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Nursing Cover Letter Australia Map

Your application may be the first step towards obtaining a rewarding job or career with the Victorian Government. It is important that you give yourself the best opportunity to succeed. Our job application tips offer useful advice about writing your application. You will also find a résumé template, plus helpful interview tips.

If you have any questions about whether you are suited to a particular position, or what will be involved in the job application process, we suggest you get in touch with the relevant contact person for that position.

Job application tip #1:Ensure you understand the role you are applying for and that it is suited to your skills and qualifications.

Writing your application

When you click the 'apply' button you will be taken to the online application form. Here you will be asked to provide personal and contact details, respond to employment-related questions, and show how you meet the key selection criteria. You will also be required to attach your résumé, and other relevant documents, or you can build a résumé using the template provided below.

Job application tip #2:Follow the online directions, complete all the necessary fields, and provide all relevant information so your application is submitted correctly.

Key selection criteria

Answers to the key selection criteria should be short statements that demonstrate how you meet the qualities, knowledge and skills being asked for. Use examples from other jobs, experience gained outside work, or from your formal studies. You may also be asked other questions - usually of a 'yes/no' or multiple choice format. For example, you might be asked about your preferred hours of work, your willingness to attend a medical fitness examination and if you have any relevant criminal convictions. Click here for more extensive tips on addressing job selection criteria. 

Job application tip #3: Be precise and relevant in the information you provide. Show clearly how your skills and experience meet the key selection criteria.

We are also interested in finding out if you are from a disadvantaged group or have a disability. It is not compulsory to provide this information. However, it helps us with workforce planning, and there are specific job programs and employment strategies in place to help people in these groups.

Job application checklist

Before you finalise your application ask yourself the following:

  • Is my application complete?
  • Is my application in plain English, concise, courteous and correct?
  • Have I satisfactorily addressed each of the key selection criteria?
  • Have I checked my résumé against the template provided below?
  • Do I need to brush up on my interview skills? If so, tips can be found below.

Interview tips

Congratulations! You have been selected for an interview. While preparing for the interview may be a little daunting, here are some simple tips to help you prepare:

  • Dress appropriately for the interview. How formal it is will depend on the type of job, however, it is preferable to be a little over-formal than too casual.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before your allotted interview time, so allow plenty of time for travel and to find the venue.
  • Try to stay calm and relaxed at all times.
  • Bring your application and relevant documents with you, so you can refer to them if needed. Stay focused on the job requirements by referring to the position description.
  • Introduce yourself to the interview panel members with a firm handshake and look them in the eye.
  • Show interest and enthusiasm when responding to questions, and answer in a clear and concise way. Think about your answer first - there is no need to rush.
  • Allow the interviewer to finish talking before you answer the question. If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer to repeat or rephrase it.
  • Be prepared to talk about your understanding of what the organisation does, why you applied for the job, and how your skills and achievements meet the criteria. These are often covered in interview questions.
  • Don't forget to mention any skills you have gained in another field of work, through projects at school, or as a volunteer. These often provide important information about your transferable skills.
  • The panel will give you an opportunity to ask any final questions. Use this opportunity to show an interest in the organisation. You could also ask when you are likely to hear about the interview outcome.
  • Thanking the panel for inviting you, before you leave, provides a good last-impression.

Résumé template

All job application tips start with a good résumé. It is important that your résumé presents your personal information, education and work background in a clear and structured way. This will not only make it easier for the interview panel to identify and contact you, but also make it easier for the panel to see how your capabilities, personal qualities and background fit the job. You also need to include at least two referees and their contact details.

We've provided the following résumé template to give you an idea of how to start. You can go to your local library or search the Internet for other examples.

See sample sample resume here

Here are 5 tips for writing a great nursing cover letter.  Remember, a good covering letter on its own will never get you the job, but a bad covering letter will ensure you don’t get the job.  These tips will help you to get over the first hurdle.

1. Make sure your covering letter is professionally presented.
• Follow a standard letter format with your name, address and contact details clearly visible at the top of the letter.  And sign off your letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
• Don’t use a strange font.  Stick to one of the common fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Garamond.  And ensure it’s not too big or too small:  the font size for the body text of your letter should be no larger than font size 12, and no smaller than font size 10.
• Include the job reference details so the person is very clear which job you are applying for.  This would typically be listed in bold immediately below the ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear …..’.   If you are applying to a job in a hospital network, it may also be appropriate to include the hospital name in the reference line.

2. Keep it concise
• A covering letter should never be more than 1 page.  Healthcare Recruiters and HR professionals don’t have time to read waffle.  So each sentence and paragraph you write should have a purpose and ultimately the objective of your covering letter is to convince the reader that it is worth their while reading your CV.

3. Make sure the grammar is correct and there are no spelling mistakes
• Modern word processors such as Microsoft Word all automatically identify spelling mistakes, so there is no excuse to have any in typos in your covering letter.  Make sure, if you’re applying for a nursing job in Australia that you use an Australian or UK dictionary as your spell checker setting (these settings in Microsoft Word are located under the ‘Review’ tab).  A US dictionary is sometimes loaded by default by word processors, and some fussy recruiters don’t like to see words with US spelling.
• Good grammar is critical.  Good communication skills are a requirement of just about every nursing job and in the world of covering letters, bad grammar equals bad communication.  So after you’ve written, proof-read and proof-read your letter again, ask someone that you know has excellent english and grammar skills to proof read your covering letter for you.  (If you’d like professional assistance visit HealthyResume by HealthTimes)

4.  Address the key job requirements
•If the job advertisement provides a list of requirements for the position, you need to be sure that your covering letter addresses each of the essential requirements in some way.  So after you’ve written the letter, re-read the job advertisement and verify that all of the essential requirements are addressed.
•If the requirements of the job advertisement are not clear, then for a nursing job advertisement, the following requirements are almost always a given:
i. You must have an appropriate nursing qualification and accreditation, for example specify that you are AHPRA registered (and include your registration number) and if the role is for a more advanced position include any pertinent post-graduate qualifications.
ii. Your VISA status.  Are you an Australian citizen? If not, specify your VISA status.
iii. Unless it’s a graduate position, your experience will be an essential element of your covering letter.  So provide at least one paragraph that explains your experience and how it relates to the job you are applying for.  And if it is a graduate position, you will still need to provide the recruiter with some insight into your work experience while studying.
iv. Enthusiasm for the job.  You must convince the reader that you’re keen to get the job.  This can usually be achieved with an introductory paragraph that explains why you want the job.

5. Refer to your CV and any other attachments
• Toward the end of your covering letter, you should refer to your CV attachment (first to confirm that you have provided it, but also to reaffirm that you want the recruiter to read it) and any other attachment such as qualifications etc that may be relevant.

Click here for assistance preparing for your nursing job interview.