NSW Government Cover Letter Example & Targeted Questions

Last Updated, 4 February 2023
Written by <a href="https://www.resumestoimpress.com.au/career-resources/author/nic/" target="_self">Nicole Wren</a>

Written by Nicole Wren

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NSW Government Cover Letter Example & Targeted Questions

by | Feb 4, 2023 | Examples

This NSW government cover letter was written for the role of a Recruitment Officer, found on the I Work For NSW jobs website. It required a 1-2 page response.

It uses the STAR method to structure examples by explaining the Situation, Task, Action and Result. ​It addresses the focus capabilities (from the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework) listed in the job ad, and includes examples which reflect the values of the department.

This role also included two targeted questions. There is a sample response for one of these below the cover letter example.

The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework

The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework is a tool used in all NSW applications. All NSW Government role descriptions include the capabilities that are required to perform the role, and the ‘Focus Capabilities’ for a specific role need to be demonstrated within your application (including your cover letter and the targeted questions). Note ‘Complementary Capabilities’ are not assessed during the recruitment process.

The Capability Framework has 16 capabilities organised into four groups:

  • Personal Attributes
  • Relationships
  • Results
  • Business Enablers

There are also four capabilities in the People Management group. 

Each capability has five levels: foundational, intermediate, adept, advanced and highly advanced.

Each role will have different areas of ‘focus’. You will need to carefully review the role description to know what areas to hone in on in your application.

NSW Application Example

Below, we present an example cover letter and response to a targeted question. The role was for a Recruitment Officer position, and the job ad included six Focus Capabilities, as follows:

Personal Attributes

Manage Self (Intermediate)


Communicate Effectively (Intermediate)

Commit to Customer Service (Intermediate)

Work Collaboratively (Intermediate)


Deliver Results (Intermediate)

Plan and Prioritise (Intermediate)

Note each of these Focus Capabilities has clear definitions of behavioural expectations for each level and wording that may be appropriate to use in your application. We have used this wording consistently throughout both the cover letter and targeted question response. Examples are all in the STAR format.

1-2 Page NSW Cover Letter Example

Dear Contact Name and Selection Team,

I am pleased to apply for the role of Recruitment Officer (Job Reference Number XXXX) with XXXX. I have worked in recruitment for five years and this is an area I have become extremely passionate about. I have always been a ‘people person’ and enjoy building rapport with others, which is vital when securing quality candidates to meet organisational needs. I am also very excited to contribute to XXX, since this team delivers such vital healthcare to people within my local area. 

At XYZ Corporation, we faced challenges in maintaining consistency and efficiency in our recruitment administrative processes due to the use of varied online systems and procedures. This inconsistency often led to delays and errors, impacting our ability to meet business needs.

To address this, I adapted my existing skills to the situation and took the initiative to develop, monitor, and maintain a comprehensive system for managing recruitment administrative tasks. I began by conducting a thorough review of our existing processes and identifying bottlenecks. I then collaborated with the IT department to integrate our various online systems into a unified platform, which streamlined tasks such as online advertising, collating shortlisting results, and moving candidates through the hiring stages.

Seeking feedback from colleagues and stakeholders, I created detailed process documentation and training materials for the recruitment team. I also implemented a tracking system to monitor the progress of all recruitment activities, ensuring tasks were completed in a timely and consistent manner. Additionally, I set up regular review meetings to gather feedback and continuously improve our processes.

By staying motivated and focusing on key points, the streamlined processes led to a 40% reduction in administrative errors and a 30% increase in efficiency. We consistently met tight deadlines, and the overall quality of our recruitment administrative support improved significantly.

In my previous role at ABC Services, we received frequent candidate enquiries regarding the recruitment process and submission guidelines. These enquiries were often left unanswered or delayed, negatively impacting the candidate experience.

To address this issue, I took charge of managing the shared recruitment email inbox and implemented a system to ensure timely and accurate responses. By promoting the use of inclusive language, I set up automated email templates for common enquiries and trained the team on how to personalise these responses to enhance engagement. Additionally, I created a comprehensive FAQ document that was shared with candidates through the online recruitment system and via email.

Listening to others to gain an understanding, I established a tracking system to monitor all incoming enquiries and ensure they were addressed promptly. For more complex questions, I set up a process to escalate these to the appropriate team members quickly.

Focusing on providing a positive customer experience, candidate satisfaction scores improved by 25%, and we received positive feedback for our prompt and helpful communication.

At DEF Solutions, our recruitment team struggled with maintaining accurate records and generating meaningful reports on recruitment metrics. This lack of reliable data made it challenging to identify trends and manage performance effectively.

Recognising the need for improvement, I took the lead in overhauling our recruitment record-keeping and reporting processes. I began by conducting an audit of our current records and identifying gaps in data retention and privacy compliance. I then implemented a new digital record-keeping system that ensured all recruitment records were accurate, securely stored, and easily retrievable.

To enhance our reporting capabilities, I developed a set of standardised recruitment service metrics and created automated report templates. These reports provided insights into key areas such as time-to-hire, candidate sources, and hiring manager satisfaction. I also set up regular data reviews with the Senior Recruitment Partner and Recruitment Manager to discuss trends and identify areas for improvement.

By taking the initiative and responding proactively to changing circumstances, I achieved a 50% improvement in data accuracy and compliance with privacy requirements. The new reporting system enabled us to make data-driven decisions, leading to a notable increase in recruitment efficiency.

I am confident that my skills, experience, and approach make me the ideal candidate for the role of recruitment officer.  Thank you for considering my application. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this role further at interview. 

Yours Sincerely,

Client Name

Targeted Question Example

This question required a response of no more than 400 words (we just scraped in at 396!). As in the cover letter, there is a strong emphasis on the focus capabilities required for the role within the job description.

Q: Outline an example of how you independently problem-solved an issue for a stakeholder (internal or external), what was the issue, what did you do and what was the result?

 A: At XYZ Company, we faced a significant challenge with a key external stakeholder, a client who was dissatisfied with the quality of candidates we were providing for a critical project. The client expressed frustration that the candidates did not meet their specific technical requirements and cultural fit, which was putting the project timeline at risk.

I was tasked with independently resolving this issue to ensure the client’s satisfaction and maintain our company’s reputation. The goal was to identify the root cause of the dissatisfaction, adapt our recruitment process to better meet the client’s needs, and provide a set of candidates who would exceed their expectations.

I began by thoroughly reviewing the client’s feedback and comparing it with our recruitment process. I identified gaps in our understanding of the client’s specific technical and cultural requirements.

I acknowledged that our recruitment team needed to develop a better understanding of the client’s industry-specific needs. To address this, I organised a series of training sessions for the team, focusing on the client’s industry and technical requirements.

I scheduled a meeting with the client to discuss their feedback in detail and asked appropriate, respectful questions to gain a deeper understanding of their expectations. I also gathered insights from my colleagues who had worked on similar projects.

Based on the feedback, I proposed a revised recruitment strategy to the client. This strategy included a more rigorous screening process for technical skills and a focus on candidates’ cultural fit with the client’s organisation. I clearly explained how these changes would address their concerns and improve candidate quality.

I emphasised the importance of inclusive language during candidate interviews and communications to ensure we were attracting a diverse pool of talent that aligned with the client’s values. Throughout the process, I maintained open communication with the client, providing regular updates on our progress and ensuring they felt heard and valued.

The revised recruitment strategy led to a significant improvement in the quality of candidates presented to the client. Within a month, we successfully placed several highly qualified candidates who not only met but exceeded the client’s technical and cultural expectations. The client expressed their satisfaction with the improved process and outcomes, leading to a strengthened relationship and additional recruitment projects from them. This experience highlighted my ability to proactively adapt to new challenges, seek and apply feedback, and focus on delivering a positive customer experience.

We hope this NSW Government cover letter example and targeted question example has assisted you to understand what is required in your own selection criteria application. If you need further assistance with your resume, cover letter or targeted questions, please get in touch for a quote. ​

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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