Writing selection criteria, even 2 page responses can be time consuming, so before you apply for a government job, make sure you do these 3 critical tasks.
Make sure you are sufficiently qualified for the position
Although this has nothing to do with writing selection criteria, this is one of the most important aspects to the process – namely, ensuring that you are sufficiently qualified for the position in question, before dedicating endless hours in addressing the selection criteria.
Government recruitment by law requires that job applicants need to meet the selection criteria before being interviewed. On top of this, the process is by its very nature competitive and your application will be assessed against other candidates, many of whom will be more suitably qualified than you. Depending on the role, panel members will assess anything from half a dozen candidates for complex technical roles, through to 2,400 candidates or more.
In order to ensure that you are sufficiently qualified for the role, you need to understand:
- The classification of the position
Classification Levels for the Australian Public Sector (Entry level to Agency Head for federal applications and agencies such as Customs and the Australian Federal Police)
- APS 1 – 2 (General entry level positions, cadetships and traineeships)
- APS 3 – 4 (General administrative, technical, project & service positions / graduate positions)
- APS 5 – 6 (Senior Administrators, technical, project and service positions)
- Executive Level 1 – 2 (Senior management positions)
- Senior Executive Level (Executive positions)
- Agency Head
So if you are a Graduate and you decide to apply for an APS5, it will be unlikely you will be selected. So understand and check the classification level, before you apply. (Note, these do vary, depending on whether State or Federal. I’ve only included the Federal classification level).
- Your suitability against the selection criteria
You also need to make sure you meet the bulk of the criterion. The easiest way to check your suitability is to go through the job description first, then go to the selection criteria. If you are confident that you have done the bulk of the tasks listed and there is nothing in the selection criteria that you don’t know how to answer, then it is worth applying for.
If you can’t address more than 1 criterion, then it is more than likely you won’t get selected for an interview.
Organise your referees
The process requires details of referees to be included, so make sure you can access appropriate referees before you start an application. The reason why referees are important is your application could be excluded at the discretion of the panel, if they are not included, so all the preparation work, will go to waste if you don’t include referees.
Plus referees will always be contacted to ascertain your suitability for the position, and in government referees can sometimes be part of the assessment process and are not just used to confirm your performance prior to appointment.
Make sure you research the agency, before you start writing
Research is a CRITICAL part of preparing your application, as it will provide you with a good understanding of the agency in question, and a sound basis on which to write your application.
The great thing about researching various public agencies is that the bulk of the information you need is published online. Simply log onto the agency website and gain access to a range of relevant information.
How much research you need to undertake will depend entirely on the position and classification level and your level of knowledge you have relating to the agency.
Once you are equipped with this knowledge, then (and only then) are you are in a position to use this information to help shape your answers to the selection criteria, as well as provide yourself with a framework for your interview.