2-page Cover Letter Addressing the Statement of Duties

How to write a 2-page cover letter that addresses government requirements

Keep it short and sweet.

Jacquie Liversidge

By Jacquie Liversidge

How to write a 2-page cover letter that addresses government requirements

More and more, there are content length limitations placed on selection criteria responses. 

This is due to enormous selection criteria responses being submitted for government roles filled with content that is only somewhat relevant.

When applicants write their selection criteria, there is a tendency to fill the selection criteria with ‘padding’, or useless material, to increase the length.

Length certainly isn’t everything. When it comes to selection criteria, you want to get your material out quickly and efficiently with the most impact and the lowest word count.

This is where directions for a 2-page cover letter come in to play.

How to spot it

Either on the applicant guide or the initial link to the prospective role, there will be a section titled ‘How to Apply’. 

Read this section carefully.

An example

Taken from the link to a Tasmanian Government role, under the How to Apply section it states:

“To apply, please provide a copy of your current resumé and a 1-2 page covering letter outlining your experience, skills and knowledge as they relate to the Statement of Duties for the role.

Please note that we do not require a separate statement addressing the selection criteria”

What you should do now

Click on the position description and look over what is listed therein.

On the position description for this particular role, there are the following sections:

  • Position Objective
  • Major Duties
  • Responsibility, Decision-Making and Direction Received
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Selection Criteria – in relation to the major duties)

There are 6 selection criteria questions listed here.

In order to be considered for the role you still need to demonstrate from your past work experience with examples that you can meet the selection criteria, but you don’t have a lot of space in which to do it.

Do you have to address the selection criteria?

Yep. But within a cover letter.

So…

Traditionally, where the position description asks for responses to the selection criteria, you would develop your questions and title them with the question.

For this cover letter, you need to incorporate an introduction, inner content addressing the selection criteria and a call-to-action.

In order to be considered for the role you still need to demonstrate from your past work experience with examples that you can meet the selection criteria, but you don’t have a lot of space in which to do it.

Be concise.

Get the message out across quickly.

Example: I possess a high-level of written communication skills, gained through my Bachelor degree in Communications and consolidated by my work with The Local Newspaper. In this role I was responsible for developing engaging and reader-targeted content in the preferred style of The Local Paper. My readership increased three-fold due to my ability to create content which resonated with the people of Hobart, resulting in The Local Writer of the Year award in 2016.

It’s short and it’s sweet. It’s not as developed as an ordinary selection criteria response, but it gets the message across.

Focus on the inner content

Save your space for the real content that will get you selected by keeping your introduction short and to the point, and your call-to-action statement at the end within 2 sentences.

Introduction example: I wish to submit my application for the position of Communications Officer as listed on the tasmanian Government jobs website. I am confident I would be an ideal candidate for the position given my extensive experience within the corporate communications environment, my proven successes in a variety of roles and my strong interest in supporting strategic objectives through strong external communication.

Call-to-Action example: Thank you for taking the time to consider my application for the role of Communications Officer. Please do not hesitate to contact me on the details contained herein for further information or to arrange an interview.

Focus on the inner content

Save your space for the real content that will get you selected by keeping your introduction short and to the point, and your call-to-action statement at the end within 2 sentences.”

Keep your content focused on the selection criteria. Keep it concise and make every work count.

And that’s all folks. 

Happy hunting!

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