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Essential Resume Focal Points

In this article we will be going over some essential resume focal points. Our team of writers at Public Service Resumes have been writing resumes professionally for years now, and over these years, we have seen expectations change a great deal. As such, we are continually changing the style and structure of resumes to appeal to today’s hiring managers and recruiters. However, when applying for roles in the Australian Public Service (APS), State Government or local Councils there are three key and essential resume focal points that should never change.

Essential Resume Focal Points » Focus on Outcomes

Public sector recruitment is all about outcomes – what you did, how you did it, and what was achieved. When writing your career history for an APS, State Government or local Council role, you should state what the end result for all your responsibilities has been, or if you want to be even more specific, make a list of your key achievements. If you are applying for a position that has already been advertised, then it can be useful to look at the key responsibilities and role expectations, and then work those points into your career history by way of your own experience.

It is important to not just focus on small outcomes. Regardless of the position and its level, it is important to think more broadly in order to show how you have a thorough understanding of your current and future employer’s strategic direction and how you have contributed to the achievement of goals. Key achievements and outcomes are great for highlighting your strengths and areas of expertise, while at the same time, ensure that the resume makes an impact and sets you apart from the competition. However, before you list achievements on a resume, you need to ensure they are measurable! Key achievements that are not quantified do not mean anything at all to an HR manager or recruiter. Any time you quantify accomplishments you give them credibility and clearly demonstrate what you can bring to the organisation that you are applying with.

No matter how small your role might have been, every little task that you perform helps the Department, and the Government as a whole, achieve its objectives and priorities. For the sake of argument let’s say you’re in an APS 2 position organising meeting papers for an executive meeting. Yes, it sounds dull and boring; however, without all the necessary paperwork, agendas, minutes etc., attendees cannot meet their departmental objectives. If departmental objectives cannot be met, the Government cannot meet their priorities. NEVER underestimate the importance of your job in the public service.

Essential Resume Focal Points » Focus on Compliance

Transparency, accountability and probity are essential for any public sector position, but often candidates can find it difficult to demonstrate this within the resume. The way in which we do this can include examples of how you have adhered to the Department and Whole-of-Government Code of Conduct or how you have upheld the Public Service Values in your conduct. Typically, key selection criteria comprise of key focal points such as ‘communicates with influence’, ‘demonstrates personal drive and integrity’, and ‘achieves results’, just to name a few. It can work particularly well to integrate these aspects into your resume by way of example, achievements or outcomes.

It is quite common knowledge that there are a fair few Government Departments that tend to make the news for all of the wrong reasons. If this is the case for your current employers or perhaps a Department that you are applying with, then you can reflect in your resume that you have a thorough understanding of how public servants are expected to deal with the media and maintain impartiality. Another perspective can be the sensitive information that your current or potential employer deals with. To reflect your compliance capacity, you can mention your ability to adhere to confidentially and privacy laws and regulations.

Regardless of the position that you are applying for, all APS, State Government or local Council employees are expected to have compliance toward workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity. This is particularly important if you are in a leadership role.

Essential Resume Focal points » Focus on Your Ability to Go Above and Beyond

Recruiters in the APS, State Government or local Council are always looking for high achievers – the innovators, the risk takers, and the think outside the boxers. Therefore, to show that you can really make a difference to a particular department, ensure that you include any time you have acted in a higher role or have taken up a secondment. While this experience of working in temporary roles can add value to your employment record, it important that you demonstrate the value such roles have offered. As a professional looking for a new job within the APS, it is important to explain how the positions you have held – whether permanent or temporary – have boosted your skill set and aided your career development. Specifically, this can be a great chance for you to;

  • Illustrate your flexibility and adaptability – a secondment or acting in a higher role can be a great way to demonstrate how you can hit the ground running and work with a diverse workforce
  • Show that you are eager to challenge yourself –a secondment or acting in a higher role can be a really useful way to learn new skills and approach fresh challenges
  • Network like crazy – whether you end up jumping ship entirely after the secondment or acting in a higher role, or return to the fold, you can use the experience to connect with as many professionals as possible, which will be highly beneficial for future roles

Another way of showing that you go above and beyond is to include awards, certificates and recognition that you have received throughout your career, as well as excerpts from feedback letters or emails. This can be an extremely successful way of giving the reader that outsider’s perspective to back up any claims that you have made.

All in all, the APS, State Government or local Councils is the ideal employer to realise your potential. APS, State Government or local Councils employees can fill a wide range of roles and are provided generous support and remuneration in locations across Australia. However, the only way to get a foot in the door is with a strategically targeted resume which highlights essential resume focal points, which is what the team at Public Service Resumes specialise in. Contact us today to find out how we can support you to achieve your next APS, State Government or local Councils role.