Foreword for Get That Government Job: the secrets to winning positions with selection criteria
By Kate Southam – Editor careerone.com.au
Job seeking can feel like one of life’s great mysteries.
You believe your skills, attributes and experience to be a perfect match for a particular job role only to find you don’t get short listed for interview. Worse, in some cases you don’t even receive a reply. In few cases do job seekers receive feedback on where they could improve their recruitment pitch. Was it the cover letter? Was it the resume? Was it the words you used or didn’t use? Too often where you went wrong remains a mystery.
With government jobs, the quest is made even harder because of the need to address the dreaded “selection criteria”. These days selection criteria is even used by the non-government sector to screen candidates for short list. The process of addressing selection criteria can be a challenge even for the seasoned public sector employee. For those who have never encountered this particular selection tool or who haven’t formally applied for a job for many years it can be enough to put them off applying all together.
I have been in the career media business at News Ltd for six years as editor of careerone.com.au. I have also have a syndicated newspaper career advice column – Ask Kate, – that is also published on our website, and I regularly contribute to magazines, newspapers, websites and even radio on career and job hunting issues. My criteria for selecting story subjects never wavers. I want to demystify the job hunting process to help people achieve their career goals. The one area I have not tackled has been addressing selection criteria. It’s a real specialty and I have relied on experts to answer questions from readers.
For this reason I was very glad to hear Dawn Richards was going to lay the process bare with her new book Get that Government Job. I was even happier to read the book and see how it used plain English to explain how to successfully apply for local, state and Federal government jobs. Dawn looks at every step of the job hunting process from research, preparing and submitting documentation (resumes, selection criteria) to interviews and referees. She also uses handy checklists throughout the book to ensure candidates cover all their bases.
Dawn provides marketing tips (you are the product), writing tips including words that get a job applicant noticed and her insider’s view of the little slip ups that could see your application “binned”.
There are also some great tips on tackling the real life problems no one likes to talk about. For example, tips for how a 40-plus candidate can get by a young recruiter as well as how candidates of all ages can conquer pre-interview butterflies.
I know from my conversations with Dawn how genuine she is about helping people. This book is a real tribute to her years of doing just that!
Use the book to ensure you actually enjoy the process of job hunting. Remember, job hunting is a two-way street – it’s not just about what the employer wants but what you want. Be being as prepared and confident as you can b, will help you be more open to what employers are telling/selling you. At the end of the day, you need to judge each job role on how well it meets your very own selection criteria.
Best wishes for the job hunt.