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Before you apply

a woman on her laptop
Before applying for a position

  • Always read the advert carefully
  • Do not apply for the position if you do not have the mandatory skills or qualifications
  • Look for instructions on how they want you to apply (it may be online, via email or another way)
  • Check to see if you need a cover letter
  • Check to see if you are required to respond to ‘Selection Criteria’

Understanding the Position Description and Selection Criteria

In some cases, the advertisement will provide you with a more detailed position description and/or selection criteria for the job. It is important to read these requirements carefully and identify how your own skills and experience can match the requirements. Repeat steps 1 – 4 from the previous step (read, circle/highlight, write a response list). You can find an example position description here.


Don’t just think about your formal work experience; consider other experiences that could help you to demonstrate the desired qualities or experience.

  • Sporting clubs/voluntary work
  • Jobs while you were in high school
  • Fundraising events
  • Part-time work e.g. babysitting jobs/helping fix gearbox in a car
  • Home responsibilities e.g. looking after younger family members
  • Hobbies and Interests
If you would like to practice looking for key criteria and requirements you can use the examples below:
Marketing Officer – Blank, Highlighted
Analyst Developer – Blank, Highlighted
Groundsperson – Blank, Highlighted

© CQUniversity 2021
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Work Ready Skills: Job Searches, Writing a CV and Interviewing

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