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Health is a large and complex industry sector, with many funding and workforce challenges in the coming decades (increase and aging of the population, chronic disease, increased use of technologies etc). If you are about to apply for a health leadership role you will probably know a lot about these – if not, you might struggle to be competitive.

When considering a leadership role in the public system, it would be wise to show that you are familiar with State Government Strategic Health Plans, and the Business Plans and Priorities of your local district.  Also you should show that you have thought about the impact of the Australian National Health Reform Agreement on the advertised role.

As a busy clinician/technician wanting to move into a health leadership role, you may not have taken the time to find out what leadership frameworks or development opportunities exist in your organisation. Thanks to the intranet and Google, these are now easier to find.

Here are a few:

NHS Leadership Framework

Queensland Health – Healthcare Culture and Leadership Framework 2010

Victoria Health – LINK in Health (Leadership, Innovation, Networks and Knowledge)

Pan-Canadian Health Leadership Capability Framework Project

Good Luck with your Leadership application. The health sector needs great leaders to lead the coordination and cultural changes required for the future.

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Graduate Recruitment application season is here again. It is pleasing to see the range of strategies that different employers are using to seek out the best talent, who fit with where their organisation is heading. The trend is certainly towards ensuring candidates have researched the employer’s current roles and future challenges.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has just opened its applications (closing 18 April 2011) for a wide range of graduate opportunities (Human Resources, Law , Marketing and Sales, Architecture and Design, Business and Commerce, Accounting, Information Technology, Government).

The ATO application form requires candidates to answer 15 multiple choice questions. The first 12 questions test ability to research and analyse a variety of documents available on the Tax Office website (e.g. Which of the following are listed in the document Compliance program 2010-11 as initiatives and innovations for Small-to-medium enterprises?). The next three questions are about values and code of conduct (You happen to see a colleague hit a parked car while leaving the work car park……? ).

Australia Post’s application process is also open (closing 4 April 2011) and reminds applicants ‘Your application is your “brand”, so make sure you’ve thoroughly checked it for spelling and grammar.’ The application form asks about a candidate’s leadership experience (sports teams, voluntary organisations, etc) and asks the following five questions (with a limit of 100 words per questions).

  • Australia Post’s retail network is one of the biggest in the country, serving over a million people each day. Customers are the lifeblood of our organisation. Tell us about a time when you have met and exceeded the customer’s expectations through the service you have provided?
  •  In an organisation as large and diverse as Australia Post, one great opportunity is to build relationships across several teams. Tell us a time when you were able to encourage others within your workplace to work collaboratively or to support an idea?
  • As a graduate, we’re not only interested in your scores, but in who you are – what you stand for, where you’re going, what you have done in the world and what you would love to do from here. Tell us your career aspirations and areas of interest?
  • It is an exciting time to be at Australia Post as we are currently moving in a new direction with our ‘Future Ready’ strategy. This transformation strategy means that we will have a greater focus on our customers, will be embracing the digital world and more. What skills and attributes do you have which will allow you to successfully contribute to driving Australia Post into this new era?
  •  Tell us why you have ultimately chosen to apply for the Australia Post Graduate Program?

For more ideas on who is advertising for Graduates in Australia try GradConnection, UniGrad, Career One’s Virtual Career Fair, or check out a Career Fair (schedule – most in mid March to early April 2011) in your state.

 

When you are engaging someone to assist you with the writing of selection criteria, you need to decide if you require a basic or more expert level of support.

The basic level of support includes providing information to a writer, who will then take this information and ensure it is well presented, and in the appropriate format.

If you need more expert assistance, including understanding recruitment processes and selection criteria, you may need to engage the services of a ‘job coach/writer’ with recruitment and human resource experience.  A good job coach will brainstorm with you to find your most complex and relevant examples for the advertised role.

For example, when addressing the criteria/capability ‘personal drive and integrity’, I will ask my clients questions like:

  • When have you enthusiastically attended or organised training in relation to Values, Code of Conduct, Ethics, Respectful (harassment-free and non-discriminatory) Workplaces, Fraud or Conflict of Interest?
  • When have you taken on roles to show your commitment to quality workplaces (e.g. harassment contact officer)?
  • Can you think of a time when you have identified something that needed to be improved in your team, then went and did something about it?
  • Tell me about some times when you have been given a difficult job (lack of staff, tight deadlines, technology problems…..), but stuck at it and achieved a good result?

If the vacancy is a team leadership role, I will be looking for higher-level examples, through questions such as:

  • What have you done to ensure everyone in your team has had the appropriate corporate training? Have you ever introduced a ‘Values’ training session to show your Agency’s commitment to these Values?
  • What do you do in your team meetings to show that you are committed to non-discriminatory workplaces?
  • Have you identified, investigated or worked with corporate service teams to resolve harassment of fraud or code of conduct matters?
  • When have you been selected to undertake a challenging project?

For senior leadership roles, examples that are more significant will be sought through discussing:

  • What have you done to ensure your division/Department has shown leadership in engaging and retaining employees?
  • Where have you identified something that would enhance a new policy initiative and worked across divisions or with other government departments to make this happen?
  • What have you done to build a culture that reinforces appropriate risk-taking, initiative and personal resilience?

Following this brainstorming, it is important to select examples that are most relevant to the advertised role, and to present these concisely within the word limit.

For more tips on addressing selection criteria – please subscribe to this blog (top left corner).

For expert assistance with writing your claims against selection criteria, you can contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE – I AM UNABLE TO TAKE ON ANY NEW CLIENTS AT PRESENT. CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER PROVIDERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO ASSIST YOU.

I am often asked about how a person can apply for short-term employment with Australian Government Agencies.

Most Agencies have a ‘Non-Ongoing Employment Register’. The details of how to register is published on each Agency’s recruitment website. A person interested in several Agencies will need to submit a different application for each Agency. Some examples of these are, Department of Defence, Australian Bureau of Statistics , Medicare Australia, Attorney-General’s Department, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Commonwealth Ombudsman and National Native Title Tribunal.  

A list of all Australian Government Agencies can be found at the Government On-Line Directory. This site also gives links to State Government Directories. 

For Ex-Employees

Ready Now is a temporary employment register specifically for former employees of the Australian Public Service or similar Commonwealth bodies. Only one registration is necessary to cover all Agencies. 

Employment policy and advice

Employment policy and advice about non-ongoing employment is outlined in Australian Public Service Commission publications.

Permanent Vacancies

Some non-ongoing vacancies are advertised along with permanent opportunities on APS Jobs, which has an Email me Jobs service.

For expert job application or interview coaching, please contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com or 0403766812

Camels in Sede Boker DesertI was recently asked by a student – How do I find out about all of the graduate programs that are available in Australia and how to apply for them?

A good place to start research, if you are looking for information on graduate programs, is a new site GradConnection. GradConnection is a company set up by three recent graduates to help students find graduate jobs, graduate programs, graduate positions, graduate internships and cadetships. In this site, you can browse graduate employers by location and find out about the graduate programs in the parts of Australia you want to work in. You can also browse graduate employers by industry and get direct links to the graduate programs in your area of study.

To keep up to date on graduate opportunities you can read GradConnection’s Blog and follow them on Twitter.

Link to my hints about Graduate Assessment Centres

If you are having difficulty with the ‘addressing selection criteria’ process, it might help to know you are not alone. I did a search on Twitter last night using the term ‘selection criteria’. Here is what job candidates were saying:

  • damn selection criteria. maybe writing job apps is easier without the wine  
  • Selection Criteria….yuck! 
  • Aren’t selection criteria’s fun!? 
  • I hate selection criteria. 25 min to write 3 lines. 1 question down, 12 to go 
  • job applications are hard! selection criteria wtf? 
  • Damm selection criteria 
  • Ignoring the last few of those pesky selection criteria. Maybe later this evening. Trying to ignore the nausea. 
  •  ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ selection criteria – it somehow sounds very erotic… if you changed essential to sensual 
  • Attacking those darned Selection Criteria. First one: High level of reception & communication skills. Can’t I just say “yes” & move on? 
  • Responding to the World’s Largest Selection Criteria with my equally lengthy and wordy supporting statement. 
  • SELECTION CRITERIA HELL ONCE MORE! 
  • Selection criteria suck I hate writing them 
  •  just did her second selection criteria for one day… aghh!! 
  • Frell me. I HATE Selection Criteria. “Knowlege of public sector financial & administrative legislation.” YUCK. Don’t know what to write. 😦 
  • TEN selection criteria? Are you kidding me? Moreton Bay Council; you’re no ASIO.

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For job seekers, the words ‘Selection Criteria’ can often be found in the same sentence as hell, nausea, darned, hate, yuk and you have got to be kidding. Nevertheless, they are here to stay, particularly for publically funded roles. There are many good reasons for employers to use specific criteria, and to assess against these requirements to find the best person for a job.

It is not the principle of selection criteria that brings bile to the throat – the problem is the way that some employers use them to make writing a job application into a very onerous task.

In the pre-November employee shortage, a growing number of public sector employers decided that a tailored resume and brief statement (or answers to questions) were sufficient to screen applicants who should move to the next stage of the selection process. Unfortunately, other employers have persisted in using too many, often repetitive selection criteria; and asking candidates to ‘address selection criteria’ without giving any guidance on the length, depth or format required.

The latter approach may lack courtesy and be an inefficient way to run a competitive selection process. However, it is the current reality for some jobs. Applicants need to learn to effectively tackle the addressing of selection criteria – in whatever format – if they wish to secure what can be a rewarding public sector career. Candidates can get help through books and web guidance, employ a job coach (like me) or hire someone to write their applications.

Share your ideas on what has helped you to ‘address selection criteria’.

 

Looking for an expert to coach you to write your job application or prepare for the job  interview – contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com or 0403766812

If you are applying for a job in the Queensland Government, the selection criteria may look like the five below:

  • Supports strategic direction or Shapes strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Supports productive working relationships  or Cultivates productive working relationships
  • Displays personal drive and integrity  or Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence

The Queensland Government has adopted a Capability and Leadership Framework (CLF) which is similar to the Australian Public Service Integrated Leadership System (ILS). This framework outlines the core capabilities and associated behaviours required of public servants at each classification and functional level within the Queensland Public Service. 

The Individual Profiles which describe the capabilities and behavioural indicators required at the different levels are likely to be the most useful part of the CLF, if you are using it to apply for a job.

If you read the whole CLF document, you will find useful tools to support you in assessing your development needs for a public service career.  IPAA Queensland has mapped all of its courses to the five capabilities of the CLF.

Queensland Government jobs and careers are advertised at SmartJobs.

 Looking for an expert to coach you to write your job application or prepare for the job  interview – contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com or 0403766812

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 Posts on selection criteria Shapes Strategic Thinking

 

Tom Hanneman from Seek writes ‘Requiring candidates to respond to selection criteria may seem like cruel and unusual punishment. But at least everyone is in the same boat. Following these straightforward guidelines may give you the edge you need to get the interview and secure the position.’ You can find his guidance on how to address Selection Criteria on the Seek Site.

After reading this you may still need more help. For about $30, you can purchase e-manuals by Carolyn Smith from Impact Writing Services – The Great Australian Resume and Get In and Get Promoted in the Public Sector. These e-books give more comprehensive tips and templates to assist with public sector resumes and selection criteria.

Click ‘Selection Criteria’ in my Tag Cloud for more blog posts on this topic.

j0179967Statement of Claims against the Selection Criteria

In today’s competitive job market, aspiring employees must have well-tailored, well-written job applications.

While many public sector Agencies in Australia are reducing the amount of writing required for job applications – most still require candidates to do some analysis of their skills/capabilities/experience and to write about these according to prescribed selection criteria (i.e. to write a ‘statement of claims’ against the selection criteria). Thus, writing a public sector job application can feel like doing an assignment. Unlike school or University assignments where students must sign that the work is their own, employers rarely require any such acknowledgement with job applications.  This opens the door for people with expert knowledge of government selections to become professional job application writers.

Job applicants can spend many hours attending training and reading about how to address selection criteria, and then edit and re-edit to get the content and layout just right. For most candidates, this means well over 10 hours per application.  Alternatively, they may consider it a good investment to hire a professional to write their application.

The Job Application Process – More than Just a Resume

One of my clients recently paid about $300 for a ‘resume writer’ (found through an internet search) to prepare her statement of claims for a government position.  She told me that she got an interview through this application, but froze during the interview.  She felt she did not understand the selection criteria and what the selection committee expected.  I had a look at the papers (resume and selection criteria statement) that had been written for her.  The writer had done an excellent job in capturing my client’s experience and making an argument as to why she was a very suitable candidate for the role. My client will be able to cut and paste from this document and use this for future applications.  With a better understanding of what selection panels look for with common selection criteria and some interview coaching, I am sure she will soon secure a job. 

Another client came to me for job interview coaching. She was particularly stressed because she had been advised that a written test would be conducted just prior to the interview. I had a look at her application.  She had excellent qualifications and experience, and her resume and statement of claims were well-written.   Based on this, with a few tips on how to manage written job tests, she should have had no trouble with a written test.  She admitted that she had received considerable assistance with her written application, and that she did not really have the level of writing skills required for the role. 

The message from these two stories – the written application is only one part of the selection process.  No amount of professional assistance with writing claims against selection criteria will help if a candidate is not able to complete other job assessment tasks at the required level.

Resume Writer Fees

If a candidate decides to hire a professional to prepare their application, they can expect to pay over $300. I did a search today to find current fees in Australia. Usually the client can choose different packages to suit their needs.  For example, one company says that they will prepare ‘ready to lodge applications from just $285 (incl. selection criteria, cover letter & resume tidy)’.  Another consultant lists the costs for an experienced job seeker (ie with over 2 years work experience) as follows:

‘Professional Resume via Phone/Email: $295
Professional Resume with Face-to-Face Consultation: $395
Customised Cover Letter: $95
Selection Criteria Responses: $70 per criteria’

A third provider lists their charges as, ‘Selection criteria response: typically from $250. New résumés from about $150’.

Most writers will ask many questions so they can understand the client’s skills and experience. They won’t make up things (hopefully), but should use their expertise to match what a candidate has to offer to the advertised role. 

Is it Fair/Ethical to Use a Resume Writer to Prepare a Ready to Lodge Job Application?

In the ideal world, all candidates would have equality of opportunity to present their claims. The reality is that candidates have different levels of familiarity and knowledge of the selection criteria process. Candidates also have different access to expertise to assist them to prepare applications, and different levels of comfort about ‘blowing-their-own-trumpet’.

It could be argued that professional job application writers level the playing field for those external (non-public sector) applicants who have had no prior experience with analysing selection criteria.

Where employers use open selection processes that favour candidates who know how to address selection criteria, the professional job application writer will thrive.

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Are you struggling to write the application? Need some ideas on how to address selection criteria? Do you feel you let yourself down at job interviews?

Do you want coaching from an experienced human resource professional? Do you need someone who understands the Intergrated Leadership System (Australian Government)  or Capability Leadership Framework (Queensland Government)?

Contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com   or 0403766812

Send me your draft resume, and details of any job/s that you are interested in.  Tell me if you need to work on your application (covering letter, resume or selection criteria) or if you need interview practice. I can provide a no obligation free quote.

My specialty is coaching people for job interviews. I enjoy assisting people to win jobs – and would love to hear from you.  

 Cheryl

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Employers- Please contact me about doing job application training for groups at your workplace. ph 0403766812 or brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com

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