The first step in the selection process is a review of applications to make sure they are complete and minimum qualifications are met. The next steps vary depending on the job and number of applications received. Often the next step is a more in-depth application review, or training and experience evaluation, in which a screening committee evaluates and scores application packages. In order to increase your chances for an opportunity to compete in the process, it's imperative that you do a good job on your application materials.
The Employment Application
- Do a thorough job - spend the time to give as much information as possible.
- Attach a resume if you have one, but don't let it be a substitute for filling out the employment history portion of the employment application form. Do not say "see resume" anywhere on your application.
- Be sure to give 10 years of employment history and account for any gaps in your history.
- Give complete information about each position held, i.e., dates of employment, supervisor, number of hours worked, reason for leaving, etc. List each position separately; make it clear how much time you spent in each role if you promoted within the same organization.
- Remember to click "submit!"
The Supplemental Questionnaire (if Required)
- Answer each question thoroughly and separately
- Do not cut corners or consolidate answers. Do not say "see resume" in your response.
- Make sure all experience you describe in response to a question corresponds with a job listed in your job history, or you will not receive credit for it
- Do not assume the reader will "read into your answers"
- Give as many details as you can
- Remember to click "submit" when you are done
- Direct experience is always nice to have when it comes to answering questions on the supplemental questionnaire or in an oral interview, but applicants often times overlook the experience they have that is transferable to the job for which they are applying. Therefore, before you answer any questions, it's a good idea to take a look at the "big picture" and incorporate in your response any relevant and valuable life experience you may have.
- It's important for you to make that connection between your experience and how it qualifies you for the job you are applying for. Even if your connection feels like a long shot (within reason), you should attempt to make that link. Remember, when applications are being screened for most qualified, in addition to being screened against specific criteria, a lot will depend upon the caliber of the applicant pool. It could be that the area you feel you are weak in is also a weak area for the entire pool. Therefore, don't get discouraged...Think positive.
- Before responding to a question that requires you to link your relevant experience directly to the job, it's important that you have a good understanding of what the job really entails, and the qualities needed in order to be successful. This will help you to write a winning response!
- Remember, the supplemental questionnaire was designed by the hiring and Human Resources departments to elicit information about your knowledge and experience in the areas that are of utmost importance to the department and your success on the job.
- By looking at the knowledge, ability to, and experience sections of the job specification, you will get a general overview of what is required for the job (sometimes specs are written generically) and the supplemental will give you an idea of what specifically is important to this particular position and to the hiring departments.
- Anything you can do now to prepare yourself for the testing process is time well spent -whether it be a visit to department's web pages, getting a tour or overview of the division or department, and/or taking the relevant course work to make yourself ready and marketable. These are the important steps that will assist you in attaining your goal.