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    1. Job Application Writing Tip 1

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      Job application writing in a public sector context obviously requires the applicant to firstly identify positions which are vacant or recently created. Before a position is advertised to be filled a determination will need to be made as to what process will be enacted to fill the position. Vacant positions can generally be filled as follows:- General recruitment process; Compassionate transfers; Redeployment or restructure – example 4 staff in a department that only has 3 jobs after a restructure, one staff member can be deployed into another position; Equal transfer – where an employee can apply for another position of the same level as their current position; Temporary appointments – where a position is vacant and the Department/Council appoints a person on a temporary basis without going through the advertising process. Temporary appointments normally comply with set time restrictions; and Secondments and relief – this is where someone from another Department or section is seconded into the position or the position is determined as a relief position and not permanently filled. In relation to filling positions through the normal recruitment and selection processes there are a number of initiatives, which must be undertaken prior to the interviewing process taking place. The following activities generally must be implemented prior to a position being advertised:- Ensure a position number is allocated to the designated position and that the position is vacant and can actually be filled; Ensure the position description (PD) is current and reflects the requirements of the relevant section; Determine the relevant selection criteria for the position; Have the Position Description evaluated to determine the appropriate classification level; Make changes to the PD dependent on the classification level arrived at through the evaluation if the classification level does not meet the needs of the organization; Have the PD re-evaluated; Have the PD approved and endorsement obtained by senior officers to advertise; and Determine the appropriate advertising medium – ie Government Gazette, Newspapers – local, interstate etc (dependent on the applicant profile sought). Firstly the Department/Council must determine that a position is vacant and that it is going to be advertised. The Manager/Supervisor of the area where the vacancy exists normally is responsible for ensuring that the Position Description for the vacancy is current. They will make changes to the Description if necessary. The changes may come about because the current status of the position no longer meets the needs of the department or through some other organisational issues. If changes are in fact made to the Position Description it is then formally evaluated to identify its appropriate classification level. If the level arrived at through the evaluation meets the needs of the organisation, the position is then advertised. If the level does not meet their needs, further changes are made to the Position Description and it is again re-evaluated and subsequently advertised. If no changes have been made to the PD – the position can be immediately advertised. This can be achieved through the Government Gazette, the Government/Department Web Site or Media outlets. Once the position is advertised, the potential applicant then needs to carefully analyse the position to determine if they have the skills and experience required. At Red Tape Busters we assist our clients to determine if they should apply for a position. Put simply if they do not have the skills and experience required and we believe they will fail to win an interview for the position we will advise firmly NOT to proceed with an application.

    2. Grant Writing Tip – Red Tape Busters

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      Grant writing is not rocket science – you don’t need a degree to write grants BUT you do need to have great research skills, great wordsmithing skills plus a thorough knowledge of funding programs and where to find funding opportunities. One of the major problems that non profit organisations and businesses face in the current economic climate is that Government agencies, Councils and even Philanthropic Foundations and Trusts are really reviewing their funding budgets and certainly with State and Federal Governments many are now actively seeking to find savings and one area they can find savings is to slash budgets involved with popular and long standing funding programs. For instance in Queensland we have had two very popular funding programs – Gambling Community Benefit Fund and Jupiters that have served non profit organisations very well now for a number of years. However the past Labor Government took significant funds out of the program to divert to other Government spending and now the LNP Government has slashed the maximum amount of funding available through the Jupiters Community Benefit Fund from $150k to $75k. Further, as a result of the State Government slashing ongoing funding to hundreds of non profit organisations early in 2012 the chase for elusive funding in Qld is very challenging. All other State Governments have also either slashed funding to non profit organisations or will also review funding regimes. This means that the competition for funding is enormous and that only the best applications/projects will generally be successful. This is where organisations and their planning processes come to the fore. Successful organisations are those generally with a long standing commitment to a robust strategic planning regime.

      Planning for the future is as much vital to non profit organisations as it is to businesses. With the current squeeze on funding opportunities, planning is more important now than ever in the non profit world. Essentially organisations should have in place 5 year strategic plans which look forward 5 years and guide the organisation’s direction over this period. These strategic plans should be developed in our view through a discussion with stakeholders and an assessment of the competition. By including key stakeholders such as clients/members/committee/staff/volunteers/local politicians in the discussions or when holding a planning workshop, organisations can really be comfortable that their forward plans will be robust, inclusive and reflective of the organisations overall goals and objectives. In these planning processes important projects including those requiring external funding should be identified and included in the plan. By forward planning and ensuring that well thought out projects will be progressed this will also by default give the organisation a better chance of securing funding when applications are made. Most organisations rarely plan as such and when a funding program is announced or becomes available it is only then that they try and develop a project concept that might fit with the identified funding opportunity. This is fraught with failure. Well planned projects will always have a better opportunity of winning funding than something thrown together at the last minute. We at Red Tape Busters firmly believe in working with our clients to develop quality projects BEFORE chasing funding.

    3. Tender Writing

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      Tender Writing

      We are identified as one of the most successful tender writing businesses in Brisbane. To date we have won over $80 million in tenders and grants for our client. Our most recent success was to win a major Council security tender for our client. This has been a great result given our client came to us having never pursued tenders and with no supporting documentation at all. Since that day we have worked with Queensland Security Solutions to develop their policies and procedures and to prepare outstanding responses to tender requirements. Our hard work has been rewarded with QSS winning a tender worth around $600k. A great result indeed! Just another example of why we have an outstanding reputation as for tender writing in Brisbane.

    4. Job Application Writer

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      At Red Tape Busters we are specialist job application writers with a significant success rate of our clients receiving interviews based on their written applications. On average around 85% of our clients are successful in winning interviews. To achieve such a high success rate, we obviously have to have great wordsmithing skills but we also have to give our clients great service and quality advice with respect to what positions to pursue and what positions they should not pursue in our view. From our perspective it is not appropriate for us to prepare an application when we believe our client does not have the skills/experience required and as a result we believe they will have little or no chance of winning an interview for the position. We are very strategic in our approach to all our services – job application, tender and grant writing. As a result our clients reap rewards in having the best possible chance of success before we even put pen to paper so to speak.

    5. Job Application Writing Tip

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      We are specialists in job application writing both in the commercial world and in the public sector. As such over the following months we will provide tips on how to find employment opportunities and then how to prepare great applications and then subsequently slay the interview. It is important to firstly understand how positions become vacant. In essence they become vacant via three main streams:-

      • Natural attrition;

      • Restructures;

      • Position upgrades.

      Natural attrition can involve the following:-

      Retirement, resignation, long-term leave or promotion of Incumbent.

      Restructuring occurs where structures within an organization undergo significant changes and thus positions are created within those structures as a result of budgetary impacts, a change in Government direction, feedback from clients and stakeholders or changes in legislation.

      There are also occasions where positions are upgraded from one level to another, resulting in a vacancy for applications suitable for the requirements of the higher level. At times – positions are also downgraded. So keep your eyes open and ears to the ground to ensure you are made aware of any possible opportunities.

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