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Applying for work with the Shire tips and advice

What to include

Shire vacancies require candidates provide online responses including:

  • a cover letter,
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), and,
  • addressed selection criteria.

Your CV and cover letter will not usually be enough to get you a position with the Shire, it is important you demonstrate your skills and experience in addressing the selection criteria.

Your CV should:

  • Cover relevant work history
  • List your work and education history in chronological order, starting with the most recent examples
  • Include current contact details
  • Include current referees

Current best practices identify it is better not to include personal details such as age, marital status or religion.

The position description provided by the Shire online helps you understand the responsibilities and tasks required. 

The selection criteria describes the personal qualities, skills, abilities, knowledge and qualifications (if any) a person needs to perform the role effectively.

It is essential to respond to each criteria explaining how you have demonstrated the particular skill or quality.  Provide relevant examples from your work, study or community roles.  Be clear and to the point.  Edit your responses for grammar, spelling and punctuation. 

When submitting your application, unless stated that it is not necessary, you must address each of the criteria, preparing examples that fully demonstrate your attributes, competencies and experiences.  If your application does not address the selection criteria, it will be unlikely you will be shortlisted for interview.

DO

  • Address each criteria
  • Use relevant examples
  • Be clear and to the point
  • Be honest and factual

DON’T

  • Write lengthy responses two paragraphs usually suffices, and one page maximum for senior managerial roles.
  • Rely just on your CV and covering letter.
  • What is the STAR model?

Tips on approaching the selection criteria

The STAR model is one way of presenting claims against selection criteria.  For each criteria think about the following and use these points to form sentences:

Situation

Set the context by describing the circumstances where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience.

Task

What was your role?

Actions

What did you do and how did you do it?

Results

What did you achieve?  What was the end result and how does it relate to the position you are applying for?

How do I address the selection criteria?

The most important aspect of addressing selection criteria is to provide evidence through relevant examples.  Support your claims with actual examples of what you have done and how well you did it. The following steps provide guidance on how to address selection criteria.

Step one – Understanding the selection criteria

Read the criteria carefully, underline the key words. For example: Well developed written communication skills

Step two – Brainstorm ideas for each criteria

For each selection criteria, brainstorm ideas from your recent work life.  Ideally, confine your examples to the last two or three years of employment, or other relevant examples (e.g. study, community participation). At this stage, it is useful to generate as many examples as possible.

Step three– Use the STAR Model

Step four – Opening sentence

Begin each selection criteria with an opening sentence that clearly states your claim to the criteria.  For example; I possess strong written communication skills, which I have developed over the course of my career. Then support the statement with detailed examples of where and how you demonstrated these skills. 

Step five – Check your application

You should read through your application, and check the following points:

  • Have I been honest?  Have I avoided unsupported claims about my capabilities? 
  • Have I used positive direct language language?
  • Have I used strong action (doing) words?  For example: achieved, coordinated, evaluated, implemented
  • Have I address all aspects of the criteria? It is important that you go back to the wording of the particular selection criteria. 
  • Have I paid attention to the language and checked I got the criteria meaning right? 

What will happen once I submit my application?

You will receive an automatic generated email advising you that your application has been received. The selection panel will review all applications to determine your suitability for interview. If your application has been shortlisted you will be contacted to arrange an interview time.

The Shire’s recruitment panel will assess the responses of all candidates to each of the criteria.  This process creates a shortlist of applicants suitable to move to the next stage - an interview.

What should I expect at and after the interview?

In most cases, the Shire will have three staff members on the interview panel.  At the interview you will be:

  • Given information about the position and the Shire;
  • Asked some questions about yourself, your skills and your experiences in relation to the selection criteria and your career;
  • Provided with an opportunity to ask questions of the panel;
  • Confirm your referees information; and
  • Advise you that your referees will be contacted if you are found suitable.

Shire policy is that candidates are to be assessed holistically on a judgement by the panel using all merit-related information available. 

How long does the recruitment process typically take?

The Shire seeks to successfully fill vacancies as quickly as possible, however, on occasions there are uncontrollable factors that may draw out the recruitment process.  The Shire does contact unsuccessful candidates until the recruitment process has been finalised.  Unsuccessful candidates will be contacted by email or mail as applies.

What happens if I am successful in the recruitment process?

If you are the successful candidate you will be contacted by the relevant position manager by telephone to discuss a formal starting date, provide you with a verbal offer and advise the formal offer process.

Conditions of employment at the Shire include:

  • Mandatory security / police clearance; and
  • Signing of the code of conduct
  • Medical assessment and clearance
  • C class drivers licence in most instances
  • Working with Children Checks for identified positions
  • Other role specific requirements as they apply

What happens if I am unsuccessful and wish to be advised of future vacancies?

You can send expressions of interest to recruitment@swek.wa.gov.au identifying areas of interest with the Shire and we will review these against future roles for suitability.