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APS Careers

Information for Applicants

Information for Applicants

Defence has a diverse workforce in terms of cultural backgrounds, demographics and work experience. Building the capability of our people and the Department is a top priority - we value our people and the specialist skills they have.

The information links below will assist you in applying for an Australian Public Service (APS) job in Defence. Details on what conditions you need to meet to become a Defence employee, how to submit an online application and how the selection process works are provided for your reference.

Please read it carefully before submitting your application.

How to find a job

Defence has a range of Australian Public Service (APS) career opportunities that offer the scope for a career change at any time.

Our workforce includes administrative support, accountants, intelligence analysts, engineers, customer service officers, policy advisors, graphic designers, lawyers, social workers, IT specialists and contract managers to name a few.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to work with a leading Government Agency, follow the links below to current job opportunities in the Department.

Submitting your application

Making the decision to proceed

Before a Defence Australian Public Service (APS) job is advertised the requirements of the role are analysed and a job description is prepared.

Take time to research and plan your application highlighting your skills, experience, training and abilities required to successfully undertake the job. Applying for the sake of it means spending time and energy applying for jobs that you may not be really suited for. Understanding the job, what is required and whether you have the right skills and experience are important in deciding whether to apply or not.

Still unsure

If you need more information about the role or the process, call the contact officer and ask them.  For example, you may want to know about upcoming work priorities, the work environment or the timeframe for announcing the decision. The contact officer details should be outlined in the jobs information pack.

Writing the application

It is vital that you provide sufficient detail to enable the selection panel to assess your suitability and how you compare to other applicants.  When writing your responses include transferable knowledge, skills or abilities in areas relevant to the job.  Try to provide evidence of your work achievements and support your claims with actual, specific examples of what you have done and how well you did it.

Remember to check spelling, punctuation and grammar, and be succinct. The written application itself shows how well you can communicate, and if written well, can make a positive impression.

There are some very valuable online references which may assist you in your preparations:

  • Integrated Leadership system  - This information provides guidance on what you would be expected to do for all APS classification levels and roles.  It can be particularly useful if you are entering the APS for the first time and unsure of the roles and responsibilities across the APS.
  • Cracking the Code - This guide takes you through the steps on how to apply for jobs in the APS. 
  • Fact sheet 5: Addressing selection criteria - Where responses to selection criteria are required this reference is worth a look.  This fact sheet covers handy tips and hints and as well as an example of how to address selection criteria.
  • The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Indigenous Liaison Officer - is available to provide advice to Indigenous people on how to apply for APS jobs. The APSC Indigenous Liaison Officer can be contacted at

Confirmation of Heritage

As per the eligibility requirements outlined in the information packs, for special measures positions; proof of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Heritage is required from all applicants.

Applicants are required to complete and return the Recognising Organisation Resolution section and Applicant Declaration outlined in the Confirmation of Heritage Form.

Note:  If you already had your heritage formally recognised and can provide a similar form to the Recognising Organisation Resolution section, you are not required to complete this form.  Please provide your original recognition of heritage document.


Your application must include an up to date copy of your resume.  The resume should provide all the relevant information about your education, employment history, achievements and abilities.

Important Note: Resumes should not include any attachments or images that will take the combined size of the file to over 1MB. Files over this size will not get through the Defence firewall and therefore will not reach the recruitment area.

Submitting your application

Do not leave applying for a position until the closing day of the recruitment process. Start your application early!

Once your application is successfully submitted through our eRecruit system you will receive a confirmation email.

APS Careers@Defence is for job seekers only

Unsolicited resumes or applications from recruitment agencies and/or search firms will not be accepted and Defence will not pay fees to any such organisation unless arranged with the provider prior to advertising the vacancy.

Withdrawing an Application

If you have submitted an application, but no longer wish to be considered for the position, you can withdraw it through the eRecruit system.

Once you withdraw your application you will not be able to re-submit it or submit another application for the same job vacancy.

For more information on withdrawing your application via the eRecruit system, please refer to our eRecruit Applicant User Guide.

If you withdraw your application after the closing date, please ensure you also inform the contact officer. The contact officers phone and/or email address can be found on the front page of the Information Pack.

The Selection Process

Merit Selection

All appointments within Defence are based on merit. Merit selection ensures the selection of the best available person for the position through open competition. Selection is based on the abilities, qualifications, experience, standard of work, performance and personal qualities of a person, as is relevant to the requirements of the job.

The Selection and Assessment process

Selection panels are structured to ensure equity, independence and diversity of backgrounds and opinions.  Equal Employment Opportunity principles will be followed.  Confidentiality will be maintained and the privacy of all applicants respected.

Your application will be read and assessed.  The selection panel will assess how well your experience, qualifications, skills and abilities meet the requirements of the job.  The selection panel will determine which applicants are shortlisted for further assessment, perhaps an interview.

However, not all selection processes involve an interview. Other assessment methods - such as referee reports, work simulations, assessment centres, technical tests and aptitude tests may be used in place of, or as well as, an interview. The combination of assessment methods used will be specific to the job.

Availability for Interview

If interviews are to be conducted, the selection panel will assume that you are available for interview from the date applications close. Where possible, shortlisted applicants will be given two working days notice of interview details. You are expected to be available for interview, if required, even if you are on leave. Should you be unavailable in the period following the lodgement of your application, please advise the contact officer of a telephone number on which you can be contacted. The selection panel will make every attempt to schedule your interview at the least disruptive time.

Special Arrangements at Interview

If you have any additional needs when attending an interview (e.g.: wheelchair access, sign language interpreter, reliance on public transport due to a disability that requires the interview to align with public transport timetables etc.) please state your requirements in the relevant section of the online application, or discuss them with the contact officer.

Referee Comments

Referee comments may be sought before or after an interview. They are an integral part of the selection and assessment process sought to provide information relevant to the requirements of the job. You should choose work related referees who can comment effectively on your skills and abilities, experience and performance within the workplace.

Should a referee provide negative feedback relating to your work performance or suitability, you will have the opportunity to provide comment under procedural fairness principles.

Progress of your Application

Applicants are asked to speak to the contact officer regarding progress of their application.

What are the next steps

After interview, the selection panel will assess your claims and suitability for the position in relation to the assessment process and make a recommendation regarding the most suitable applicant for the position.

Offer of Employment

If you are selected as the most suitable applicant and offered the position, you will usually be advised by phone. We would like to know your decision as quickly as possible. If you accept the position, a formal ‘Letter of Offer’ will be sent to you explaining what commencement pack documents are required from you.

As the successful applicant you will be asked to accept the offer of employment within seven days of receiving the ‘Letter of Offer’.

You should not resign or leave your current employment until Defence APS Recruitment have advised you that all checks / clearances have been completed.

Once all the paperwork has been processed by Defence APS Recruitment they will send a ‘Confirmation Letter’ to you and advise you of your date of Commencement.

Merit Pool

If you are not offered the job, but the selection panel believe that you are suitable, your name may be placed in a merit pool. Applicants placed on this list, may be accessed if:

  • The preferred applicant declines the offer, or
  • Should the same or a similar position become vacant during the 12 months after the original job was advertised, the order of merit may be used.

Unsuccessful Applicants

Once the successful applicant has been notified, unsuccessful applicants will be advised in writing as soon as possible. Unsuccessful applicants may contact the chairperson of the selection panel for post-assessment feedback.

Commencing work


Ongoing or non-ongoing employment for longer than 6 months with Defence will be conditional on the successful applicant satisfactorily completing a probation period which is generally six months unless otherwise advised. During this time conduct and work performance is assessed to determine whether they meet Defence standards.

Download: Probation Fact Sheet 

The New Starters Program

The New Starters Program is a corporate induction program applicable to all new APS Defence employees. The program has been developed to accelerate the integration of new starters into the Department and assist them to become productive in the shortest possible time.  The New Starters Program focuses on bringing to life parts of the APS Career & Talent Management System by equipping new starters with relevant information, resources and training.

APS Relocation Assistance

Defence provides relocation assistance to eligible Australian Public Service (APS) employees required to relocate. The level of assistance will vary depending on the reason for relocating and your personal circumstances.

Download: Relocation Assistance Handbook 

Security Clearance

All Australian Public Service (APS) employees and Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who work within Defence must have a security clearance.

Download: Security Clearance Fact Sheet