Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I write an effective resume?

Your resume is a summary of your qualifications, experience, skills and achievements. It needs to be clear, factual and neatly organised, with content relevant to the role you are applying for.

Your resume should include:

  • Work experience (paid and volunteer) in reverse chronological order (i.e. from your most recent role onwards). For each job, include your job title, name of employer, and dates of employment (month and year are generally sufficient). Briefly describe your responsibilities and highlight any achievements you accomplished in each role.
  • Education, qualifications and details of any training or courses relevant to the role
  • Other specialist skills or knowledge
  • Memberships of professional organisations
  • Referee details including names, contact details and a brief description of your working relationship(s).

Please note: It is a requirement to attach your resume as a separate file within the online application form.

2. Can I post my application?

Applications should be submitted online, unless stated otherwise. You will need to have access to a computer and have an email address.

3. I noticed the role was advertised as full time - is it possible to work part time?

The South Australian public sector supports employees looking for flexibility that will help achieve a healthy work-life-balance. If you have an interest in working part time, you are encouraged to discuss the flexible working arrangements for the role with the key contact listed on the job advertisement. It is also suggested that you highlight this in your application.

4. What is a Role Description?

The role description (also referred to as a role statement or job and person specification) is a critical document used to describe the role in order to assist in attracting candidates and, most importantly, it is used as a key basis for effective selection.

The role description converts characteristics that the individual will need to perform the role, into criteria used for selection purposes.

The role description will also contain any essential qualifications, required pre-employment screening information, the employment type and classification level of the role.

5. How do I address the job competencies and selection criteria?

You need to demonstrate to the selection panel that you have the relevant qualifications, experience and competencies to undertake the advertised role.

In addressing the criteria, list each of the criteria outlined in the Role Description or Statement as headings and describe underneath how you meet the criteria. Remember to cite evidence to support your claims, don't just paraphrase the words in the Role Description/Statement.

The type of information and examples to include when addressing the selection criteria can include:

  • past or current work experience
  • reports, policies, procedures you have written
  • research you have undertaken
  • courses, education, qualifications
  • volunteering
  • projects you have worked on
  • teams or committees you have participated in.

One or two paragraphs on each criteria is usually sufficient. You are encouraged to draw on the experience you have gained in both the paid and unpaid workforce, including voluntary and community work.

Be aware that if you are asked to address the job competencies / selection criteria and you do not address them, you may not be considered further for the position.

An example of addressing criteria on written communication skills is as follows:

My written communication abilities and skills have been demonstrated in my role as Policy Officer in Courts Administration Authority from January 2014 - present, and specifically:

  • preparing research summaries for Executive, to enable decision making
  • preparing monthly briefings for the Chief Executive on a range of policy issues
  • investigating and preparing Ministerial responses
  • drafting letters in response to issues raised by the public
  • writing and consulting on policy matters across the Authority.

6. What else should I include in my application?

As the requirements vary between roles, read the job advertisement and review the application form carefully to identify what information is required.

If you include a cover letter, it should highlight the main points of your suitability for the role and as a guide, would be approximately two pages.

A cover letter should include:

  • details of the role you're applying for including role title and job number
  • a brief introduction about yourself and why you are interested in the role
  • a summary of your relevant skills, qualifications and experience
  • information relevant to any open-ended (‘targeted') questions in the job advert (if applicable

Remember to check spelling, punctuation and grammar, and be succinct. The application itself indicates how well you can communicate and, if written well, can make a positive impression.

7. Can I include attachments?

You may be asked to attach some documentation to your application (e.g. your resume/CV, copy of work samples, a consent form to do background checks). This can be added in the ‘attachment' document field in the relevant section of the online application form. Please don't use this function to attach lengthier versions of your cover letter.

Note: The online application form will outline the document format that is acceptable and the maximum file size.

8. What does the assessment process involve?

Every recruitment process is different. If you'd like specific information about the recruitment process (and it is not provided in the job advertisement) contact the nominated contact person for more information.

9. What is a structured behavioural interview?

A structured behavioural interview is an interview style which allows interviewers to rate candidates in a standardised manner. Behavioural questions invite you to share examples of specific situations from your own experience, how you approached each situation, what you did, and what the results were.

Example questions

Tell me about a time when you had to analyse information and make a recommendation. What kind of thought process did you go through? Was the recommendation accepted? If not, why?

Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?

In preparation for this type of interview, it's a good idea to review the Role Description/Statement and think through some examples of when you've demonstrated the key competencies for the role in the past.

10. What are scenario based interview questions?

Scenario questions ask you about potential situations that could arise in the role you've applied for. They will ask how you might respond and what actions you would take in certain situations to achieve a positive outcome.

11. What are the competencies for the role and how do I respond

Employment decisions are based on the assessment of qualifications, experience and competencies against pre-established standards for the role. These are described in the Role Description/Statement.

12. Who do I contact if I need help?

Refer to the role advertisement for the contact person's details should you have any questions about the role you are applying for.