Your application

The NSW Public Service recruits employees based on merit. This means assessors will select the person best suited to the requirements of a role, and the needs of the organisation, from a field of applicants.

You need to give your job application careful thought and put in time and effort to write an application that will be seriously considered.

The Public Service Commission has information on its website which details the application assessment process.

Preparation is an important first step in your job application process.

  • Download all available information, including the role description.
  • Read the job ad and the role description thoroughly to build your understanding of the role and to get a feel for the type of work done by the agency.
  • If you have any questions, call the contact person listed on the job ad. Talking to the contact person may give you a better understanding of the role, whether it is right for you and what to emphasise in your application. (Remember - first impressions count and employers will be building a profile of each applicant. Be professional. Treat the conversation like an interview).

THE ROLE DESCRIPTION contains vital information about the job including its main purpose, key accountabilities, challenges, relationships and its focus capabilities.

It is used by the assessors in reviewing your application and deciding whether you should proceed to the assessment stage.

An application usually consists of the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume (also known as a curriculum vitae or CV)
  • short response to one or two targeted questions.

Your entire application will need to be uploaded into an online form and submitted via the I Work for NSW website. The form will also ask you to enter other information including personal details, diversity information, work experience, education and details of referees.

When drafting your application you need to show how your capabilities, knowledge and experience are relevant to the job you are applying for. Provide examples of your accomplishments and work ethic and relate these to the requirements of the job you are applying for. Do not assume that the hiring manager will understand acronyms or military terms in your applications. Be sure to translate these in your application.

Using a structure to write your application such as STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or SAO (Situation, Action, Outcome) will help you to highlight specific achievements.

Remember to always check spelling, punctuation and grammar before submitting your application.

STAR Model

The STAR model is the preferred way of presenting information, both in your written application and interviews.

S – Situation – Set the context by describing the circumstance where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience.

T – Task - What was your role?  It is important to note you want to focus on your role and what you did - not what your team did.

A – Actions – What did you do and how did you do it? What hurdles did you overcome? Again remember to focus on you, not your team.

R – Results – What did you achieve? What was the end result and how does it relate to the position you are applying for?