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Careers at Council

As we all know, COVID-19 has affected the Australian job market like never before. In these rapidly changing times, the Australian Government is supporting affected Australians looking for work. This has included their development of the Jobs Hub, which is a one-stop online hub listing myriad current vacancies Australia wide. One section of the Jobs Hub is specifically focused on Australian Government jobs and over the next few weeks, we will explore each of the 13 categories and look at current opportunities and the types of jobs available, what you need to do to apply, and what you can expect working at one of many of their departments. This week, we are focusing on Careers at Council –

Within Australia, there are 537 local Councils, Shires and Local Government Areas (LGAs) employing anywhere between five and 8,500 people, depending on the size of the Council. Mayors and Councillors of LGAs are elected to represent their community and approve the policies, plans and budgets that guide the work of council staff. Councils offer many different career options, including planning, building and managing local infrastructure such as roads, bridges or footpaths; designing, managing, improving or maintaining recreation facilities such as parks, sports fields, golf courses, sports centres, camping grounds or caravan parks; as well as managing major community assets such as airports, marinas, car parks or council-owned buildings and Crown Land. Other local Council career opportunities can include;

  • Delivering important health services such as water and food inspections, immunisations, noise and animal control
  • Protecting wetlands and coastal dunes, managing land rehabilitation or leading environmental sustainability
  • Helping deliver cultural services such as libraries, art galleries, museums or organising cultural events
  • Planning the future needs of a city, town or suburb and approving building development proposals
  • Operating community care services such as child or aged care, youth and welfare
  • Growing local tourism through visitor centres, festivals, events and markets
  • Managing waste collection or water and sewerage services

Upon selecting the Careers at Council option via the Jobs Hub, you are taken to what seems like a brand-new website developed in 2020 specifically to promote the various Council jobs available Australia-wide – Careers at Council. This is a comprehensive site that provides information on Local Government, working in Councils, Careers at Council, entry level options, locations, interesting blog articles, as well as a list of current jobs available. There is also a visual graphic of Australia that clearly shows the number of Councils available in each state. The Council link takes you straight to the page where that particular Council’s job vacancies are advertised and there is also a dedicated tab where you can scroll through the currently advertised positions. At the time of writing this blog, there were 32 Council positions available. On selecting the direct link to the jobs available, we found that they were extremely diverse in nature, from a Business Partner Systems Analyst to Community Property Project Coordinator, through to Resource and Waste Plant Operators and Finance Managers.

The diversity of jobs available with Local Government means there are many different career paths you can explore with Councils. This includes jobs within Business Services, Communications, Community Services, Economic Development, Engineering & Asset Management, Environment, Finance, Human Resources, Park & Sports Facilities, Planning & Development, Property, Tourism, and Culture & Recreation. Councils are committed to providing training and development opportunities and further education to employees. Local Councils throughout Australia offer equal employment opportunities for all potential applicants and employees. Regardless of your age, gender, Indigenous heritage or religious beliefs, you will receive the same opportunities as other candidates and will be assessed purely on your ability to perform the job duties.

Most applications to Council will comprise a resume, responses to selection criteria and if required, a one-page cover letter. Each Local Council will have different requirements and methods for applying, so you need to clearly read the application guidelines. Sometimes these can be ambiguous but if you are confused, you can reach out to the contact officer for clarification. Your one-page cover letter gives the reader the chance to ‘meet’ you and encourages them to continue to evaluate your application. The information you provide should include a brief description on why you are the most suitable candidate for the role. Make sure you clearly specify the role you are applying for and a list of your key skills that are applicable to the role requirements. Your resume provides the selection panel with an overview of your professional working history, which could include responsibilities and achievements for your current and past roles, a list of your key skills, which can be sub-categorised depending on the application requirements, as well as your formal qualifications and professional development, and referees. This then forms a professional snapshot of your background, accomplishments, career outlook and any further information of significance or importance. The responses to the selection criteria will give you the opportunity to clearly demonstrate how you meet each Selection Criteria question through prior working experiences, qualifications and your skills and capabilities. It is imperative to provide strong, relevant and concise examples. Depending on the page, word or character limits as specified within the advertisement details, providing concise and relevant information is imperative to a strong application.

After the applications have closed, you will receive an acknowledgement letter to say that your application was received. Based on the written applications, a small number of people will be asked to attend an interview. This is the final, and in a way, the most important stage of the process. There are normally three people on an interview panel. Some will be from the area in which you are applying to work, and some from human resources. After the interview, the panel may contact your referees and it may take two weeks before the successful candidate is advised. If you are successful, you may be required to undertake a health check prior to starting work. A written offer of appointment will then be forwarded to you. If you are not selected for an interview, you will usually be advised within a two to three weeks. If you are not successful, it is OK to ask for tips on what areas you might improve in.

With over 500 Local Councils within Australia, the opportunities are plenty. If you are passionate about making a contribution to local communities and you have the personal attributes and skills that align with the various jobs available, then perhaps a career with Local Government is for you. The team at Public Service Resumes specialise in writing resumes, cover letters and selection criteria for Local Councils and have a proven track record of producing high-quality, correctly structured and professional documents. So, if you are in need of assistance with your next Local Council application, call us today for an obligation-free quote.