Job Application Tips and Insights

Job Applications

Often the most honest and skilled people are the ones least capable of recognising the full breadth and value of their own skill sets and experiences, let alone articulating how their attributes are relevant to the desired jobs “essential criteria.” Things have only become more challenging for capable staff to successfully reapply for their own positions since the introduction of the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework. Agencies across the NSW Public Sector have lost talented staff, whom have all of the required capabilities for a role, except the ability to make sense of the new and confusing NSW Government Sector Employment Act.

It appalls me to see skilled and passionate people, especially in the public service, losing out on positions to far less competent applicants. Often this is simply because the other individual had good job application skills, despite the fact a competent, experienced and qualified applicant has far superior job skills. If this problem resonates with you, read on.

To successfully gain any role in the NSW Public Sector these days you need to be able to evidence your capabilities. There are 6 identified groups of Capabilities that you may have skills in. These skills range from “Communicate Effectively” (within the Relationships category) to “Technology” (Business Enablers). Each required capability is ranked from Foundational through to Highly Advanced level. So how do you demonstrate that you have these skills? You show clearly how you have every ‘Behavioural Indicator’ relevant to each required Capability. You can read all about the hundreds of Behaviour Indicators and associated capabilities on the Capability Framework page.

The most dastardly thing I’ve discovered in the world of corporate job applications, is a beastly little creature called the Applicant Tracking System. This charming software tool is used to cull applicants before a real human being has even had a chance to see their resume. If you believe you have the right skill set for a role, but fail to make it to interview stage, there’s a fair chance your application is regularly discarded by a computer. Computer says NO!

You’ll find a wealth of info on Applicant Tracking Systems and how to beat them on the web. One of the most insightful articles I read was 5 Insider Secrets for Beating Applicant Tracking Systems by Meridith Levinson. The graphic on Page 2 explains in detail how important it is to parrot ‘keywords’ and how your score will be reduced if these words are not apparent. There are also some useful insights in 8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems. So much for your clever skills with paraphrasing and the use of ‘right-click’ to find a synonym. These artificial intelligence programs aren’t as intelligent as one might hope.

If you require input, or  need someone to review the criteria of a job application contact me to discuss. I really prefer creative writing so this service is limited.