How to apply

Before you apply

Information about the vacant position

Before you apply for a position, find out as much as possible about the position and our department to gain a broad understanding of what is required and whether you are right for the role.

  • Review what we offer and our services.
  • Review the role profile and any additional documents provided in the advertisement.
  • Consider your capabilities to perform the role, as outlined in the ‘How you will be assessed’ section of the role profile. The Leadership Competencies for Queensland developed by the Public Service Commission will provide you with information on the behaviours and capabilities expected of public service staff.
  • Speak to the contact person listed in the role profile if you have any questions.
  • Ensure you possess any mandatory qualifications or professional registrations as required for the role (overseas qualifications may also be recognised).
  • Ensure you are eligible to work in Australia, i.e. you are :
    • an Australian citizen; or
    • a permanent resident of Australia; or
    • a New Zealand Citizen who has entered Australia on a valid passport; or
    • a non-citizen with a valid visa which provides the right to work in Australia.
  • To be eligible for permanent appointment to the Queensland Public Service, applicants must provide proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency. To be eligible for temporary appointment, applicants must provide proof that they can legally work in Australia.

Preparing your application

This is your opportunity to tell us who you are, outline your skills and strengths, and tell us about your knowledge and experience relevant to the role you are applying for.

The application requirements are set out within the role profile, and usually includes the requirement to submit a cover letter and resume. Make sure you check any specific instructions for how to apply for the role in the ‘How to apply’ section of the role profile.

Writing your cover letter and resume

In your cover letter, tell us who you are, your knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications, and why you are interested in the role.

The cover letter is generally one to two pages. You could structure it using a combination of short paragraphs and dot points. Many applicants find that the STAR method works well as it ensures that full information is captured allowing the panel to assess your application based on your abilities and input.

  • Situation – describe your role and responsibility
  • Task – describe the task, project or outcome you were required to achieve
  • Action – describe what you did and how you did it
  • Results - describe the outcomes

Please don’t restate your resume as this is provided with your application. You also don’t need to respond to each of the competencies outlined in the ‘How you will you be assessed for this role?’ section.

Making your resume count

Your resume should be concise and easy to read. Aim for 3 to 5 pages, depending on how long you have been in the workforce. Tailor your resume to the role you are applying for and include only relevant information. Outline your:

  • contact information
  • education, qualifications and any mandatory requirements (e.g. drivers licence)
  • employment history, including your role title, key duties or responsibilities
  • achievements (you could combine this with your employment history)
  • details of at least 2 referees who know you and your work history. Your current line manager is usually the best person to include.

Some positions in the department, particularly ‘identified positions’ (i.e. only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples), require one of your referees to be an Aboriginal person and/or a Torres Strait Islander person who can attest to your background, knowledge, skills and experience as they relate to the cultural capabilities.

Applying for the position

Submitting your application

We prefer you to apply online through the Smart jobs and careers website using the ‘Apply online’ function. You will need to create a 'My SmartJob' account to do this.

You can track your application through the process, maintain your personal details through registration and withdraw your application if required.

If you experience technical difficulties when submitting your application through the Smart jobs and careers website, contact 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

If you are unable to apply online, talk to us in advance of the application closing date to arrange an alternative. Speak to the person listed in the role profile.

Late applications

We may accept your application after the application closing date, but you will need approval. Speak to the contact person listed in the role profile about how to do this.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application:

  • before the closing date – online through the Smart jobs and careers website or advise the contact person listed in the role profile
  • after the closing date – by advising the contact person listed in the role profile.

The selection process

The selection process is how we assess your merit for the role, considering your:

  • skills, aptitude, qualifications, knowledge, experience and personal qualities
  • performance in previous roles and potential for development.

To assess your merit, a selection panel consisting of two or more people will review your application against the requirements in the ‘How you will you be assessed for this role?’ section of the role profile and decide whether your application is shortlisted (i.e. you proceed to the interview / assessment stage).

If your application is shortlisted, we will contact you to let you know and explain the next stage of the selection process. This may include a number of assessment methods such as:

  • interview (a conversation conducted face to face, over the telephone or video conference)
  • work sample (an example of your previous work)
  • work exercise (a simulation of the type of work you will perform)
  • presentation
  • role play
  • group exercises.

Preparing for your interview

The interview is a conversation between you and the selection panel. It is your opportunity to have a discussion about the role, and talk about your skills, qualifications and strengths.

The best way to prepare is:

  • research the department
  • prepare examples you can use to demonstrate your suitability for the role by describing
    • the situation / task or problem you were faced with
    • the action you took
    • the result or outcome you achieved
  • identify strengths which will set you apart
  • practice by role playing the interview with a friend as the interviewer
  • get a good sleep the night before
  • clear your head shortly before the interview – go for a short walk, read your notes, mentally prepare
  • arrive 15 minutes early so you can relax and review your notes and resume / cover letter if you need to.

During the interview

The conversation with the selection panel will relate to the requirements in the ‘How you will you be assessed for this role?’ section of the role profile.

For this conversation:

  • take any documents/notes and refer to these if you think it will assist you
  • be confident – you’ve done your preparation
  • listen to the questions and make sure you understand them - ask for clarification if you are not sure
  • give detail in your answers, but keep them relevant and to the point.

You will have a chance to ask questions and provide any information not covered during the interview.

Referee checking

We may choose to contact your referees to verify information you provide in your application and interview/assessment. Make sure you let your referees know this, so they can be prepared.

Employment screening – working with children and people with disability

Successful applicants will be subject to a criminal history check relevant to their role. This may include a blue card screening for roles that work with children or a disability worker screening check if your role delivers disability supports or services.

Notifying you of the outcome

The selection panel will advise all shortlisted applicants of the outcome. If you are successful and offered the position, your Manager will discuss your start date with you.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome in writing.

Seeking feedback

All applicants can ask for feedback about their application, which may help for future applications. Contact the person listed on the role profile if you would like feedback.