When you identify a potential employer or position that appeals to you, focus on crafting an application that highlights your skills and experiences, and markets you as a legitimate candidate for the job.
Your application is usually the first point of contact between you and your potential employer, so it’s essential you get it right.
Make sure you read the application instructions carefully. This is your first test. Employers will not be impressed if you submit an incomplete or generic application. Your application must be targeted to the organisation and position you are applying for.
A job application may consist of the following:
Many organisations will require an online application. You may be required to upload your documents (cover letter, resume, qualifications) and also complete one or more online forms.
The trick here is to be prepared before you begin, as some online applications are required to be completed in one sitting, whilst others allow you to save your application and return to it at a later date.
Your cover letter is often your first chance to make a good impression. It should be positive and sell your suitability for the position.
The letter must be individually tailored to the particular position, so be sure to address all of the skills and/or abilities the employer is looking for.
Your cover letter should be:
In closing your cover letter:
Your resume is your opportunity to demonstrate to a potential employer that you possess the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities for the position.
Your presentation, format and information should be well thought out and tailored to each employer.
It is recommended that your resume is also accompanied by a cover letter that is also tailored to the specific employer.
|What to do||What not to do|
Tailor your resume to the job description and the employer
Use jargon and slang
Be clear, concise and truthful and keep it to no more than four pages in length
Present a resume that contains spelling or grammatical errors
Use positive action words to highlight your strengths
Include a photo of yourself
Use a simple layout, with consistent font style and bullet points
Add a border or use fancy fonts
Use bullet points to list your employment history, responsibilities and achievements
Write long, confusing paragraphs
Selection criteria are generally found in job advertisements, mainly in the public sector. Selection criteria is included to ensure fairness and objectivity in selecting the best applicants to shortlist. It is a way for you to indicate your level and range of specific skills plus knowledge and experience deemed necessary by the employer to undertake the duties of a job successfully.
View our Selection Criteria Information Sheet (PDF, 44 KB) for tips on how to respond.
Selection Criteria tips from government websites: