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Blog post from Athena Ali The Get Noticed Coach Public Sector Career Coach and government application specialist - Why you should contact the hiring manager before applying for a senior public sector job

Why you should contact the hiring manager before you apply for a senior public sector job


I get it. You’re scared to say the wrong thing or you have no idea why you would call the Contact or Hiring Manager before applying for a senior public sector job.

Let me tell you a fact. Most people don’t do it. Most people are scared, don’t know what to say, think they are bothering the contact officer, or that they won’t get a callback so they don’t call.

I have been in that situation before. You leave a message and no one calls you back, so you think there’s no point in calling anyway. You also don’t want to come across as pushy or desperate.

But this is an opportunity to make a good first impression before everyone else does.

So let’s take a look at why you should call the Contact Officer or Hiring Manager before you apply for a senior public sector job.

1. Clarification of Job Requirements

One of the significant advantages of contacting the hiring manager is gaining clarity on the job requirements.

Speaking directly to the hiring manager or contact officer allows you to seek clarification on aspects of the job description, qualifications, and expectations.

By understanding these details, you can tailor your resume and key selection criteria to highlight the specific skills and experiences that align with the role, increasing your chances of being considered for the position.

2. Networking Opportunity

Initiating contact with the hiring manager or contact officer demonstrates your proactive approach and genuine interest in the job.

It provides an opportunity to establish a personal connection, making a positive impression before your application is even reviewed.

Note that most people do not make contact and this puts you in a better position because they already get some idea of who you are and what you can do. When they’re looking through those applications, they will remember your name and will likely pick your application up and read it.

Networking with the hiring manager or contact officer can give you a competitive edge over other applicants by putting your name at the forefront of their minds.

3. Insider Information

Conversations with the hiring manager or contact officer can provide valuable insights into the organisation’s culture, work environment, and potential challenges.

This information can help you assess whether the job aligns with your career goals and preferences.

Moreover, understanding the organisation’s values and goals can enable you to tailor your resume and key selection criteria to highlight how you can contribute effectively and be the solution that they’re looking for.

4. Tailored Application

By speaking to the hiring manager or contact officer, you can gain insights into their preferences and priorities for the role.

Why is the role vacant? Knowing why the role is vacant can help you tailor your application to their specific pain points and ensure you answer their key selection criteria in a way that appeals to why they need someone in the role in the first place.

What skills, experience and attributes do you bring to the role that you have performed elsewhere and can provide really good outcomes for this new department?

This knowledge allows you to tailor your job application to emphasise the qualifications and experiences that are most relevant to the position.

A tailored application captures the attention of the hiring manager and increases the likelihood of being shortlisted for an interview.


Just remember their details are there for a reason. If you have some questions, call them!

Where I come from no question is a silly question and if they think it is, you don’t want to work there anyway.

Often if you have questions, someone else will have them as well. It doesn’t mean you are silly, it means you care enough to be clear.

So don’t delay, call the Contact Officer or Hiring Manager on the job ad and get inside information to tailor your application and get in front of the people who make hiring decisions or who will be on that interview panel, giving yourself an advantage over other applicants today.

If you want to take the plunge and speak to the Contact Officer or Hiring Manager and don’t know what to ask, then download the “5 Smart Questions to Ask the Contact Officer Before You Submit Your Resume for a 6-figure Public Sector Job” below.


Hi, I’m Athena Ali

The Founder of The Get Noticed Coach.

I help public servants and aspiring public servants

– articulate their brilliance in resumes and CVs that get hiring managers excited to see them,

– write key selection criteria that prove you’re the right person for the job quickly,

– create a personal brand that sells for you so that you are headhunted for 6 figure roles effortlessly, and

– arm you with confidence-boosting strategies for your next interview so that you impress the recruiters and hiring managers and get hired in a $100K+ public service job.

I’m for people who want to make a difference in the community and work with purpose in a senior public service role.

I use my unique marketing approach to help you get clear, get confident, get visible, and advance your career with my unique 6 step framework.

With over 13 years in the public service and landing every government role I applied for and wanted I am well placed to show you how I did it and how you can do it too!

I believe in you.