Applying for a Government Job

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Applying for a Government Job

BY Skillset Marketing 30 Jun, 2021

Applying for a Government Job

Government jobs provide interesting and fulfilling careers, as well as stable employment. However, applying for a job with a government organisation – be it at the Commonwealth, State or local Council level – can be very different to applying for a job in the private sector. Here are some key differences to be aware of when considering a job with government.

All jobs are advertised

With very few exceptions, jobs with government are advertised. Before the internet existed, jobs were advertised in mainstream and local newspapers, but now all open positions are advertised on government websites, with key roles advertised through online recruitment websites, such as SEEK and through recruitment agencies. To find out available roles at government organisations, visit the following:

Jobs with local councils in the Central West of NSW can generally be found on their websites:

For many government roles, the recruitment process commences online. This means you may have to register your details first and create an account before submitting any job specific information. Other websites may not require you to create an account but will request specific information about yourself, your skills and experience before asking you to submit job application documentation.

Each recruitment follows a process and takes time

All government recruitment follows a competitive selection process. Generally, the job is advertised with a copy of the position description, a request for a covering letter and CV (or resume), and a deadline for when these job application documents need to be submitted by. Once the jobs documentation is received, candidates are shortlisted and interviews are conducted.

Interviews are usually conducted by two or more people – often the people doing the interviewing will include the person who will be managing the position being advertised, as well as a manager or representative from another area of the organisation. Sometimes the interview will take place in front of a panel of people from the organisation.

Once interviews are completed, interviewed candidates are graded with the top-ranked candidates undergoing referee checks. After this process is completed, the top-ranked candidate who passes the referee checks is offered the job subject to pre-employment checks.

These processes, whilst complex and possibly protracted, are aimed at getting the best candidate for the job and therefore can take time. This means it may be (many) weeks between when you initially spot a job you wish to apply for and when the position is finally filled. However, use of these processes means recruitment decisions can stand up to scrutiny, ensuring the person who ultimately wins the job will have done so based on merit.

The process will involve some kind of assessment

Assessments are part of government recruitment processes and can take many forms. These assessments range from being asked set behavioural questions in an interview through to cognitive ability tests and work sample tests. For some government organisations, they can also include medical or fitness assessments. Just like the rest of the recruitment process, these assessments are designed to get the best candidate for the position.

If you are shortlisted for an interview, you will be informed about the assessment requirements for a particular position by the recruitment contact person. This person should be able to answer any questions you might have about the assessments you need to undertake.

You can get feedback

If you are unsuccessful when applying for a government job, there is always an opportunity to get feedback so you can improve your application for next time. As recruitment follows a strict process, there is generally a record of why applicants are unsuccessful. In most cases, verbal feedback can be provided to candidates who are unsuccessful when requested.

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