Recruitment: how to win a job with a private sector background

Having an impressive CV won’t necessarily get you the job in the public sector. Particularly if your experience is in the commercial realm. Here are some tips …

Winning a job in the private sector can often be done through making a compelling case in a well-crafted CV boasting impressive qualifications and extensive experience. However, it would be detrimental to think that the same applies in the public service.

Selection criteria rule in public service recruitment; they are used to substantiate skills and assess suitability for the role, and the successful candidates are those who carefully and comprehensively address them.

While the concept of selection criteria is nothing new, there is a distinct approach in the way they must be addressed in the Australian public service, and it’s not uncommon that it is missed by many applicants from the private sector. Their limited experience and knowledge in the process places them at a disadvantage to their APS competitors who are well-versed in the nuances of selection criteria.

Many private sector applicants fail to make the link between their experience and the selection criteria. They instead rely on their CVs to do the talking and hope for a chance to make their case in an interview. Because of the graded aspect of APS recruitment, this oversight earns them an early setback in the race.

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