Government Cover Letters: Top Tips

February 6, 2012 · Posted in Australia & Pacific 

A cover letter is a professional introduction to yourself, and your government job application. Therefore, the aim of your letter is to say who you are, what you are applying for, and why your application shows that you are worth an interview.

A cover letter for a government job is different to your statements addressing selection criteria. Both documents serve different purposes and should be handled differently. If the application pack suggests that you write your statements addressing the selection criteria within the cover letter, then you are dealing with an entirely different situation again. Welcome to the confusing world of public service jobs!

If you’re linking claims against selection criteria (which you possibly will be if looking for a position in the Public Service), you shouldn’t have to draft a very long cover letter that re-states what’s previously in your selection criteria comments later on. Actually, the federal government official examining the application is not going to pay as much attention to the information in your letter as your curriculum vitae and claims to the selection criteria, thus your cover letter will not have much bearing on the end result of your application.

The selection board for the government position will definitely observe that you’ve included a well-formatted and competent looking cover letter; it makes up the very first perception of your written application.

An opening sentence that says what placement you’re making a claim for, it’s job / placement / advertisement number, the date it was announced and what you’re attaching in your application package, for example. “please find included my curriculum vitae, statements against selection criteria, report of qualifications…” is crucial in a government job cover letter.

A middle sentence declaring your crucial claims for the position needs to be brief and to the point. Don’t go into too much detail but at the same time make it obvious you have composed this cover letter especially for this government job, and it is not a pre-formatted template that you’ve filled in.

Public Service Jobs can be found at the government jobs vacancy pages of publicservicejobs.com.au – the best location to get a council, state or commonwealth government job. All jobs in the one location with no need to visit 3 different government internet sites!

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