Recruitment: how to beat colleagues to the punch (without a bout)

Nobody likes tension in the office, but sometimes you have to put yourself first — especially when it comes to career advancement. Some advice on beating colleagues to the punch.

We’ve all experienced it. That awkward moment in the office when a job is announced that everyone is vying for. Convivial workplace friendships can quickly turn into ambivalent, fickle relationships as people pit themselves against each other and do what they must to win the job.

With the public service recruitment freeze and APS-only recruitment arrangements seeing no end in sight, these types of situations are increasingly cropping up in public service workplaces. Many people are willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top; in some cases the gloves come off and fair play is forgotten leading to game-playing and antagonistic internal politics.

The stories of being involved in or witnessing this negative type of competitive behaviour are rife across the public service; I even experienced it several times during my time in the APS. Tactics aside, I think this behaviour ultimately stems from a need to stand out in an environment where most contenders for the job would work in the same area and therefore have similar skills and knowledge of the work.

However, there is a better way to set your application apart while preserving your dignity by using these four tips …

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