Writing a pitch for an APS graduate program

A range of recruitment methods are used to select graduates for the APS. In some cases, you may be asked to write a pitch or statement, with a word limit, that gives your reasons for applying and what you have to offer in terms of personal qualities.

To tackle this task, here are three ideas to guide the content and structure of your statement.


Gather information about:

  • What the department or agency does that interests you. Some of this information will be included in the material for graduates, but wider reading of the relevant website, including publications such as the Annual Report and Corporate Plan, is needed to identify what work is of particular interest and relevance.
  • What qualities, skills and experience the department or agency seeks in new graduates. This information will be included in the material for graduates, under headings such as ‘our ideal graduate’ and ‘what we seek in graduates’. A list of desirable abilities is often provided, typically including such skills as:
    • excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • the ability to work in a team environment
    • solid analytical skills
    • dedication to providing high quality customer service, and
    • the ability to work under pressure to achieve results.

With this information in mind, review your studies, community contributions, extra-curricula activities and work history to identify relevant material that demonstrates the application of the desirable qualities sought. Any situation will likely demonstrate several skills. For example, a research project may show the use of communication skills, analytical skills, teamwork, and working under pressure to meet a deadline.

Think about your interests, strengths, values, and career goals and how they align with what you know about the department and its work and values. This information is your main source of motivation to explain why you are interested in an organisation. While working conditions and staff benefits may be attractive, what your pitch needs to focus on is your motivation for choosing a particular department.


One way to structure your pitch is to use a three-part structure, that comprises an opening paragraph highlighting your portfolio and its value, followed by several examples demonstrating your skills, with a short closing paragraph that mentions your enthusiasm or further value. Each of these parts is explained in more detail.

Also read these articles:

How to tackle a statement of claims

How to write a value-laden job application statement

Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.