The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is one of the most fiercely competitive Australian Public Service (APS) Government departments to step foot into; as well as in progressing and moving forward once you’ve secured a role and prove yourself. It’s typical for the ATO to receive 3000-4000 written applications for entry level roles (APS 3 or 4); and a very high number of applications for jobs listed internally. This particular client of mine was already established within the ATO as an APS2 Debt Collection Officer. She applied for an internally-advertised role requiring the addressing of five criteria up to a maximum of 250 words in length for each. She gained an interview and went on to receive a permanent job offer. Following is a full example of one of the criteria.

Demonstrated ability to acquire and apply complex knowledge.

As a Debt Collection Officer with the ATO, I possess a solid grasp of financial business practices and process together with APS Government requirements and I have developed extensive knowledge of procedures in relation to Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax, and Proof of Identity. When I communicate with customers (taxpayers) over the phone, I explain in general terms and in a clear and concise manner exactly how the taxation process works, tax reform processes, and I provide technical advice on GST, income tax withholding, income tax instalments and income tax assessments. Internally, I then go on to share this knowledge through participation in a classroom environment in group discussions with both trainers and fellow team members. This enables other participants to better understand financial and general business knowledge. In one instance, I was asked by my team leader to deliver an oral presentation on the Proof of Identity process to a group comprising 15 staff. I conducted a role play of the conversation guidelines that should take place with the customer for the introduction of Proof of Identity based on a practical everyday situation that could typically and often does occur. As a result, the participants gained a better understanding of how to handle a situation of this type. When sharing knowledge in the workplace, I adhere to the APS values by acting professionally, respecting and trusting colleagues, striving for positive results, and working together with teams to achieve a common goal.

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Annie Cerone