1. How do I write an effective resume?
Your resume - also known as ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’ - is a snapshot of your qualifications, experience, skills and achievements. A resume needs to be clear, concise and neatly organised, with content relevant to the role you’re applying for. Your resume should include your:
- Work experience, paid and volunteer, in reverse chronological order (i.e. from your most recent role onwards). For each job, include your job title, name of employer, and dates of employment (month and year are generally sufficient). Briefly describe your responsibilities and highlight any achievements you accomplished in each role.
- Education, qualifications and details of any training or courses relevant to the role
- Other specialist skills or knowledge
- Memberships of professional organisations
- Referee details including names, contact details and a brief description of your working relationship(s).
Please note: It’s not compulsory to attach your resume as a separate file. In jobs.nsw, the ‘work experience’, ‘education’ and ‘referee’ fields can be used to capture the key aspects of your resume. You can add and remove referee contacts for each application and rearrange the referee order at any time.
2. What are targeted questions and how do I respond?
The job advertisement may ask you to include a short statement in response to open-ended or ‘targeted’ questions. These are capability-based questions relevant to the role and are designed to elicit responses from applicants that provide evidence of experience in a similar area. Targeted questions are generally situational questions and as such, start with phrases like: “Give an example of a situation where...”, or “Describe a scenario...”
In response to a targeted question, you’ll usually need to describe a specific situation and give examples of how you used specific skills to deal with a similar situation to the one being described in the question. To provide a complete response, it’s a good idea to use the STAR method (by detailing the Situation, Task, Actions and Result). In your response, try to focus on what you did personally, rather than on actions or decisions made by your team, as it’s your individual capabilities that are being assessed in this process.
Depending on the role, you may be asked to answer the targeted questions in the ’pre-screening questions’ field provided. If you do this, you don’t need to address these questions in your cover letter. However, if the application form doesn’t provide a ‘pre-screening questions’ field, you may address the targeted question(s) in your cover letter.
Tip: When completing targeted questions in the ’pre-screening questions’ field, you should draft your responses to targeted questions externally (e.g. in a Word document) to allow you time to review and amend your responses prior to entering them in the system.
3. What else should I include in my application?
Read the job advertisement and review the application form carefully to identify what information is required in your application. If you include a cover letter, it should be short (no more than one page), highlighting the main points of your claim for the role. A cover letter should include:
- Details of the role you’re applying for
- A brief introduction about yourself and why you’re interested in the role
- A summary of your relevant skills, qualifications and experience
- Information relevant to any open-ended (‘targeted’) questions in the job ad (if applicable).
Remember to check spelling, punctuation and grammar, and be succinct. The application itself indicates how well you can communicate and, if written well, can make a positive impression.
Note: The jobs.nsw ‘cover letter’ field can only accept basic formatting. If you create your cover letter in a Microsoft Word document, it’s a good idea to copy and paste the text into a Notepad file (.txt) to ensure any formatting has been removed, then copy and paste the text from the Notepad file into the ‘cover letter’ field.
4. How do I include attachments?
You may be asked to attach some form of documentation to your application (e.g. A consent form to do background checks). This can be added in the ‘attachment’ field. Please don’t use this function to attach lengthier versions of your cover letter.
Please note: Your attachment library in jobs.nsw contains the attachments for all of your applications, however, only those marked as ‘relevant’ will be submitted for viewing with your current application. It’s a good idea to not delete any documents until you know the outcome of your application. If you delete a document relevant to the current role you’re applying for, the assessment panel won’t be able to view that document, so it can’t be considered as part of your application.
5. How can I be sure my application has been received?
When you click ‘Submit your application’, you’ll be taken to a ’Thank you for submitting’ page. In your nominated email account, you’ll then receive an email from jobs.nsw to thank you for applying for the role, which may also include further information about next steps in the process. If you don’t receive this e-mail, your application hasn’t been successfully submitted. If this is the case, we recommend you try submitting again, and then contact the nominated contact person if you’re still not successful in submitting your application online.
6. What does the assessment process involve?
For a general overview of recruitment and selection processes in the NSW Public Service, please ‘refer to our recruitment process page’ .
Every recruitment process is different. If you’d like specific information about the recruitment process for a particular role, you should review the job ad and information package provided before contacting the nominated contact person for more information if required.
7. Will there be online assessments?
Online assessments may be used as part of the assessment process. If you would like specific information about the recruitment process for a particular role, you should review the job ad and information package provided before contacting the nominated contact person for more information if required. Online assessments are a common way of gathering information about candidates’ capabilities, personal values and attributes, with minimal inconvenience to candidates.
By testing aptitudes using cognitive ability tests, such as abstract thinking and verbal and numerical reasoning, potential employers can get measures of abilities such as problem-solving, critical thinking and aptitude to learn certain tasks.
Cognitive ability tests are commonly used because they reliably predict performance on the job when used in combination with an interview and other assessments. Because these assessments are completed online in an unsupervised setting, a further validation test is completed by the candidate at an interview under supervision.
If you have a disability and require any adjustments to the assessment process, you can discuss your requirements with the hiring manager or nominated contact person at any stage of the process.
8. How do I prepare for online assessments?
Assessment service providers usually have information about online tests on their websites and may also provide the opportunity to complete practice questions before you undertake the assessment. It’s a good idea to review all the information provided and complete practice questions where available before taking the assessment.
It‘s very important that you complete any online test in a quiet environment free from disruptions during the time you have allocated for the test. If you have difficulty accessing a computer or finding a quiet place or time, it’s a good idea to contact the nominated contact person or the assessment service provider to ask about completing the assessment in their offices.
9. What is a structured behavioural interview?
A structured behavioural interview is a form of assessment that will be included in all recruitment and selection processes in the NSW Public Service. This interview style allows interviewers to rate candidates in a consistent, standardised manner.
Behavioural questions invite candidates to share examples of specific situations from their own experience, how they approached each situation, what they did, and what the results were. When responding to structured behavioural interview questions, it’s a good idea to use the ‘STAR’ method to structure your response – Situation, Task, Action, Result. In your response, try to focus on what you did personally, rather than on actions or decisions made by your team, as it is your individual capabilities that are being assessed in this process.
The following are examples of behavioural questions:
Question: Tell me about a time when you had to analyse information and make a recommendation. What kind of thought process did you go through? Was the recommendation accepted? If not, why?
Question: Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
In preparation for this type of interview, it’s a good idea to:
- Review the Role Description (RD)
- Think through some examples of when you’ve demonstrated the focus capabilities for the role in the past
10. What are the capabilities for the role and how do I respond?
Employment decisions in the NSW Public Service are based on assessment of capabilities, experience and knowledge against the pre-established standards for the role. The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework describes the capabilities and associated behaviours that are expected of all NSW public sector employees, at every level and in every organisation.
You should read the role description and information package provided for information about the specific capability requirements for the role you’re applying for.
11. How do I use the search engine?
How do I search?
Getting started with your search
Step 1. In the keyword or Job Reference/ID field, type a description of the kind of job you are looking for - such as a job title and or a skill or qualification.
This search is a keyword search. This means that when you type your search words without quotation marks around the phrase, the search will return job listings that contain at least one of those words in either the job title or description.
Step 2. You have the option to select search now. Alternatively you can complete more fields to narrow your search.
You can improve your search results by following our job search tips or refine your search by using the advanced search page.
Searching for exact phrases
To find jobs containing an exact phrase, put double quotation marks around the words.
For example, type "Policy officer" to search for all jobs containing that phrase either in the title or the description.
Searching for complex phrases
Alternatively you can use complex phrases, often called Boolean logic, to fine-tune your search.
For example, to return all jobs that contain the term healthcare and either the word manager or director, type the following in the keyword or Job Reference field:
(manager OR director) AND healthcare
To improve your results, you can continue to revise the search as follows:
(manager OR director) AND (healthcare) NOT sales
Narrowing your search
If your search returns a large number of jobs, you can try the following:
Try adding more terms to the keyword or Job Reference/ID field and search again.
Another great tip: exclude jobs containing certain keywords. Just type the word NOT before any terms you don't want. For example: contract NOT lawyer
Broadening your search
To find all jobs that fit your interests, you may need to broaden your keyword search. One way is to use the word OR between terms. If you are looking for a management position, for example, you could enter: manager OR director. This will return all jobs that contain either the word manager or the word director.
Step 1. Select the Salary band option that reflects the level of salary you would like.
Step 2. In the Location field, select the option(s) for where you want to find a job.
Step 3. Select the Job Category (ies) most closely aligned to the field you would like to be employed in.
Step 4. Select the Government Agency / Organisation / entity you are interested in. Select Search
Step 5. Select the type of employment arrangement you would like to have.
NB If you select fulltime the results will show full time on-going and full time contract / temporary as well as Graduate and Apprenticeship positions. However if you select fulltime and contract/temporary the search will return only temporary /Contract work with a fulltime hour load.
Step 6. Select the time period in which you would like to search for advertised vacancies by selecting the preferred option from the drop down list in the Advertising date field.
Complete as many fields as you wish to complete understanding that the more fields completed the more refined your search will be.
Teaching Service in NSW Schools.
To refine the search for vacancies in NSW schools a series of fields will be activated when NSW Schools is selected in the Organisation / Entity field.
The Staffing Area field
This field allows you to select the area within NSW in which you would like to teach. The search will return schools with vacancies in the nominated area.
12. Who do I contact if I need help?
Refer to the role advertisement for assistance should you have any questions about the role you are applying for.
Technical support for the jobs.nsw search engine is available through email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1800 562 679.
The support desk is available from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.