the cost of living like in Canberra?
What better way to get you through the day than with a bit of social lunch time sport?! Lunch time sport is a great way to break up the day and get some exercise. One of our current Graduates and the Social Club’s Sports Coordinator, Adam Simonette, tells us about his new found soccer skills.