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Mastering the Pitch – Writing Australian Government Job Applications

To be competitive at any career level, you must be able to articulate your achievements and the impact of your work. When applying for roles with the Australian Government, you do this in a pitch.

Over the last five years, government agencies have evolved their application process. In an effort to streamline recruitment procedures and reduce the time it takes to recruit, the public service farewelled individual selection criteria in favour of a ‘submission’ and resume.

While the submission element can take many forms, the most common request is a 1 or 2-page pitch. Sometimes it can also be a limited word pitch of 500, 750 or 1000 words.

What is a Government Job Application Pitch

Considered a ‘brief of evidence’, a pitch is your opportunity to tell the hirer why you are the right person for the job with the evidence to back up your claim. It is not enough to say you’ll be great at the job, you need to prove it with demonstrated evidence.

The pitch also provides an opportunity to tell the hirer why you want to work at the organisation. It’s your chance to explain why you are interested in the role, what you can offer, and how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications are applicable to the role.

To write a successful pitch, we spoke with Jenny Carlin, owner of Successful Resumes Canberra. Here’s what Jenny had to say,

“To write a successful pitch, I suggest using a 3 part structure. The structure helps keep you on succinct while presenting all the information they need to make a favourable decision”.

Part 1 – The opener

Introduce your interest in the role and present your case as a strong candidate with a tailored and highly relevant opening paragraph.

The opening paragraph should make the case for why you should be considered for the vacancy. The Department of Jobs and Small Business suggests it should include things like, why you are interested in the role, what you can contribute, and how your attributes, skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications will ensure your success in the role.

To be effective, it must demonstrate relevance to the reader. Focus on highlighting the specific skills, experience and qualifications they are looking for.

Part 2 – The proof

The next part of your document is providing proof. In this section, you should include several example-based paragraphs to demonstrate and quantify your capability. For a 1-page pitch that means 2-3 examples and a 2-page pitch might be more like 5-7.

Using a formula for these proof points is critical. Jenny suggests using CAR stories.

C : Circumstances         

Add value here by outlining the strategic context or complexity of the situation, other players, and any risks, difficulties, challenges

A : Action

Ensure you include an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on you! Jenny suggests also including the most critical and relevant reasoning or decisions behind the actions

R : Results

This is where you describe how the end result impacted on the objective of the organisation or team. Jenny suggests mentioning both the intended and unintended outcomes of your actions. Along with including feedback, lessons learnt and impact on the work area / agency)

You do not need to use different examples to demonstrate the individual skills required in the position overview. Likewise, if the agency mentions selection criteria that reflect the federal government ‘Integrated Leadership Framework’ that describes the required competencies for each level. For example, if the position overview states “we are looking for a confident communicator with the ability to problem solve and work effectively as part of a team”, you can use one example that demonstrates all of these skills.

In choosing your career stories, focus on examples that are relevant to the job and the level you are targeting. Once you understand the role requirements, create a list of examples from your previous experience that will show the panel why you have the right experience to be successful in the role.

Include the best examples in your pitch. The remaining ones can be used to both tailor your resume for the role and at the interview. It’s good to show the panel that you have plenty of examples to draw on.

Part 3 – The closing

The final part of your document is a short closing paragraph. Jenny suggests using this paragraph to wrap up by outlining the contribution you could make in the role. It’s also a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

If you would like personalised support to create a perfect pitch, please get in touch below.

 

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