Should I Include a Cover Letter Along with My Resume?

When it comes to applying for a job, the resume has long been considered the essential document to showcase one’s qualifications and work experience. However, the role of the cover letter in the job application process has been a subject of debate among job seekers. Some argue that cover letters are outdated and unnecessary, while others believe they offer a valuable opportunity to stand out from the competition. In this blog, we will explore the importance of including a cover letter along with your resume and discuss why it can be a beneficial addition to your job application.

Personalise Your Application;

One of the key advantages of including a cover letter is the ability to personalise your application for a specific job. While resumes provide a comprehensive overview of your skills and prior experiences, cover letters allow you to explain how your qualifications align with the requirements of the position and why you are interested in the company. It provides a chance to demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm, which can make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

Highlight Relevant Experiences;

Resumes often follow a standard format, listing your work history, education, and skills. However, a cover letter provides an opportunity to delve deeper into your experiences and highlight specific accomplishments that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. You can elaborate on recent projects you’ve completed, current challenges you’ve overcome, and the impact you’ve made in previous roles. This additional context can help employers gauge your suitability for the position and distinguish you from other candidates.

Showcase Your Communication Skills;

Strong written communication skills are highly valued in many professions. By submitting a well-crafted cover letter, you can showcase your ability to articulate your thoughts, organise information effectively, and communicate professionally. Employers often use cover letters as a measure of an applicant’s writing skills and attention to detail, which are essential qualities in a wide variety of roles. A compelling cover letter can leave a lasting impression and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Address Potential Concerns;

A cover letter is also a useful tool to address any potential concerns that may arise from reviewing your resume. For example, if you’re changing careers or have gaps in your employment history, you can use the cover letter to explain these circumstances in a positive light. It allows you to proactively address any red flags and provide additional context that may help the employer better understand your qualifications and potential fit within the organisation. It is also your chance to include a call to action and ask them to contact you for further information, or invite you to an interview.

Demonstrate Professionalism and Initiative;

Including a cover letter with your resume demonstrates professionalism and initiative. It shows that you’ve taken the time and effort to craft a tailored application, rather than simply submitting a generic resume. This level of dedication and attention to detail can give you a competitive edge and indicate to potential employers that you are genuinely interested in this particular position. In a competitive job market, going the extra mile with a well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants.

While the resume remains a vital component of any job application, including a well-crafted cover letter can significantly enhance your chances of securing an interview. It allows you to distinguish your application, highlight relevant experiences, demonstrate strong communication skills, address potential concerns, and showcase your professionalism. 

Remember, a cover letter should be concise, engaging, and tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. By taking the time to write a compelling cover letter, you can make a positive impression on potential employers and increase your chances of success in the competitive job market.

Summary or Objective Statement in a Resume?

The inclusion of an objective statement in a resume has evolved over time, and it is now more commonly recommended to exclude it and focus more on a professional profile or summary. 

Here are a few reasons why objective statements are often omitted from modern resumes:

  • Focus on employer’s needs: Hiring managers are primarily interested in what you can offer them and how you can meet their needs. Instead of starting your resume with an objective statement that highlights your own goals and aspirations, it’s more effective to focus on showcasing your skills, experiences, and qualifications that align with the employer’s requirements.
  • Generic and vague statements: Objective statements often tend to be broad and unclear, such as “Seeking a challenging position where I can utilise my skills and grow professionally.” These statements don’t provide specific details about your qualifications or the value you can bring to the employer, which makes them less effective in capturing the reader’s attention.
  • ATS – Applicant tracking systems or software programs are designed to pick up on certain skills and experience keywords. If your profile is strong and focuses on what you can bring to the role, and why you feel you are the best candidate based on these reasons you will rank higher and stand out against those going for the same roles.
  • Tailoring for specific positions: Objectives are usually static and don’t change from one application to another. In contrast, modern resume practices emphasise the importance of tailoring your resume for each specific job you apply to. By customising your introduction to summarise and highlight relevant skills and experiences, you can better demonstrate your fit for the specific position and employer.
  • Limited space and attention: Resumes typically have limited space, and every section needs to provide relevant and impactful information. Including an objective statement takes up valuable space that could be better utilised to highlight your key qualifications and achievements.

Overall, the shift away from objective statements is driven by the need to make resumes more concise, focused, and impactful, with an emphasis on showcasing the value you bring to potential employers. Many job seekers now opt for a professional summary or profile section at the beginning of their resume in order to do so. This section briefly highlights their key qualifications, skills, and experiences, providing a snapshot of their value proposition to the employer.


One thing that applicants usually don’t realise is personality and behaviour attributes are aspects which employers look for as part of the hiring process. Job-specific qualifications and professional skills are important of course, but it is usually the personal attributes and attitudes which determine whether or not an applicant succeeds in securing a role.

Soft skills, personal attributes, qualities – they come in many forms and terminologies, but they largely mean the same thing: personal traits that define your individuality and your personality. More and more employers now place a premium on an excellent workplace culture, and often, an employee’s job fit now extends to whether their values and personal attributes are aligned to the company’s ethos.

Moreover, these personal traits are what drives soft skills, which employers now find extremely valuable. Most HR managers will argue that soft skills are inherent to choosing a staff member, as it reflects their personality, attitude, and core beliefs as an individual. Hence, some soft skills may even have personal convictions and values attached to them.

For example, if a person is naturally curious or inquisitive, they may have excellent listening skills. Punctuality and promptness in submitting deliverables may be attributed to a much deeper respect for people’s time, or consideration for other people. Soft skills, according to industry studies, are much more difficult to teach and instil in employees over technical or job-specific skills. An employee can be taught a new software program, but they cannot necessarily be taught to be patient, considerate, or accountable.

Hence, it has become part of our practice to list personal attributes and similar skills in your resume. We often include a section on these skills, not only to write them down more explicitly for the employers, but also, as an additional way to boost keyword richness, especially in the current environment where ATS-guided hiring practices have become the norm.

Having produced hundreds and thousands of resumes over time, we understand the requirements and recognise these types of personal attributes as the most suited to today’s job market:

  1. Respect. Arguably, all other personal attributes and skills emanate from respect. By demonstrating respect towards others, a person can be considerate, accountable and honest. Respect is a core attribute because it is from having respect for others that we are able to form other values.
  • Honesty. Honesty refers to telling the truth under any circumstances, whether the truth is advantageous to one’s career or not. Reflecting the truth demonstrates a person’s reliability and trustworthiness. Companies are eager to know that their employees can be trusted with various tasks and that they will conscientiously perform them to the best of their abilities.
  • Integrity. Integrity is a sign of unwavering principles and conviction to perform effectively. This also means being personally accountable for upholding a high standard and being consistent in carrying out difficult tasks, ensuring satisfactory results.
  • Accountability. Being accountable means taking ownership and taking full responsibility of any task our outcome. In your resume, you may highlight challenges, events, or outcomes that demonstrate your accountability in a time of difficulty. This will convince your future employer that you set a high standard for achievement in your workplace, and that you recognise the indicators of success or failure and work towards the interests of all stakeholders involved.
  • Openness. The contemporary workplace is marked by new and contemporary attitudes towards diversity and inclusion. Often, this simply means having respect and interest in valuing diversity as an important part of the workplace. New ideas and bold solutions arise from liaising with people who are different, or individuals who came diverse backgrounds. Integrating new ideas and insights in the team signifies openness to embrace change as an important part of any team’s process.
  • Discretion and Confidentiality. Being loyal to the company and its customers often means taking great care to communicate information in a discreet manner. Trust is earned, and one way to uphold and protect this trust is to ensure that customers’ private and sensitive information is safeguarded at all times. This means one is willing to go to great lengths to protect the interests of the company and its clientele.
  • Collaboration. The willingness to work with others and contribute to team effort is an important trait in today’s increasingly complex and diverse work environment. Specialists contribute to success in teams by bringing their expertise and contributing solutions to problems that are challenging to resolve when team members bowl alone. By putting heads together to resolve issues, work is lighter, and the heavy lifting is shared between stakeholders.
  • Flexibility and resilience. Companies should always strive to give the best conditions for their employees. However, it is inevitable that situations may challenge staff to perform to the best of their ability despite constraints, especially in resources. Moreover, change is an important part of any workplace, and it is essential that individuals are capable of adapting and adjusting to new situations. The willingness to try new approaches and the ability to remain enthusiastic despite challenges is a positive trait that employers value.

By conveying to prospective employers your positive traits and values, they will be guided in placing you within the context of their organisation. Knowing your own ability to work effectively and efficiently with others depends on your self-awareness of your professional and personal values and attributes. This not only shows that you are capable of self-examination and self-analysis, but that you are able to identify positive values that must be upheld to succeed in any role.

Making a Career Change: How to Create a Resume and Cover Letter That Gets You Hired

Changing careers can feel like a leap into the unknown, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to pursue something you’re passionate about. When it’s time to make the change, you’ll want to make sure your application is impactful as possible. That’s why it’s important to put some thought into your resume and cover letter. These are your tools to sell your skills and qualifications to potential employers, even if they don’t directly relate to your new career direction. Here’s what you need to know.


1.         Transferable Skills Take Centre Stage: Highlight the skills and experiences you have that are easily transferable to your new career field. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, project management, and communication. When listing your skills, use keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for to increase your chances of being noticed by a hiring manager.

2.         Show How You’re Prepared: Emphasise how your past experiences, even if they don’t directly relate to your new career field, have prepared you for this change. For example, if you’re transitioning from sales to marketing, you can highlight how your experience in sales has sharpened your communication and persuasion skills. This can help bridge the gap for potential employers and show how you’ll bring value to the new role.

3.         Personal Projects Make a Difference: Including any personal projects or achievements above and beyond your day-to-day role can show your dedication and passion to your work. This can be a great way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, as well as your commitment to your new career path.

4.         Rebrand Yourself: Consider rebranding yourself and changing your resume format to better suit your new career goals. This can involve adjusting your core competencies to better reflect the new area and industry.

5.         Highlight Relevant Education and Certifications: If you’ve pursued education or certifications in your new career field, be sure to include them on your resume. This can show your commitment to developing your skills and knowledge in your new field. Studies and an understanding of the role can go a long way when you don’t have work experience in your desired field.

6.         Include Any Volunteer Work, Internships or Placements: If you’ve completed any volunteer work or practical placement hours related to your new career, be sure to include them on your resume. This can demonstrate your commitment and experience in your desired field, as well as your willingness to learn and grow.

Cover Letter:

1.         Discuss Why You’re Making a Career Change: Start your cover letter by briefly explaining why you’re making a career change and what interests you about the new field. Be honest and genuine, and show that you’ve done your research on the industry and the company you’re applying to. This helps the hiring manager understand your motivations and why you’re the right fit for the role.

2.         Sell Your Skills and Qualifications: Your cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your relevant skills and qualifications that make you the perfect candidate for the role. This is your opportunity to re-state sections of your resume and provide an overview for the hiring manager.

3.         Let Your Personality Shine: Your cover letter is also a great way to show off your enthusiasm for your new career path and why you’re a great fit for the company. Convey a positive, can-do attitude, and let your personality shine through. This can help you stand out from other candidates and show a recruiter why you’re the right person for the job.

4.         Show That You’re Passionate About the Industry: Demonstrate that you’re passionate about the industry and the company by highlighting what you admire about them and what you hope to contribute. This shows that you’re invested in the role, have researched the organisation and that you’re excited about the opportunity to grow and learn.

5.         End on a Strong Note: End your cover letter with a strong closing that reiterates your enthusiasm for the role and your commitment to making a successful career change. Provide your contact information and request a meeting or phone call to discuss the opportunity further.

By using your cover letter to show why you’re making a career change, highlight your relevant skills and qualifications, and let your personality shine, you can increase your chances of getting hired for your dream role. By doing your research on the industry and the company, demonstrating your passion and ending with a call to action, you can make a lasting impression on the hiring manager and set yourself up for success.

Making a career change can be a daunting process, but with a strong professional resume and cover letter you’ll be well on your way to landing a job in your dream career.

Expression of Interest Cover Letters:

An Expression of Interest (EOI) cover letter is a valuable tool to use when you are searching for a job, even when there are no roles advertised. It allows you to introduce yourself and your qualifications to a company and show them why you would be a great fit for their organisation.

We have compiled some useful tips to help you write an effective EOI cover letter for a company when there are no openings active.

  1. Research the company: Before you start writing your EOI cover letter, it is crucial to research the company you are interested in. Investing time to understand the organisation’s mission, values, recent projects, and goals will help you tailor your EOI cover letter to match their needs. This information will also show the hiring manager that you are genuinely interested in the company and have taken the time to learn about their operations. Utilise the company’s website, LinkedIn page, and any other publicly available information to gather research about their industry, competitors, and achievements. Consider reaching out to current or former employees for their insights and opinions about the company.
  2. Address the right person: Addressing the hiring manager by name shows that you are serious about the job and have taken the time to research the company. Try to find the name of the hiring manager through the company’s website, social media pages, or by reaching out to your network for help. If you are unable to find the name of the hiring manager, address your EOI cover letter to the department or company’s Human Resources team. By addressing the right person, you increase the chances of your letter being read and considered.
  3. Start with a strong opening: The first sentence of your EOI cover letter should grab the reader’s attention. Consider starting with a statement that highlights your skills and expresses your interest in working for the company. For example: “I am writing to express my interest in working for [Company Name]. With my skills and experience, I am confident that I would be a valuable addition to your team.” A strong opening will make the hiring manager want to continue reading and learn more about you.
  4. Express your interest in the company: In the next paragraph, express your admiration for the company and why you want to be a part of their team. For example: “I have a great deal of respect for [Company Name] and its commitment to [Company Value(s)]. I am eager to be a part of such a dynamic organisation and contribute to its success.” This will show the hiring manager that you are not just looking for any job, but specifically interested in working for their company.
  5. Highlight your skills and experience: The next paragraph is your chance to showcase your relevant skills and experience. Be specific and provide enough detail to demonstrate your abilities. Keep it concise and to the point. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to highlight your skills and experience that match the needs of the company. For example, if the future job you’re hoping to be considered for requires experience in project management, highlight your successful projects and the skills you used to complete them.
  6. Explain why you are a good fit: The next paragraph should explain why your skills and experience align with the needs of the company. Demonstrate how you can bring value to their team. For example: “My [Skill/Experience] is well suited to the needs of [Company Name]. I have a proven track record of [Accomplishment], and I am confident that I can bring that same level of success to your organisation.” This will help the hiring manager see how you can benefit the company and why they should consider you for future opportunities.
  7. End with a strong call to action: The conclusion of your EOI cover letter should include a call to action. Consider requesting an informational interview or express your interest in any opportunities that may come up. Provide your contact information and end with a final expression of interest in working for the company. For example: “I would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss my qualifications and interest in working for your organisation.
    Please find my resume attached, and you can reach me at [Phone Number] or [Email Address].
  8. Proofread and edit: Before submitting your EOI cover letter, it is crucial to proofread and edit it for any errors. A cover letter with mistakes can give the impression that you are not detail-oriented or professional. Take the time to read your letter several times, checking for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and incorrect punctuation. It is also a good idea to use grammar and spell-checking tools to help identify any mistakes you may have missed.
  9. In addition to proofreading, consider having someone else review your cover letter for feedback. A fresh set of eyes can often catch mistakes or suggest improvements that you may have missed. You can ask a friend, family member, or professional colleague to review your letter and provide constructive feedback. This can help you make any necessary revisions and improve the overall quality of your EOI cover letter.

Remember, your EOI cover letter is a representation of your professional abilities, so it is important to make sure it is well written, well-researched, and error-free. By taking the time to proofread and edit your letter, you increase your chances of making a positive impression on the hiring manager and securing an interview.

How To Stand-Out in The Automated Hiring Process

In today’s job market, submitting an application is just the beginning of the process. With the increasing use of technology, resumes are now scanned by applicant tracking systems (ATS) and human resources management systems (HRMS) before they are even seen by a hiring manager. This means it is essential to create a resume that is optimised for these systems to improve your chances of being shortlisted.

To make your resume stand out in the automated hiring process, the following tips will help:

  1. Keyword Optimisation: Many organisations use ATS to quickly scan resumes for specific keywords. Therefore, it is essential to include keywords related to the job you are applying for throughout your resume. Review the job description carefully, and add the relevant keywords in all application documents, whether it be your resume or cover letter, to ensure the ATS system identifies your skills and matches them to the job posting.
  2. Professional Profile: A professional profile is a brief summary that highlights your qualifications, experience, and skills. It’s an opportunity to make a strong first impression, and it can be a crucial factor in getting shortlisted. Make sure your profile and cover letter are tailored to the job you are applying for, and it aligns with the company’s culture.
  3. Focus on Achievements: It’s not enough to simply list your job responsibilities or day-to-day duties; it is equally important to highlight your accomplishments. By focusing on achievements, you are giving the hiring manager an insight into what you can do for the company. Make sure that the achievements are specific and measurable, for example, by stating the percentage of sales you increased, the number of people you managed, or the amount of revenue you generated a recruiter is clearly able to see your successes.
  4. Addressing Employment Gaps: Employment gaps can be a red flag for hiring managers. It’s essential to address any gaps in your resume and provide an explanation for them. For example, if you took a sabbatical to travel, you could explain how this experience helped you develop a broader perspective and adaptability. Time off for family or further studies are perfectly normal also; it’s all in the way you present this information.
  5. Formatting: It’s important to have a resume that is easy to read and formatted correctly. Use a simple, professional font and keep the formatting easy to read and consistent. Avoid using graphics or complicated layouts that may confuse the ATS system. Photos and graphics are not recommended for this reason.

In conclusion, by optimising your resume for ATS and HRMS systems, you can increase your chances of being shortlisted for an interview. Remember to focus on keyword optimisation, highlight your achievements, add a strong professional profile, address any employment gaps, and use proper formatting. By following these tips, you can create a resume that stands out in the automated hiring process and helps you land your dream job.

Career in Focus; Nursing

As a nurse attention to detail and the value of clear communication are highly valued attributes. These skills are just as important when it comes to creating a professional resume and addressing selection criteria as part of a job application. A strong resume and well-written selection criteria are crucial tools in your job search, as they showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments to potential employers. They’re your first opportunity to make a good impression, so it’s important to take the time to create documents that accurately reflect your abilities and set you apart from other candidates.

As you begin to craft your resume and selection criteria, it’s important to keep in mind that the purpose of these documents is to convince an employer to invite you for an interview. To do this, your resume should be concise, easy to read, and focused on the most relevant information for the job you’re applying for. The selection criteria should clearly and specifically address each requirement listed in the job description, using concrete real-life examples to demonstrate how you meet those requirements. It’s also important to remember that both your resume and selection criteria should be tailored to each job you apply for, highlighting the specific skills and experience that make you a strong fit for that particular role and organisation.

To get started, here are some tips for creating a professional nursing resume and addressing selection criteria:

1.         Use a clear and easy-to-read format: Choose a clean and professional font, and use headings and bullet points to organise your information. This makes it easier for an employer to quickly scan and understand your qualifications.

2.         Include a summary or professional profile: This is a short paragraph at the top of your resume that briefly summarises your professional skills and relevant experience. This helps to give context to the rest of your resume and immediately grab the employer’s attention.

3.         Highlight your education and credentials: As a nurse, your education and professional credentials are important to include on your resume. List the name of your degree, the name of the institution you attended, and the date of graduation. You should also include any relevant certifications or licenses, such as your RN license, AHPRA registration and so forth.

4.         Focus on your professional learning: As a nurse, your work experience is likely the most relevant information to include on your resume. Begin with your most recent job and work backwards, known as reverse chronological order. For each position, include the name of the organisation or employer, your job title, and the dates of employment. Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Be specific and include any quantifiable achievements, such as “Implemented a new patient care system that resulted in a 20% increase in triage efficiency.”

5.         Use action verbs: Action verbs help to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in a strong and concise way. Examples of action verbs for a nurse resume include “assessed,” “coordinated,” “implemented,” “administered”, “managed,” and so on.

6.         Proofread carefully: Attention to detail is crucial in the nursing profession, and it’s just as important when it comes to your resume and selection criteria. Be sure to carefully proofread these documents for spelling and grammar errors, and consider having a friend or professional review them as well.

In addition to these general tips, there are a few specific things to keep in mind when addressing selection criteria as part of a job application. Here are some additional tips:

1.         Read the job description and selection criteria carefully: Make sure you fully understand the requirements of the role and the specific skills and experience the employer is looking for.

2.         Use concrete examples: Rather than simply stating that you have a certain skill or have relevant experience, provide real-life situations to illustrate your qualifications. For example, rather than saying “I have excellent communication skills,” say “I have effectively communicated with patients, families, and interdisciplinary teams to coordinate care and address concerns. One specific example is when I assisted a non-English speaking patient in creating an advanced directive by using a translation app and physically demonstrating the various treatment options.”

3.         Use the same language as the job description: If the job description uses specific language to describe the requirements, be sure to use that same language and keywords in your selection criteria. This helps to show the employer that you have a clear understanding of the role and are directly addressing their needs.

4.         Use the STAR format: The STAR format is a helpful way to structure your examples in the selection criteria. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Begin by describing the specific situation you were in, the task that needed to be completed, the action you took, and the result of your action. This helps to provide a clear and concise explanation of your experience and qualifications.

Some additional things to consider when creating a professional nurse resume are:

1.         Emphasise your clinical skills: As a nurse, you have a unique set of clinical skills that are essential to your job. Be sure to highlight these skills on your resume, including any specialised training or professional development you have.

2.         Include your bedside manner and personal attributes: Nurses are often known for their compassionate and caring bedside manner. If you have experience working with patients and families, be sure to highlight this on your resume.

3.         Mention any relevant leadership experience: If you’ve had the opportunity to lead a team or project in your previous nursing roles, be sure to include this on your resume. Leadership experience is often highly valued by employers and can set you apart from other candidates.

4.         Consider including a core competencies section: In addition to your professional experience and education, you may want to consider including a separate skills section on your resume. This can be a helpful way to highlight any relevant technical skills, such as proficiency in electronic medical record systems or experience with certain medical equipment.

5.         Don’t forget to include your personal interests: While your professional experience and education are the main focus of your resume, it can also be helpful to include a brief section on your personal interests. This can help to give an employer a sense of your personality and can help to set you apart from other candidates.

Overall, creating a professional nurse resume and addressing selection criteria is an important part of the job search process. By following these tips and taking the time to carefully craft your documents, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream nursing job.

To find out more, or for assistance with your application contact Canberra Resume today![email protected] or 1300 174 435

Australian Government Applications

Applying for a government job in Australia can be a competitive and rigorous process, but it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. With a wide range of agencies and departments, the Australian Government offers a diverse range of job opportunities, from administrative roles, policy development roles, scientific research roles and many other exciting openings.

If you’re considering applying for a government job in Australia, it’s important to understand the process and know what to expect. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process and increase your chances of success:

  1. Identify the job you’re interested in: The Australian government job market is vast, with opportunities available across a wide range of agencies and departments. Start by identifying the specific job type, agency or department you’re interested in and make sure you understand the requirements and responsibilities of the role.
  2. Check your eligibility: Most government jobs in Australia have specific eligibility requirements, such as Australian Citizenship, security clearances, or certain levels of education and experience. Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you begin the application process.
  3. Understand the selection process: The selection process for government jobs in Australia is often more comprehensive than for private sector jobs. In addition to a resume and cover letter, you may be required to complete an application form and address selection criteria. Selection criteria are specific requirements for the job, and you will need to provide concrete examples of how you meet those requirements. Reading through these can also help you decide if the role is right for you.

It’s important to carefully review the selection criteria and address each requirement in a clear and specific way. Each role will have a specific Role Description, or Job Description. This document provides us with the information about the job itself along with the skills, experience and qualifications that are required for the role and also can describe the job application process and any mandatory requirements. It generally also outlines information such as any page or word limits and identifies any additional notes you need to know. The job market is very competitive applications have more chance of attracting interest from the selection panel if they are well presented, succinct and relevant.

  • Create your application: Services such as Canberra Resume are here to assist you in the creation of your documents. Our role is first to identify the documents required, then assist with writing the detailed resume, cover letter and criteria response.

Your resume should be concise, easy to read, and focused on the most relevant information for the job you’re applying for. It’s also important to tailor your resume to each specific job you apply for, highlighting the skills and experience that make you a strong fit for that particular role. Our team will assign you a professional resume writer who will be in contact with you via phone/email to collect any information required to do the initial review. Your degree qualified writer will also discuss the role with you, collect any ‘new’ information along with your criteria responses which will in-turn aid in the creation of your documents.

  • Prepare for the interview: If you’re selected for an interview, it’s important to be well-prepared. Research the agency or department you’re interviewing with and have a good understanding of the job and its responsibilities. More often than not the selection criteria responses you provide are also what will be discussed in an interview. Practice your interview skills and have a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Dress professionally and arrive on time for the interview.
  • Follow up after the interview: After the interview, it’s a good idea to send a thank-you note to the interviewer. This shows your appreciation for the opportunity and your professionalism. If you don’t hear back from the employer within a reasonable amount of time, it is appropriate to follow up with a brief email or phone call to inquire about the status or outcome of your application.

In addition to these general steps, there are a few things to keep in mind when applying for a government job in Australia. Here are some additional tips:

  1. Pay attention to the application deadline: Government job openings often have specific application deadlines, so it’s important to pay attention to these deadlines and submit your application on time and in the correct file format.
  2. Proofread carefully: Attention to detail is crucial in the government sector, and this is especially true when it comes to your resume and application materials. Be sure to carefully proofread your documents for spelling and grammar errors, and consider having a friend or professional review them as well.
  3. Network and build relationships: Building relationships and networking can be helpful in any job search, and this is especially true in the government sector. Attend job fairs, join relevant professional organisations, and make connections with people who work in the agency or department you’re interested in.

To find out more, or for assistance with your application contact Canberra Resume today![email protected] or 1300 174 435


The rise of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is one of the most important innovations in the area of human resources and management as it has revolutionised the way that companies hire and onboard applicants to fill positions within their organisational structure. ATS technology has taken such a central role to the recruitment process that over 90% of Fortune 500 companies rely on best-practice ATS processes to source new talent.

When you apply for a role at a mid- to large-sized company, there is a big possibility that your application will go through ATS. These companies receive potentially hundreds, if not thousands of applications, especially for highly competitive and sought-after roles. Instead of reviewing each resume, resumes and hiring managers use ATS to sort, filter, rank, and prioritise candidates by setting different parameters and adjusting ATS search queries.

With new ATS technology come new rules for resume writing. You may have encountered resume writing sessions in high school or at university, and the tips you have learned from basic resume writing classes are a good foundation, since the rules of grammar, style, and structure don’t change too much or too often. However, if you are a job seeker, the most important priority is to end up with a resume that contains the right search terms and is optimally formatted for ATS so that you don’t get lost in the system or in the discard pile.

In terms of design, there are a few considerations to remember in building an ATS-friendly resume. Primarily, it is important to bear in mind that an algorithm or a computer program is used to scan through the content of resumes, and as such, optimisation for ATS relies on building a resume that facilitates this function. When your resume follows best practice layouts for ATS, it makes it easy for the computer to read your achievements. It doesn’t matter if your achievements are excellent on paper – if your resume isn’t formatted for an optimal ATS read, it may hurt your chances at getting hired.

Here are some design considerations when thinking about ATS formatting:

  • Follow the prescribed format

One of the most important technical aspects of ATS is readability, and most ATS-powered resume submission sites allow you to upload several key documents, such as a cover letter or a selection criteria statement. If the upload link specifically mentions PDF or DOCX format, these are the only file formats that can be parsed by the algorithm. Make sure that your files follow these file types, so save your resume in either format and you should be good to go.

  • Avoid graphics, charts, and photos    

Even the most powerful ATS also rely on efficient formatting. ATS are programmed to read blocks and lines of text and are quite sophisticated and efficient in its method of seeking out keywords in an uploaded text. Illustrations, graphics, charts, and photos that break text distract from having continuous and coherent blocks of text that ATS can scan, and it is for this reason that graphic elements in a resume are highly discouraged. Best-practice ATS resumes follow neat formats, with tight lines, organised bullet points, and limited white space to ensure that every possible area of the page is filled with useful information. Another important thing about ATS is that it picks out numbers and statistics and highlights them in the results. Instead of adding charts or graphs to demonstrate your performance, narrate it with actual numbers. Tell your story with coherent sentences and actual numbers.

  • Fonts matter

We cannot stress enough that most web optimised ATS tools rely on legibility to yield excellent results. Fancy fonts and typography that distract from the scanning or are not recognised by the ATS can hurt your chances at getting selected. Instead of using fancy typefaces that can throw off the ATS, opt for simple but elegant non-serif font styles that can be scanned, such as Arial, Calibri, and Cambria. Canberra Resume prefers our default font Tahoma due to its efficiency and readability. Anywhere between 9-12 points is ideal for resume writing.

  • Resume formatting

Well-defined sections make it easy for the ATS to read through your resume. Along with specific keywords in the content of your resume, most ATS are programmed to look for sections, such as Experience, Education, and Skills.  Organising the sections of your resume depend on which areas of your profile you want to emphasise the most. It is also important to remember that each resume should be tailor-fit for each application. As such, feel free to reorganise your sections. Order your priorities strategically depending on which point you are at in your career. More experienced applicants can highlight their accomplishments, awards, and recognition first, where less experienced applicants can show their educational attainment, training, and special skills. Use the reverse chronological format when laying out your job experience.

  • Design and organisation

One pitfall of ATS formatting is applicants may prioritise stark simplicity. While this is good for ATS optimisation, there is still room for a bit of creativity, and this is where your style choices come in. Colours bring out the personality in a document, and with what little you can influence in ATS-specific resumes, make sure to select colours that are neutral, expressive, and agreeable. At Canberra Resume, we prefer teal and black as our primary colours to convey freshness, professionalism, and growth. A soothing and relaxing colour, the mix between green and blue elements evoke a sense of stability and endurance. Although not an exact science, colour psychology can help you in communicating a certain image. For instance, red usually evokes excitement, strength, and energy. Orange typically means confidence, success, and bravery. Black is often taken seriously as it is formal, sophisticated, and secure, whereas purple may mean class, ambition, or flair.

A note about design and organisation: although resumes are often read through ATS, there is still a human component in hiring, especially when it comes down to the last few applicants shortlisted for interviews by the ATS’ filter capabilities. This is where your personality should stand out. Selecting appropriate and savvy design elements, such as font styles, colours, and borders can help you project a professional and polished image and boost your chances at getting hired.

Remember that an applicant tracking system is programmed to look for keywords, and your best source of what those keywords might be can be found in job listing itself. Ask us today about your different ATS-ready templates and let us help you secure that coveted role.

Highlighting Your Core Competencies

Resumes come in all forms and formats, but what sets apart a good resume from a less than ideal one is the amount of deliberate intent and analysis that goes into highlighting the best parts of your profile. At Canberra Resume, we pride ourselves on our experience and expertise in highlighting the most bankable aspects of your career and your overall package. We take apart your resume and your credentials and reflect your best skills and competencies in a format that best suits Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) programs that have become common practice in today’s contemporary recruitment landscape.

ATS technology (Applicant Tracking Systems) have made it possible for employers to go through hundreds, if not thousands of resumes for coveted roles in a highly precise and effective manner. While online articles can tell you tips and tricks to beat the ATS scanners, a specialised service like ours often take resume best practices and apply it in analysing your credentials so that your best assets shine through.

ATS scanning, therefore, has shifted the standards in resume writing. Forget what you know about resumes. Previous convention in the paper-based era dictated that resumes be brief, concise and direct to the point. The shorter and the punchier the sentences, the faster your points get to your target reader.

 However, since artificial intelligence is used in ATS technology, the emerging trend is for ATS-ready resumes to conform to scanning and analysis algorithms. This means giving the ATS more material to work with in the first place. Leaving little to be read on your resume as a result of previous norms and conventions in resume writing will prove to be a disadvantage. With the advent of the use of ATS software, programs, and tools in contemporary HR departments especially for multinational corporations, governments with centralised hiring practices, and headhunting websites like Seek, Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Indeed, verbose, expressive, and articulate sentences are key.

At Canberra Resume, we usually include a section on your core competencies, which we also typically write in compliance with the skills required by the role. This is why we request our clients send us a link or a file of the job description for roles they may be interested in applying for – we need to see the desired competencies for the specific role, and we tailor-fit the content based on your experience and previous achievements.

Core competencies should not be lifted directly from the job description. Instead, you must take these core competencies that are being asked for in the job description and write a narrative or a response that will evidence how you are able to demonstrate this in a practical workplace setting. A core competency section must extensively outline your key skills and attributes which make you stand out from other applicants. Being elaborate and verbose in this area also has an added bonus of giving ATS technology more content to scan. The more relevant, sensible and customised content you put on your resume, the better your chances at hitting the right pre-programmed keywords that your employer is looking for.

Here is an example of a set of common core competencies that one must have in order to advance through the ATS round:

  • PROGRAM MANAGEMENT. Strong project/program management skills and experience with solid track record of delivering projects and programs through their complete life cycle.
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Talent for utilising effective communication strategies, interpersonal, tact and diplomacy skills to manage, influence, negotiate and foster long-term strategic relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • LEADERSHIP. Visionary leader, capable of providing clear direction for the team and motivated to constantly drive efficiencies to a high standard. Promotes autonomy within teams, has a flexible approach, and encourages an ethos of managing upwards.
  • COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK. Values collaboration, respect, innovation, integrity, and diversity and brings these core values in identifying and capitalising on strengths in the organisation.
  • SYSTEMS/TECHNICAL SKILLS. Highly proficient across a range of operating systems and software platforms, including the ability to quickly adapt and train on various platforms.

Remember, adding a Core Competencies section is not intended as a way to pad your resume. This is your opportunity to present your skills and competencies in a more explicit and targeted manner regarding the skills, attitudes, competencies, and behaviour that your prospective employer is looking for. Use this to your advantage and package yourself in a manner that will deliver maximum impact not just during the ATS stage, but even until after you were shortlisted for the role.

Our friendly consultants are on standby to take your call and to answer any queries you may have about professional writing services. Contact us today to discuss how best to highlight your Core Competencies in your resume, or to get started on consulting us for hiring documents such as resumes, cover letters, and selection criteria responses.