Preparing your application

Preparing your application

Use this guide to prepare and understand the key application documents.

Understanding the position description

Download and carefully read the position description along with any other documents attached to the job posting. The main areas to focus on are:

  • values — describes the values and behaviours that guide the organisation and which are expected of employees
  • accountabilities —  lists the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks of the job
  • key selection criteria — lists the qualities, knowledge and skills needed to do the job and which you need to respond to in your application
  • qualifications — specifies any formal or mandatory qualifications needed for the job 

If you have any questions about the job, contact the person mentioned in the job posting. And remember to save the position description for future reference, because when the job closes, the listing and attachments will be removed from this website.

Preparing your key documents

Your resume and a cover letter are the two key documents you usually need to apply for a job. During the online application process you may need to upload these documents or copy and paste from them.


A resume is the document that presents your personal information, education and work background in a clear and concise format. 

A well-presented resume highlights your qualities and can make you stand out as a good candidate for a selection panel. No single resume template is better — as long as it provides an easy-to-read structure. If you don't already have one, search the internet for a resume template.

Be sure to include any previous experience as well as volunteer work — even if you think it’s not relevant to the job. If you’re a student, include jobs or projects you did while studying. And include at least two referees with phone contacts.

All of this information shows the type of person you are, your skill set and work ethic.

Key selection criteria

Some roles require a response to key selection criteria. The key selection criteria lists the most important qualities you need to do the job. The criteria will specify things like personal values, knowledge, skills and experience. Here’s how to prepare a response to the selection criteria:

  1. Create a separate document with a main heading 'Key selection criteria'.
  2. Copy all of the selection criteria from the position description and paste under the heading.
  3. Format each criteria item in bold.
  4. Write a short statement (60 to 120 words) under each criteria item with examples of how you meet the criteria.

For detailed guidance and examples, see how to reply to key selection criteria.