Applying with us

Photo of a staff member with the words "we thrive"

Interested in a career with Golden Plains Shire Council? Search and view all current opportunities on our vacancies page. If one of those listed aligns with your interests and you feel your skills, knowledge and experience are a good fit, we'd love to hear from you.

Below are some tips and tricks to ensure you shine in the recruitment process.

Before you apply

Give us a call - all of our job ads include a contact person who will be happy to speak to you about the role and working at Golden Plains Shire Council.

We encourage you to have a chat with the contact person to find out more about the role, work location, team and anything else you may want to know so that you can work out if you are a good fit. Although we try our best to be specific in our advertising and Position Descriptions, sometimes you can pick up additional information from a call.

Remember, this is your first opportunity to make a positive impression so prepare yourself for the call. Know what you want to find out before you call, ask relevant questions, clarify duties of the role and ask about any employment conditions that are of interest to you. It's a great way for us to get to know you too.

You may also want to check out our social media, our website, cast your eyes over our Council Plan or annual reports to find out more about who we are.

After your research, think about the role, all we have to offer and whether you can picture yourself working with us. If you can, it's time to take the next step!

Your cover letter

The cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself and give us a sense of who you are, highlighting your skills and experience, before we read your resume.

Here are a few tips for preparing an ideal cover letter:

  • Start with a brief introduction about yourself, mention the role you’re applying for and what struck your interest
  • Provide a summary of your skills, experience and why you think you would be a great fit for the role. You can use the key selection criteria and the Position Description to guide what type of information we will be interested in. This doesn't need to be an essay - just a couple of paragraphs or dot points will be fine.
  • Check your spelling, grammar and formatting to make sure your letter is easy to read and makes sense.
Your resume

Now for the detail...

Your resume provides all the important information about your employment history, qualifications, licences and other related experience and skills. This is your opportunity to begin positioning yourself as the perfect candidate!

Here are a few tips for preparing an ideal resume:

  • Brief is better: A long and convoluted resume is far less appealing than you may think. Focus on providing a summary of your current and recent employment history including only information relevant to the role you are applying for. 
  • Promote accomplishments: Don’t be afraid to include your accomplishments in recent roles as this highlights the potential value in you joining our team. 
  • Highlight links to the role you are applying for: Make sure your resume clearly lists the skills and experience you have that are relevant or transferable to the role that you are applying for. Always make sure you tweak your resume to reflect the role you want and cut out anything that won't be relevant. 
  • Don't include unnecessary personal information: Whilst popular in the past, there is no need to include a photo or personal information about yourself such as age, gender, marital status, nationality or political stance. There is no need for this and it is not relevant to our selection process. Contact details and your name are really all the personal information we need. If you have a preferred pronoun, you can include this if you wish.
  • Avoid providing your whole life story: You may have an extensive career but we don't need to know all the ins and outs of your first job at Woolies 20 years ago or that you graduated from high school in 1995. Focus on relevant information and experience from the last decade. You can summarise any history prior to this if you really believe it is relevant to your application.
  • Make it clear and straightforward: Use simple text, a standard font that is easy to read and avoid writing about yourself in the third person. Use bullet points where to list important information and avoid long paragraphs.
  • Be conscious of formatting and layouts: Avoid using complicated layouts and cheesy formatting. Whilst you may think a bright and vibrant backdrop or header will impress us, if we can't easily read the content you are doing yourself a disservice. We are far more interested in learning about you and your experience. Make sure most of your effort is put into the content and less into beautifying the document.
  • Use spell check: Seems simple but so often overlooked. Spelling mistakes are a massive no-no in resumes. It demonstrates a lack of attention to detail and professionalism. Make sure you spell check before submitting your application.
  • Be professional: If you’re using the same questionable Hotmail address from when you were in your early teens, it is recommended that you set up a new one for professional/work-related communications.
  • Get someone you trust to review your resume: It can help to have someone read over your resume as they may pick up mistakes or gaps you've missed.
Key selection criteria

We don't expect our candidates to spend hours and hours answering multiple Key Selection Criteria (KSC) any more.

As part of the application process, we will ask you to summarise your experience and skills in the online questionnaire and this is where you can reflect on some of the key points of the KSC.

Your responses to the online questionnaire, along with your cover letter, are your opportunities to sell yourself and why you are a great fit for the role and team. We should be able to quickly assess whether or not you may meet the KSC from your responses to the online questionnaire.

Here are a few tips to consider when responding:

  • Study the key selection criteria: Take your time to consider what we are really looking for and how your skills and experience may align with the KSC.
  • Draft your response: Draft your responses to the questions in a word document and copy into the online questionnaire when you are ready.
  • Keep the layout simple: Use bullet points and short sentences.
  • Please don’t write a novel: We don’t have the time to read “War and Peace” but we need enough information in your response to understand what you have to offer. Make it punchy and to the point. 

Your cover letter and resume should also be guided by the KSC and position description - the information and detail you include should emphasise the transferable skills and experience that you have which align with the KSC we are looking for.

Don’t meet every single requirement? If you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly, give us a call to talk further.  Our recruitment process considers both technical and cultural fit, and how our development program can support you to grow into a role.  You may just be the right candidate for this or another position at Golden Plains Shire Council. 

Applying online

The application process is completely online which means you can check on the progress of your application whenever you like and register for alerts about the roles that interest you.

When you commence your application, you will need to provide contact details, add any licences which are relevant, complete a short questionnaire and attach your cover letter and resume.

The online questionnaire includes a few questions which you may want to consider before commencing the online application. These are:

  • How does your experience and skills make you a great fit for this role?
  • Have you worked for Golden Plains Shire Council or Local Government previously? If yes, please provide details such as dates and location/organisation below.
  • Previous employment detail (you can provide a summary or refer to resume)
  • Where did you hear about this career opportunity?
  • Do you require any reasonable adjustments to support you during the recruitment process?
  • Are you an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or have the right to work in Australia?

If you get stuck or have any problems submitting your online application, contact the hiring manager or the team at [email protected].

When you are all done, you can hit the submit button!

Hiring manager and panel

We want all selection panels at Golden Plains Shire Council to include the best possible people to ensure a fair, thorough and consistent recruitment process without bias or conflict of interest.

Typically our panel will include the people leader the role will report to, a member of the People & Performance team and another relevant stakeholder or manager.

Whenever appointing panel members, we ensure:

  • Any potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interests are identified prior to interviews and managed appropriately.
  • All panel members are provided training, information and/or guidance about recruitment practices, equal opportunity and unconscious bias.
  • Panel members are aware of their responsibility to maintain confidentiality of all details relating to the recruitment process.
  • The panel represents a diverse range of people with equal opportunity at the forefront of our minds.
Preparing for the interview

Once applications are received, the selection panel will review and shortlist candidates to progress to the next stage... the interviews!

If you receive a call inviting you to interview. Congratulations! Depending on the number of candidates, we may only be interviewing 3 or 4 people so it's great to have made it this far.

After you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to prepare for your interview so that you are ‘interview ready’ and can go into your interview feeling confident and well prepared.

  • Read your application multiple times and ensure you are ready and able to answer any questions that may be specific to your experience and the skills you have listed in your resume.
  • Become an expert on the Position Description: It’s a good idea to read over the position description multiple times so that you have a good grasp of the skills, experience and behaviours we are looking for to find our best candidate. It is also important to understand who we are and what we do at Golden Plains Shire Council, in particular the team you are applying to work with. In the Position Description you will find some information about the structure of the team, a summary of the team's purpose and you can also find some information on our website. You can also find out more information when speaking to the hiring manager.
  • Understand the capability framework: The capability framework highlights important abilities we consider when assessing future employees. You will find this framework and descriptions in the Position Description. How these are ranked will provide you some clues about what capabilities are most important for the role and help you to focus on the important bits.
  • Use your networks to find out more about the culture: Learn about our values and think about how you can reflect these values in your responses at interview. Learn more about how we work and collaborate, our strategies, and how we engage with community. It’s so appealing to us as a prospective employer when a candidate demonstrates their knowledge of Council. 
  • Prepare examples to respond to behavioural questions: Much of our interviews are based on behavioural questions. These types of questions draw on your past experiences and give us the opportunity to see how you may adapt these experiences and behaviours to a role with us. We believe that past behaviour is a great predictor of future behaviour. It give us an idea as to how you may respond to situations in our organisation. It can be worth jotting down some dot points as prompts for the interview with specific examples of past experience which highlight your skills, knowledge, and capabilities relevant to the role.
  • Don’t wait until the day of interview to prepare: Put some time away well before that so the day of interview you feel more confident and prepared. Do a few practice runs with a colleague, friend or family member so that you will feel ready for the big day.
  • Handle logistics early: Know where you are going, arrange transport, have interview materials (Position Description, cover letter, resume, notes) ready to go and ensure work/family know you will be stepping out for an appointment. Our interviews typically go for around 45 minutes but allow time either side for travel or if the interview goes over.
  • Contact us about any adjustments you may need to fully participate in the interview. This may include checking accessibility of the site, organising an Auslan interpreter, providing materials in a different format, conducting the interview by telephone or video link up, etc. You can call the hiring manager or contact the team at [email protected] to discuss your needs.
  • Look and dress appropriately for the role. Looking and dressing the part will help us to visualise you in the workplace. Don't wear dirty, torn or offensive clothing, it's not a great first impression.
At the interview and using the STAR method

A solid method to help you with your answers is to use the “Star” method.

The Star Method can be used to help you structure your answers to questions from the selection panel. It’s a great tool and can help you stay on track  and focused during the interview.

S = Situation

What was the project, event, or challenge? Set the scene of what the situation was.

T = Task

Thinking about the situation you have described, what task did you do in the scenario/subject? What was your part in it? Be careful not to talk about what others did. This answer is to showcase to the panel your involvement.

A = Action

Describe what action you took to rectify, improve, or solve the matter? What was your role in the situation?

R = Result

Give a summary of what the outcome was. What was the outcome learning, improvement? Would you do anything differently next time?

Reference, police and other pre-employment checks

After the interview, the selection panel will decide who should progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. Generally there is one, sometimes two, preferred candidates. We will contact the candidate/s and let them know we would like them to progress to the next stage of the process. This includes reference checks, police checks and other relevant pre-employment checks.

We will need two/three professional referees from you: Our reference checks are usually conducted online. We will send you a link from Makesure where you will be able to nominate your referees. Your referees will be sent a link to answer questions about their experience with you. These must be people you have directly reported to, ideally within the last 5 years. We do not accept referees from friends or family members. If you aren't sure what referees may be appropriate, contact the hiring manager to check or email the team at [email protected].

You will need to complete a police check: All candidates are required to complete a police check which we will arrange - this will be sent to you as a link from Makesure. We don't accept a police check from another employer or one you have accessed yourself. These checks are conducted to ensure we can manage any potential risks for the organisation - it doesn't mean if you have a blemish on your record you won't  be considered for employment, it will depend on the offence and situation and whether there is a relevant risk to the role or team for which you have applied. Every situation is assessed on a case by case basis. The most important thing you can do is be open and honest.

Other pre-employment checks: Some roles may require additional checks ranging from psychometric testing, qualification checks, verification of Working With Children Check to name a few. These will be clearly outlined to you at the interview.

Your privacy

We will use the information you provide when you are applying for employment with us, to assess your suitability for employment and to report on key metrics (e.g. diversity outcomes). The information we collect will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

By submitting an application or registering your interest in employment you are consenting to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as described below.

How your information will be collected

We use Aurion Recruitment to manage current and potential vacancies posted on on our Careers site and the online application, selection and onboarding processes.

Information from you is collected directly when you: 

  • create a candidate profile on our Careers site
  • commence and/or submit an application
  • register your interest in future vacancies

This information will be securely retained on our recruitment system to enable us to contact you throughout the selection process. It is also retained for your future reference. Information retained on our system (including incomplete and submitted applications) will not influence future applications you may make with us.

Additional information may be collected from you directly at any other stage during the selection process, including any tests of competency you may undertake, or at interview or from third parties such as your referees.

If you are a successful candidate you will be required to provide additional personal information (which may include sensitive information about your criminal and medical history). This will enable us to conduct any required pre-employment checks and to facilitate the creation of a new employee record on our payroll systems.This personal information will be retained in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We may also collect information from third parties as required by or allowed by law. This can include from law enforcement agencies as part of our police check, or medical test results.

If you do not provide all the information requested during the recruitment process we may be unable to process your application or properly consider it.

How your information will be used

Your contact information will be retained on our recruitment system making it easier for you to apply for other jobs with us and for you to track the progress of your applications online.

If you no longer wish to have a candidate profile with us, please email [email protected] requesting deletion of your profile.

The information collected about you will be kept secure and confidential. It will only be used to assess your suitability for the role you are applying for, or similar roles if you provided permission in your application.

If your application is successful, the information collected about you during the application and onboarding processes will be used to commence your employment. The information will be transferred to our payroll system and your employee file. Golden Plains Shire Council will not disclose your personal information without your consent, or unless required or authorised by law. 

Who will use your information

Your information may be used by: 

  • members of the selection panel responsible for assessing your application
  • the Manager and Director (the relevant staff who have overall authority to approve recruitment decisions) 
  • our People & Performance team members involved in the administration of recruitment processes, workforce planning and other related functions

We may also disclose your information to an external provider/s if they have been engaged to manage or assist with the recruitment process.

We may also disclose personal information to an external provider/s during the onboarding of successful candidates. This is typically to confirm your eligibility (such as police checks or verifying documents). We will contact you or obtain your consent prior to providing your information to any third party. These providers and systems meet our minimum security requirements, are required to retain your information in Australia and maintain your confidentiality.

Rate this page

Is this page useful?