How to Write Your Resume For Government Job Applications

by | Oct 2, 2023 | Writing Advice

Understanding how to write your resume for government job applications including APS resume writing and resumes for state and local government roles is key to securing that government role.

Along with your selection criteria, pitch or detailed cover letter, your resume is key to you being selected by the panel to move forward in the application process.

Cartoon picking out a resume from five other government resumes.

Government resumes are different from regular resumes, and they require a specific format and style.

Our expert government resume writers have extensive experience crafting resumes that meet the requirements of the Australian Public Service (APS) and other government agencies. Here are their tips on how to ensure adherence to requirements.

Government resumes can vary depending on the level of government and specific agency or department.

The Australian Public Service (APS) has specific guidelines for resumes that are different from those of state and local governments.

State and local governments may have different requirements and preferences for resumes, such as a shorter length or a different format.

It is important to research the specific requirements of the agency or department you are applying to and tailor your resume accordingly.

Working with a government resume writer who is familiar with the requirements of different levels of government can be helpful in creating a resume that meets the specific needs of the agency or department.

Writing your resume for government job applications in the APS requires knowledge of their specific requirements.

It is important to follow these guidelines when developing your APS resume. Remember, your selection criteria or claims need to align with your resume. This means you need to ensure that details about your employment are clearly articulated.

For example, in your selection criteria, you might write: “In my role as an Executive Assistant, I led a…” You must therefore clearly document the details of your Executive Assistant employment in your resume.

Ensure job titles are consistent and include the dates you worked there. There is no need to repeat information in your resume that you have already explained in your resume, so consider carefully what you include in each.

Be sure to use an ATS-compliant government resume template.

Here is a template to download and use. Note, this resume template can be used as an APS resume template, as well as for other government departments.

How are government resumes different?

Government resumes should usually be between two and six pages. Check the application guide, though – as sometimes a panel may request a specific length.

It is vital that you follow the instructions provided when writing your resume for government job applications!

Generally, government resumes are plainer and ‘less showy’ than resumes in other industries.

Government panels tend to prefer resumes using plain, consistent font (e.g., Arial size 10-11), in black and white. Do not include any photos or graphics.

How Do I Write a Resume for Australian Government Jobs?

Your Australian government resume should include sections including Personal Details, Education, Employment Experience, Volunteer Experience and Referees. You should use a plain font and template.

Personal Details

Include your name, phone number, email address and LinkedIn profile (if you have one). Include a summary job title e.g., Administration Professional or Customer Service Professional (make sure these fits with both your career history and the role you are applying for).

Education

Detail all relevant qualifications and education. Consider leaving off anything irrelevant to the role, or very outdated.

Employment Experience and Achievements

Include details of your employment history in chronological order. Make sure you explain any gaps in employment.

Mention your achievements or accomplishments especially when they are relevant to the role you are applying for. For example, if you are going for an administrative role that requires payroll processing, make sure you tailor your resume experience to highlight that relevant experience.

You should go through each job and make sure it reflects (as much as possible) the skills needed for the job you are applying for.

If you have experience working in government roles, make sure you put your employment levels in each role. For example, if you were an APS3, write that in your resume. If you have acted in higher roles, you should definitely include the details.

Volunteer or Other Experience

Include any relevant volunteer or other experience. For example, if you are applying for an administrative role and you are the treasurer of a local sports club, this is relevant information that the panel will want to know.

Referees

Include two referees. Include their names, positions, organisations, and contact details. Remember to ask your referees if they are willing to talk to your performance before you list them.

What should you leave off your government resume?

  • Your date of birth, marital status, or gender.
  • Irrelevant details about why you left previous roles
  • Irrelevant hobbies and interests
  • A photo of yourself

Here’s an example of how to set out your resume:

EVELYN EXAMPLE
Senior Administration Professional
PH:0400 000 000 | E:evelyn@email.com
A: 41 Example Street, Example
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/Evelyn-Example

PROFILE & KEY SKILLS

Outstanding communication skills: As Senior Administrative Officer, led team’s adaption of Machinery of Government Changes, communicating changes verbally and writing, ensuring the changes were implemented with minimal disruption.

Attention to detail: As an Executive Assistant, successfully managed regular complex travel itineraries for a senior executive, involving coordinating flights, hotels, ground transportation, and other logistics for a multi-leg trip with multiple destinations.

Consistently adheres to policies and procedures: As an Executive Assistant, implemented a new data privacy policy to ensure compliance with new regulations. Reviewed and communicated it effectively to all relevant stakeholders, and ensured all employees were trained on the new policy.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

November 2016 – Current
Executive Assistant | The Department of ABC
Key Achievements:

  • Successfully ensured safety compliance on a project with high numbers of non-English (Mandarin) speaking employees, initiated translation of all SWMS into Mandarin and facilitated training with the use of on-site interpreter.
  • Achievement 2 etc.

Duties:

  • Provide administrative support to a senior executive.
  • Duty 2 etc.

November 2014 – October 2016

JOB TITLE | Organisation

Key Achievements:

  • Achievement 1.
  • Achievement 2 etc.

Duties:

  • Duty 1.
  • Duty 2 etc.

November 2010 – October 2014
JOB TITLE | Organisation
Key Achievements:

  • Achievement 1.
  • Achievement 2 etc.

Duties:

  • Duty 1.
  • Duty 2 etc.

EDUCATION

Diploma in Quality Auditing | XYZ Training | 2019

VOLUNTEER/ OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

Treasurer for Example Golf Club (2019 – Current), overseeing the club’s budget, managing income and expenses, and ensuring that the club’s financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

REFEREES

Sally Jones | Administration Manager | ABC Organisation | Email | Phone

Name | Job Title | Organisation | Email address | Phone number

Do you need more government resume help?

Our team are experts in government resume writing, including APS resume writing. We can help write your resume for government job applications to create a resume that is easy to read and navigate, and that highlights your skills and experience in a way that is relevant to the job.

Contact us for more information.

Nicole Wren

Nicole Wren

Senior Writer

Nicole is the principal resume writer at Resumes to Impress. Nicole loves writing and sharing her knowledge about all things job hunting and career guidance.

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