What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a great way of providing an over all commentary on what will be presented in your resume, providing a brief insight into the attributes, skills and experiences you would bring to the position. You should format your cover letter to include who you are and what you want, highlight relevant skills and experience, why you would be a suitable applicant and also contact details along with your availability.
Your cover letter should not be more than one page in length. It is perfectly acceptable for your cover letter to be the content of the email with which your resume is attached. Make sure where possible you include the name, title, company and address of the recipient the resume is attended for and always include a reference.
What is a security clearance and how do I get one?
A security clearance is a background check to ensure you can be trusted with classified information. To gain a security clearance you will be asked to complete a security package. These packs will vary depending on the level of clearance required for the position.
You must be engaged or selected for a position with an Australian Government Agency that requires access to classified information to be able to obtain a security clearance. However, Connexxion is a member of the Defence Industrial Security Program (DISP) and can therefore sponsor candidates who are likely to be accepted into a role with the Department of Defence requiring a specific clearance.
The length of time for a security clearance to be processed depends on the level of clearance you are applying for. Generally it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 18 months to be processed. Some Australian Government Agencies allow for security clearances to be transferred across from other Departments, however, this is done on a case-by-case basis.
What are some interview tips?
The interview plays a critical part in the final decision of a prospective employer. First impressions count so be prepared, do your research, practice hard questions and remember to ask some questions yourself to help you make an informed decision.
- Rehearse. You will perform at your best if you thoroughly rehearse for the interview with sample questions. Try to do this with a friend who has experience in this, or alternatively contact the Connexxion Professional Services team for assistance and guidance.
- Be punctual. Always arrive a few minutes early to the interview and be sure to introduce yourself and state clearly the purpose of your interview. Be courteous and friendly to everyone, including the receptionists as they are often asked to provide feedback.
- Ensure you are dressed appropriately and act professional from the time you step onto the premises. Wear clothes that are suited to that particular environment and pay attention to your personal grooming.
- Research. Demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the industry, the organisation and the role the position plays. This shows the employer that you are keen on the position.
- Know your strengths, weaknesses and goals. Have some experiences prepared in your mind that relate directly to the position you are being interviewed for. Provide examples that support your answers and know what skills you have developed from previous roles and accomplishments.
If you would like further tips, including some practice interview questions and sample questions you could ask, simply phone our Professional Services Team by calling reception on (02) 6262 6288.
How do I apply for a role?
By calling reception on (02) 6262 6288 you can speak directly with our Consultancy Services team. In addition to this applications may also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our online application form.
Do I need Australian Citizenship to apply for a job within the Australian Government?
For many of the positions vacant within the Australian Government, Australian citizenship is a requirement as many of these positions require the successful candidate to obtain and maintain a Commonwealth Security Clearance. However, it is always best to ask us whether citizenship is required for a particular role, as some Departments will accept applications from Permanent Residents.
Should I respond to the selection criteria?
Where a selection criterion is requested, it is very important to provide written responses, as it will contribute to the over all rating of your application. More often than not when a job application requires selection criteria to be addressed your responses will be read before the prospective employer reads your resume.
A selection criterion provides you with the opportunity to submit evidence of your suitability for the position. Your application may be disregarded if one or more of the selection criteria have not been addressed satisfactorily.
Your response should be direct and organised. It should demonstrate your capabilities by providing evidence of how you meet each of the criteria, through relevant experience. Connexxion would suggest utilising the STAR model in your responses
- Situation: Provide a brief outline of the situation or setting, and which company the situation took place
- Task: Outline what your role was and what you had to do
- Approach or Action: Outline how you did it
- Result: Describe the outcomes, what was achieved and the end result
Ensure you provide an honest and accurate account of your abilities and that you have addressed all aspects of the criterion in your responses. Do follow the format of a selection criteria and stick to work where it is applicable. If not limits are provided, 250 to 300 words will generally be an appropriate length for each criterion. Lastly, always check your spelling and grammar.
What should my resume look like?
A resume is an important tool when applying for a role as it is what potential future employers will often use to make the first impressions about you. You need to ensure your resume is clear and concise. It should be long enough to show your employment experiences and needs to details what your responsibilities were and what you achieved. A generic resume is a good idea if you are unsure of an exact role, however, it is a good idea when applying for a specific role to ensure that your resume shows your skills and experience in that field.
Ideally you would want to focus on providing a description covering your most recent 5 to 7 years of employment. If you choose to provide more details it is best to keep it brief. It is important to include the details of two references, such as former employee's. Connexxion will not contact these references without first obtaining permission.
You do not need to include copies of your certificates relating to educational or professional qualification or written references from previous employers unless they are requested. Instead, bring these along to the interview. You do not want the resume to be longer than 4 to 5 pages in length, as anything pass this the client is likely to lose interest.
A good resume format to use would be
- Arial font, size 11, black aligned left
- Major headings should be black, bold, size 12, underlined.
- Subheadings, bold, Arial font, size 11, black
The thorough checking of spelling and grammar is crucial for a successful candidate as an accurate list of employment dates.
If you need further assistance or wish to speak with one of our Consultancy Services representatives, please Contact Us.