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Is now the time to contract into the APS?

It’s a fact. The job market is currently candidate-led. That means there’s more jobs than skilled people to fill those jobs. And that, in turn, means now is an excellent opportunity for contractors to step into higher roles, secure longer tenures or gain an ongoing or non-ongoing role in the public service.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Kate Prior, shares her views on this very topic.

In an article published on The Riot Act, Ian Bushnell wrote that “… agencies are accepting staff from across the country who can work remotely as the surge in Federal Government work soaks up all available workers in the Canberra region.”

Ian also wrote that “A combination of successive natural disasters and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has fed unprecedented APS demand for skilled staff that is impacting the ACT Government and private sector, and even causing labour shortages across unrelated sectors such as hospitality and retail.”

Supply and demand

The result of this supply and demand scenario? An even more competitive ACT job market with candidates often being offered lucrative benefits and longer contracts. There’s also the opportunity for interstate contractors to fill roles in Canberra.

Kate says contractors who are keen to gain government experience should get ready to act quickly since jobs are being filled at lightning speed.

That includes those experienced in areas like policy, program and projects, as well as communications experts. It also includes call centre roles.

The unprecedented demand isn’t just with EL1 and EL2 roles either.

“It’s with all levels, including APS4s and APS3s in call centres and help desks,” says Kate, “and there are opportunities with new ways of working and new ways of bringing on people in response to the need. This means remote working and hiring more interstate-based staff.”

Kate says this is also an opportune time to move from non-public-sector industries to gain APS experience.

How to get ready to land a contract position in the APS

While jobs are in abundance and it’s a candidate-hot market, Kate says you still need to get ready to land a contract position in the APS.

Here are her top five tips.

Register asap with a professional, caring recruiter

You may never learn about positions if you’re not registered with a recruitment agency because some jobs are being filled so quickly they’re not even being advertised.

Registering with face2face Recruitment is free and only takes two minutes. Register on our website.

Get resume ready

An up-to-date resume is a must. Without it you won’t be ready and will inevitably miss out. Tailor your resume to each job application—the best dressed resume is most impressive. Also remember to crack the code on selection criteria and include both soft and hard skills in your resume.

How to get yourself resume ready

Cracking the code on selection criteria

Why tailored resumes are best dressed

Soft vs hard skills: Care about the difference

Understand your transferrable skills

If you’re in the private sector you’ll need to convert your transferrable skills into language that government understands. That means researching how government describes roles and converting how you describe your skills.

Transferrable skills: More important than ever

Create and/or update your LinkedIn profile

Employers and recruiters will look for you on LinkedIn. If they can’t find you, they’ll move on to the next candidate. If they find you but your profile isn’t professional or up-to-date, they may do the same.

Does your LinkedIn profile shine?

Can a recruiter find you on LinkedIn?

Read about modern interview techniques

Preparing for interviews is just as important as sharpening your resume. You can look great on paper but if you fail at interview, chances are you won’t land the job. Here are great ways to prepare for interview.

22 top interview questions: Update

Scored an interview? Steps for staying calm

Tackling behavioural questions at interview

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Whether it’s your first job, a new job, a career change, a promotion or re-entering the workforce after a break, we’re here. face2face will help you create a winning resume, boost your interview skills, and support you to find your perfect position.

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