Apply for a job

A well-written job application, including a polished resume, can give you the edge in a competitive job market. Before you apply for any job:

  • Make sure you do your research to understand the employer’s needs and how your experience and skills relate to this
  • Check out the resources available in CareerHub and Career Essentials to prepare your application
  • Visit the Careers Service to get feedback on your draft application

Preparing your application

Job applications usually require documents written directly to the employer to accompany your resume. These may include a cover letter and/or a statement addressing selection criteria. Alternatively, sometimes you may be asked to submit a brief expression of interest or complete an online application.

Cover letters

Written applications should include a cover letter, which is your opportunity to express your unique claims to the role or organisation. When employers only request a resume, your email should serve as a cover letter.

To make a good impression, include the following sections:

  • Your reason for writing
  • Your interest in and knowledge of the organisation
  • Relevant skills and experience in relation to the position or needs of the organisation
  • References to any documents you have enclosed
  • Enthusiasm! Express a willingness for an interview

Watch this video on how to write a cover letter, then access our cover letter builder tool and cover letter resources for help getting started.


A resume is a summary of your education, employment, skills, and experiences. It is a marketing document that promotes your suitability for employment and should follow the 4S rule:

  • Simple - easy to read with a simple layout and style
  • Structured - presented in a professional format
  • Significant - provides information that is relevant and valuable to the employer
  • Succinct – is concise and targets the role and the employer

Here are our top tips for pulling together your next resume:

  • Watch this video to learn what should be included in your resume, then check out our sample resumes below that show the 4S rule in use
  • Consider which style is suitable for your purposes, then utilise our resume resources to start drafting your resume
  • Research the industry or employer that you are applying to and then work on tailoring your resume so that it meets their needs
  • Get instant feedback on your resume using the Resume Reviewer tool. Upload your resume to receive instant, detailed feedback as the tool scores your resume against more than 50 automated checks. After making changes you can reload your resume to see how your score has increased.
  • Create a “master” resume that includes all your experiences, skills and achievements, and then choose relevant items from that document to create a targeted application for each employer
Sample Resumes

Selection criteria

Employers often include a set of requirements as part of their job advertisement. These are sometimes referred to as selection criteria, eligibility requirements, or similar. These are a clear indicator of the standards that will be used to measure one candidate against another and are a road map for your application.

Generally, private sector employers like their criteria to be addressed in your one-page cover letter, whereas public sector and not-for-profit employers expect a separate document addressing criteria in a formal style. Check with the employer if you are unsure.

Here are some resources to help you tackle this part of your application:

EOI's and online applications

Expression of interest

Sometimes employers call for brief applications or expressions of interest (EOI) for short-term contracts. An EOI is a brief letter that summarises the reasons you are the best applicant, containing evidence that directly relates to the advertised job. Read our Expression of Interest information sheet to learn the best approach to writing an EOI.

Online applications

Online applications help employers create a database of applicants and are often used for large recruitment campaigns. Employers regularly apply ‘word search’ algorithms to help identify applications that contain key words and phrases that are relevant to their role.

To help complete an effective online application, access our online application resources in CareerHub or view these useful tips in Career Essentials.

Overseas applications

Keen to work around the globe? Application processes can vary from country to country, so it’s important to understand the employment market of your chosen location as well as the organisations that employ graduates from your program.

Visit GoinGlobal to access country-specific career guides to help you understand how to land your dream job. Browse over 80,000 pages of country-specific career and employment resources for more than 80 locations across the globe.

Get feedback on your job application

Learn more

What employers are saying

< Find a job Get interview-ready >

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.