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madefromscratch

Local Gov Jobs - any tips?

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madefromscratch

Hi there,

 

I'm applying for a council job. Does anyone have any tips or advice? Should I call and introduce myself to the contact person or is that just annoying to them? I've heard that you should provide a very comprehensive CV for these jobs instead of a 2 page summary, is that correct?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks for reading.

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Sassy Dingo

I have a lot of experience in applying for state and federal jobs, I assume the process is the same. Do they have selection criteria? There is a bit of an art in replying to them - you need to make sure you tick off on all of them as that's what you're being assessed on. I also wouldn't really worry about contacting the contact person unless you have queries - there are selection panels for gov jobs to remove the perception of bias.

 

As for the CV, I've found the opposite, that a brief one is ok as you're basically marked on the selection criteria. Even if they job is the exact same one that you have done previously, it is all about how you address it in the selection criteria. Also, avoid statements such as - I have extensive technical knowledge regarding xxx. That's not going to cut it. You have to give an example as to how you demonstrated your technical knowledge using the STAR principle (situation, task, action, result). This can be quite difficult sometimes - I applied for a job last week (an internal job which I am quite capable of doing) and one of the selection criteria was 'demonstrates personal courage'. It's for a desk job! That sort of thing drives me mad. Anyway, in the course of having a rant about this to my sister I wrote a quick example of selection criteria for her, as she works non skilled jobs which only need a CV so had never experienced it:

 

In my current position of Disaster Manager, a part of Dept's disaster response unit, (situation) we were tasked with managing the crocodile infestation in our building (task). In order to ensure that my team and I were able to complete this task, my actions were as follows:

 

1. Take a survey to determine the extent of the crocodile infestation,

2 review Dept publications and research best practice on crocodile management

3 Create an action plan and hold meetings with team to ensure everyone had up to date information regarding the crocodile handling plan

4 implement the plan.

5 monitor the result of actions and report status one week after removal program

6 create barriers to stop crocodiles from returning

 

My managing this complex crocodile infestation problem has resulted in my team completing the dept's corporate objectives of no crocodiles on dept property, thus my team has contributed to a high standard to team, line and departments goals and results.

 

Obviously I wrote that as a bit of a joke and not to the highest standard, but you (hopefully!) get the gist.

 

Good luck.

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ghost_cat

If the contact person is a person within Council (ie. not at an external recruitment company), I would recommend calling them with specific questions. Asking questions such as what do you expect the position to deliver on in the next six months, what key challenges to you see for this position and who are my key stakeholders can really help inform what you need to address in your application, or even in your interview. I've been the chair for interviews for positions at the state government level and if the applicant had asked beforehand, they would have been so much more prepared for the questions at interview. For example, if the chair says that time management is an issue, you can bet there will be a question on this at interview. Addressing it in your application will likely get you the interview.

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WinterIsComing

Know someone.

 

That seems the only way to get on the local council job.

 

Those jobs are extremely well paid for the level of responsibilities, convenient (most can walk to work) and, of course, carry attached community respect.

 

I think local governments are the most corrupt in small, petty ways.

 

For example, right in the middle of our suburb we have an illegal backpacker house going on, probably close to a decade. The eyesore is right in the middle of everything. There are always piles of rubbish of the path, broken windows, noise - despite the many years of complaints, council hasn't done anything. We have all made the conclusion that the owners are some councillor's mate.

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madefromscratch

Thanks very much for your replies Sassy Dingo and ghost_cat. I really appreciate your advice.

 

Sassy Dingo, thanks for the examples, there is selection criteria. I can see that I was way too fluffy in my draft so I'm now re-wording it... and I bet those crocs will be waaay too scared to ever come back!

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madefromscratch

Know someone.

 

That seems the only way to get on the local council job.

 

 

 

That's a shame. I don't know anyone. And I've just spent nearly 4 hours on the application... it's not so well paid for the level of work described in the JD so I can only hope that will put anyone's mates off... hmmm.

 

 

Hope your complaints eventually get you somewhere.

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Owliegirl

Know someone.

 

That seems the only way to get on the local council job.

 

Those jobs are extremely well paid for the level of responsibilities, convenient (most can walk to work) and, of course, carry attached community respect.

 

I think local governments are the most corrupt in small, petty ways.

 

For example, right in the middle of our suburb we have an illegal backpacker house going on, probably close to a decade. The eyesore is right in the middle of everything. There are always piles of rubbish of the path, broken windows, noise - despite the many years of complaints, council hasn't done anything. We have all made the conclusion that the owners are some councillor's mate.

 

I know this is an oldish thread but damn straight. I missed out on a job for someone who isn't qualified or have experience, whereas I am and do, for someone because they know them and they needed the job as she is leaving her DH. Absolute bullsh*t.

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LucidDream

I have worked in local govt for 15 years. To get an interview you really have to nail the selection criteria - Sassy Dingo covered it well.

 

writing the selection criteria answers can take weeks so make sure you start early. I have heard of people hiring consultants to help them finish off their answers to these questions, but I reckon you are better off doing it yourself.

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pinkflamingo

Use the recommended Situation Task Action Response (STAR) to form responses to the selection criteria. They don't need to be long, and you don't necessarily have to use your most current workplace as an example.

 

In the interview, you can expand on these points if needed, as I have found they usually ask the same questions, just in a different way, if that makes sense?

 

It is extremely time consuming, and there have been plenty of times I have received no outcome, but don't give up and keep trying!!

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Cat Burglar
I know this is an oldish thread but damn straight. I missed out on a job for someone who isn't qualified or have experience, whereas I am and do, for someone because they know them and they needed the job as she is leaving her DH. Absolute bullsh*t.
Is there a nepotism policy? Sounds like you might have a good case. Edited by Cat Burglar

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Cat Burglar

Know someone.

 

That seems the only way to get on the local council job.

 

Those jobs are extremely well paid for the level of responsibilities, convenient (most can walk to work) and, of course, carry attached community respect.

 

 

Some of the people I know who work for local councils are quite overworked for the amount they get paid.

Are you talking about councillors when you say local respect? Im not sure how admin/ finance/IT/HR etc for local council would be different in terms of respect to the private sector?

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