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Resumes – any recommendations on a fair priced CV?

By 8 September 2008 43

I’ve been self employed for the past 20 years.

Now I’m looking for someone to help me put a CV together.

It needs to be good, suitable for joining the PS.

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43 Responses to Resumes – any recommendations on a fair priced CV?
#1
LlamaFrog9:38 pm, 08 Sep 08

trust me, just include words such as: whole of government, client focused and personal development and you will be fine.

Also make sure you spell check for american spelling.

#2
RuffnReady9:57 pm, 08 Sep 08

Wrong! STAKEHOLDER-focused.

As for putting a CV together, do it yourself! Search for some online CV templates, choose what you like from them, and make it look nice in Word. Easy, take you an hour, if that.

The resume will get you in the door, but the interview is they key – you need to learn to speak in APSese so the interviewers know that you understand.

#3
needlenose10:02 pm, 08 Sep 08

Have a stab at it yourself first, then go and talk to one (or more) of the big recruitment agencies like Hudson’s – they’ll often have a standard format for their candidates to use, or they’ll give you some good free advice as to how to frame the CV so as to best position yourself for the positions they’re trying to fill for clients (including APS clients).
If after talking to you they can see that you would be a good candidate for jobs on their books, they will quite often even give you a bit of interview coaching etc.

#4
Overheard10:18 pm, 08 Sep 08

LlamaFrog said :

trust me, just include words such as: whole of government, client focused and personal development and you will be fine.

Also make sure you spell check for american spelling.

No, no and no. Forget the buzzword bingo; you’ll just put the panel or chairperson to sleep, and anyone worth their salt will see through it anyway.

Get a pro to help if you want to do so, but the best tip (if you’re going for a particular job and have a set of selection documentation to answer) is to specifically address the selection criteria individually and succinctly and to the point, and back up your claims with practical examples. Use ‘active language’, and don’t be afraid of the ‘I’ word. But don’t go overboard either.

Claiming you brought peace to the middle east is all very well, but you’ll need to be able to back that claim up. Or have a reputable middle eastern head of state as a contact reference.

#5
kevn10:49 pm, 08 Sep 08

“How to write and talk to selection criteria” by Ann Villiers. $35 bux from most co-ops around canberra, and dymocks in the city seems to have heaps too. Written by an ex senior public servant and directed at the APS.

I swear by it…if I get time to read it.

#6
jenny talia11:08 pm, 08 Sep 08

Addressing the selection criteria is far more important than a professional CV for the public service. If you can successfully address the selection criteria the panel will barely give a second thought to a CV other than to ensure it supports your claims.

#7
BerraBoy687:57 am, 09 Sep 08

blindcommissioner – I agree with Overheard, but certainly don’t be afraid to ‘sell’ yourself. Writing a job application is not the time to be shy about your abilities and it is, after all, a competitive process just to get to interview. At this stage you must ensure that whatever you included in your application can be backed up with facts at interview. In your application you must include real examples of past work and, if possible, your successes when addressing each criteria as this makes it easier for the panel to sort the applicants. Finally, get hold of some good referees. If these want to provide a verbal reference make sure you know well in advance what they are going to say about you. I’ve chaired several APS selection panels over the years and have had the unfortunate experience of calling someone’s referee only to be told the applicant was unreliable and should not, under any circumstance, be employed in a position of responsibility. Up to that point the person had rated quite well in both the written application and interview.

If you get an interview, please post again because there’s a whole host of tips that can really add to a persons chances (e.g. engage with each panel member not just the Chair, body language, etc.) of winning the job.

#8
MissB8:08 am, 09 Sep 08

The Casemaker in Griffith is amazing, he helped me with my CV and Selection Criteria. CV was excellent, Selection was different, he did a great job, but it is so much easier to do it yourself.

#9
NoAddedMSG8:28 am, 09 Sep 08

I second that book recommended by kevn, it is very easy to read and makes it much easier when addressing selection criteria. There are also endless books out there in how to write the right CV for the situation.

#10
tylersmayhem8:44 am, 09 Sep 08

Hi blindcommissioner,

I know the challenge of applying for PS jobs well. The selection criteria is usually the hardest. Check out the following links which have been really haelpful to help me re-focus when writing my application. There are lots of helpful hints and suggestions:

http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications07/crackingthecode.htm

http://www.apsjobs.gov.au/

What experience do you have as a matter of interest?

Good luck!

#11
G-Fresh9:46 am, 09 Sep 08

Give me $150 and I’ll whip up one for you

#12
mad_kiwi10:04 am, 09 Sep 08

i also recommend “How to write and talk to selection criteria” by Ann Villiers.
The author also now has a website with many resources and they also offer CV and selection criteria review service / interview coaching.

http://selectioncriteria.com.au/

#13
blindcommissioner10:09 am, 09 Sep 08

Hey G-fresh..I don’t mind giving u $ 150.00 but is it going to be good?

#14
S4anta10:29 am, 09 Sep 08

Do it yourself. no-one knows you better than you, and more importantly you probably will need the formatting and style practice before you start licking windows lick the rest of your soulless departmental colleagues.

#15
peterh10:59 am, 09 Sep 08

G-Fresh said :

Give me $150 and I’ll whip up one for you

isn’t that a bit cheap?

#16
Loquaciousness11:14 am, 09 Sep 08

RuffnReady said :

… and make it look nice in Word.

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

L

#17
Pseudo Nym11:51 am, 09 Sep 08

Another recommendation for “How to address selection criteria”. It’s good in general and only gets better when you are targeting commonwealth public service jobs.

#18
Danman12:03 pm, 09 Sep 08

Try “About:Work” in Narrabundah.

The lady who runs the business from home is a Gem.
She charged me $400 for all consultations a brand new CV from APS perspective and answered a selection criteria that got me an APS4 job coming from hospitality.

Agreed that the interview is the clincher – but to get an interview you have to shine with your CV and address to the selection criteria first.

#19
Overheard12:16 pm, 09 Sep 08

kevn said :

“How to write and talk to selection criteria” by Ann Villiers. $35 bux from most co-ops around canberra, and dymocks in the city seems to have heaps too. Written by an ex senior public servant and directed at the APS.

I swear by it…if I get time to read it.

I haven’t seen the publication personally but anything by Ann Villiers would definitely be worth having.

#20
tylersmayhem2:13 pm, 09 Sep 08

MY opinion is do it yourself. $150 is too cheap, $400 way too much (and a level of falseness in there). The links I’ve mentioned, paired with a decent Empolyment Agent (also a bit of an oxy.) you should be fine!

#21
Davo1112:16 pm, 09 Sep 08

tylersmayhem said :

MY opinion is do it yourself.

+1

#22
Deadmandrinking3:07 pm, 09 Sep 08

tylersmayhem said :

Hi blindcommissioner,

I know the challenge of applying for PS jobs well. The selection criteria is usually the hardest. Check out the following links which have been really haelpful to help me re-focus when writing my application. There are lots of helpful hints and suggestions:

http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications07/crackingthecode.htm

http://www.apsjobs.gov.au/

What experience do you have as a matter of interest?

Good luck!

Hey, thanks man, I was just browsing through this as I’m trying to break into the PS myself and those links seem like they’ll be very handy.

Blindcommissioner, I just went to an Employment agency and got a template. It seemed pretty good, started off briefly outlining my experience then went into better detail further down. Try one of the agencies, I reckon.

#23
Deadmandrinking3:09 pm, 09 Sep 08

Why am I being moderated?

#24
tylersmayhem3:35 pm, 09 Sep 08

No worries DMD. to answer your MOD question, it’s because of the links you (and I) posted.

All is okay at the end of the day :)

#25
Danman4:21 pm, 09 Sep 08

I would have done it myself but being a chef I had sweet F A experience in addressing selection criteria.

Coming from an industry where you were chosen on your practical skills and reputation – basically walking the walk.

I had no idea how to talk the talk – yet for 400 dollars my consultant proved through trade skills that I had the appropriate qualities and skills for a job that bore no relevance to my current line of employment.

Basically she was a translator between my relavent skills and jargonising them for the APS. Money well spent.

If you dont have th emoney to pay for these kind of services – then power to ya – do it yourself – but in my position back then I had no options, no APS contacts to run it by – no fresh eyes for a look.

These days I can breeze them in and would not pay anyone to do it, though I would run it past a few EL’s before I released it for review by the panel.

#26
tylersmayhem5:01 pm, 09 Sep 08

Interesting concept Danman. This might sound like a smartarse reply, but does the dude who knocks together your application work on the same basis as those shoddy “Rachael Bird & Co” type companies – No (application) win, no fee?

#27
Skidbladnir5:40 pm, 09 Sep 08

Deadmandrinking said :

Why am I being moderated?

My guess is that you went over your links per post quota (one link will get through, two will not without being modded).

Danman said :

I had no idea how to talk the talk – yet for 400 dollars my consultant proved through trade skills that I had the appropriate qualities and skills for a job that bore no relevance to my current line of employment.

Hang on, you paid someone how much to do what? There are vastly less expensive ways of achievesimilar things.

For anyone trying to get into the Public Service applying blind through Selection Criteria:

1) Always ask if someone is already acting in the role.
If they are, you need to be stunning on paper to make it to interview, but then its up to your own presentation and performance at interview.

2) Dont write down what you can’t back up, and avoid namedropping.
(“Can sing underwater, fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, did work experience in the Iemma Minsisterial Office, and are working towards a Cert IV in Government, are you? My sister worked for Morris Iemma… “)

3) Public servants speak a whole other language.
Find an APS6 or higher to proofread if you can, or find a Recruitment company[1](preferably one who has similar jobs open, so they can justify meeting you as work related, or actually size you up for a role) and see if they can give any suggestions.

4) Practice your presentation.
See if you can get a mock-interview with a corporate Recruiter (same process as Step 3, if they can justify it, you both can walk away happy).

5) List with a few recruitment companies around town.
Provide them with your CV, get them to rephrase key bits if they need to (and get them to send you any rewritten copies). This both sets you up for short-ish contract work (See question 1), gets you experience, and upskills you along the way.

6) Broad experience is more valued in more places than specialist experience.
(Unless you’re applying for or have experience specialist areas, then stake your claim to the niche)

[1]: Recruitment companies may seem like a scam, and it is good money for not-very-specialised work. They’ll get a commission (from the employer) for any work they place you into, as well as an extra fee if you get made permanent within a certain period.

Their job is to sell you as a worthwhile candidate to the employer, so like some of the things in antique stores, you might just need some polish or some touching up.
If you need more experience for the job you want, tell them to help you get that experience. If you need more interview acumen, get them to help you acquire it.

For those that need more than a bit of polish and a touch up, well, the higher commission on the other pieces pays for the extra effort.

Canberra is full of them, but some are better than others.

#28
Overheard5:51 pm, 09 Sep 08

Agree with just about all of the above, Skid, but must take issue with this:

“1) Always ask if someone is already acting in the role.
If they are, you need to be stunning on paper to make it to interview, but then its up to your own presentation and performance at interview.”

Sometimes, yes, but as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

I’ve lost count of times the number of times (when in the APS) someone has asked, ‘Is there someone in the job’. I’ll almost always answer with a straight bat and say, ‘yes’ and not editorialise, because in the areas I worked in, you rarely have the luxury of not having the job filled. But the bigger picture may be one of several possibilities, including:

a. Yes, and they are absolutely sh!t hot and you will have to impress the hell out of us to beat this person in direct competition.
b. Yes, but frankly they’re only marginally meeting the selection criteria but mostly on the ‘turn up’ criterion.
c. Yes, but they’re expected to take flight any time soon, but I can’t say that because it’s just water cooler talk and I certainly can’t say it to you, the faceless voice at the end of the phone.

Certainly ask the question, and ask more questions if you get a straight bat like the one I’ve used. Just remember that ‘yes, there’s someone in the seat at the moment’ does not mean abandon all hope.

#29
Overheard5:57 pm, 09 Sep 08

And:

“6) Broad experience is more valued in more places than specialist experience.
(Unless you’re applying for or have experience specialist areas, then stake your claim to the niche)”

True. Gone are the days when you needed demonstrated experience in the exact role as being advertised to have a shot. (Except for very specialised positions with specific requirements, esp. educational quals.)

The word for the day is ‘aptitude’. With the general skills shortage, if you can show you’ve got the goods when it comes to that ‘or quickly acquire the ability to…’, and you can back it up with some wordly experience no matter where or how*, you stand a good chance of being short-listed or being rated suitable.

* To a point. That lemonade stand you and your kid-sister had in pre-school may not be a winner when asked to prove your business acumen.

#30
BerraBoy686:13 pm, 09 Sep 08

blindcommissioner – I don’t normally make this offer to strangers but… if you want, I can do your application for small fee. I normally do this for mates, acquaintances etc. for a case of beer but apparently I have to go on a health kick (damned Doctors… mumble, grunt).

I’ve written loads of applications for various people and, as I’ve said previously, I’ve also chaired a few selection panels in my time. In short, I have some experience in hiring people in the APS and know what I like to see in applications and hear at interview. I’ve also 20 years experience in the APS behind me from an APS1 through to Exec. Level 2 (variously called Managers, Directors and more, depending on what Department or Agency you work in).

I’ve since joined the ‘dark side’ and now hire my services back to the highest bidder (often the Commonwealth)as a consultant – although in a specialist field of contracting.

If you want you can contact me at BerraBoy68 at gmail dot com

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