Preparing your Job Application

Application Documents

Most employers and businesses that have a vacancy will request that you send through a cover letter, resume and in some cases, respond to a Key Selection Criteria to apply.

Cover Letter: A Cover Letter will demonstrate who you are, your skills and experience and why you are suitable for the role. The goal of a cover letter is to get the employer to read your resume and deem you suitable for an interview.

Application Tips

Cover Letter:

  • Include the date, your name and contact details so your cover letter and resume can be reunited
  • Tailor the cover letter to the company address, or at least add the name of the person you are sending it too
  • Don’t use a generic cover letter that you have sent to other companies as the recruiter will know
  • Use good spelling and grammar, get someone else to check it if possible
  • Acknowledge the job requirements and mention how you match them in your letter
  • Provide your contact details so the employer can contact you to arrange an interview.

Resume contains a summary of your career objectives, skills, education and experience, and is usually the employer’s first impression of you.


  • Your name, suburb and contact phone number should be at the top of the resume
  • An objective can be included at the top of resume and outline your skills, years of experience but should also include your availability and mode of transport
  • List of your qualifications/certificates of completion , where it was obtained and the date
  • List your employment experience from most recent to last, include the name of the company, your job title and your responsibilities of the job
  • Add the year worked
  • Add Volunteering and Work experience skills and experience
  • References can be made available upon request, if listed, ensure they are current

Key Selection Criteria are used within recruitment to determine the most accurate match between the skills of the applicant and the requirements of the position. Areas of government, health and Non for Profit organisastions require applicants to respond to KSC as part of the recruitment process.

Key Selection Criteria:

  • Include the Key Selection Criteria on a separate word document, ensure it has a title and reference to the job title and reference number
  • Also include your name and the page number, so the employer can keep your documents together
  • Answer/respond to each criteria with an example of what you have done in your past job roles
  • Use the STAR method to assist you in responding to each criterion.

STAR Method
The STAR method, Situation, Task, Action, Result, provides you with a structured way to respond to key selection criteria as well as provide you with a method to answer a question asked in a behavioural based interview.

Describe the situation/environment you were in.

What did you need to accomplish to deal with the situation? What was your role concerning the problem, issue or assignment?

What did you do? Set out the steps you took to resolve the situation.

What was the outcome? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Promote yourself and your achievements.

Here’s an example on how to use the STAR method when answering Key Selection Criteria or Interview

Criteria or Interview Question: Excellent planning and organisational skills

I have developed excellent planning and organisational skills through my part-time job as an event assistant at Acme Events.

(Situation) In this role I am responsible for booking staff to set up marquees at private functions.

(Task) To perform this job I need to identify all jobs booked for that day; calculate how many staff will be needed to set up each event, and ensure that there is sufficient time to set up each event by the time required.

(Action) Recently, I had a problem with 2 staff members reporting in sick on the day of a big event. Fortunately, I had developed a back-up plan to cater for unexpected situations and I was able to call on un-rostered staff to come into work.

(Result) As a result, there was no disruption to the setting up for the event, and my supervisor commended my actions in responding to the situation promptly and efficiently.

Career Planning (Optional)

Before you start searching for a job, spend time writing down what your employment needs are as well as identify you own skills and experiences. Writing this down will give you a much clearer idea about who you are and what you want.

Yourself: Note down what you are good, such as sporting skills, hobbies, subjects and your personality strengths. Think about what your friends would say about you, such as friendly, bubbly, quiet achiever, organised, inquisitive etc.

Location: Are you willing to travel for work? Do you drive or take public transport? Do you need to work close to home?

Experience: Do you need to develop skills, qualifications, volunteering or work experience to gain employment?

Working Conditions: Can you work day shift, afternoon shift, and night shift, weekend or 9am-5pm only? Are you seeking full time, part time, casual, apprenticeship, or traineeship?

Link to Jobs Victoria