Tips - Preparing your application

CDOT offers engaging work assignments, excellent benefits, competitive market-based compensation, and career growth opportunities. These factors make us a desirable employer in the state, which can result in a large volume of well-qualified candidates.
Application Tips Q and A

Q: How can I make my application for
employment more successful?

Q: How can I most successfully respond to
Supplemental/Written Narrative Questions?

It is not unusual for us to receive more than 100 applications for a single position. Understandably, this volume does make the selection process more competitive for applicants. It is our suggestion that you spend time ensuring your application represents a full picture of your qualifications. The materials you submit do make a difference! Be sure you have provided a complete and thorough application packet for our review, and please read the following tips to ensure you submit the best application possible.

How can I make my application for employment more successful? 

A:  After the posted closing date an HR Specialist will review completed application materials and assess the general qualifications of applicants.  Items considered during this screening process include applicable work experience and education or training, overall stability and quality of prior work history, and overall presentation of application materials.  It is important to remember that the applicant with the highest educational degree or the most years of work experience may not be the best qualified applicant.

Clearly demonstrate on your application that you meet the minimum qualifications.  Any supplemental information you provide will only be considered if your application unmistakably shows you meet the minimum qualifications.  Here are some suggestions for completing a more successful application for employment: Carefully read the entire job announcement and follow its special instructions and requirements;

  • Show how your background meets the specific requirements listed in the Education and Experience section of the job announcement as well as the characteristics of the Exceptional Applicant;
  • Explain in detail your qualifying experience in your Employment History, attaching additional pages if necessary;
  • List each job separately. Do not lump jobs together, even if they were with the same organization. Include all relevant experience, whether paid or unpaid;
  • Be clear in stating your past supervisory duties;
  • If a specific duty was one you only performed occasionally and was not a primary duty of your job, you need to list the percentage of time you performed that duty on your application form;
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms;
  • Complete all parts of the application form;
  • Include all requested documents with your application (i.e. transcripts, cover letter, licenses, etc.)


How can I most successfully respond to Supplemental/Written Narrative Questions?

 A: Before you begin responding to the Supplemental/Written Narrative Questions, review your current and previous job position descriptions, duties, accomplishments and performance appraisals.  This quick review will greatly improve your answers.  In each answer, show clearly how your background closely matches the needs of the position:

  • Tell us what you accomplished or completed, not so much what others did.  Responses such as "I was involved in the budgeting process" are not descriptive enough. Tell us what your specific job duties were, quantitative figures, and what you did to achieve results;
  • Repeat yourself when necessary, as each response is evaluated independently from the others, which may necessitate repeating some information from one response to another.
  • Many terms are interchangeable, for example: strategic planning and long-term planning.  Don't be concerned about using "government" lingo;
  • Avoid vague language, jargon, lack of precision, and acronyms.

Be concise, yet thorough.  Stick to factual data.  Avoid digression into philosophy and theory.  Unless the announcement instructs you otherwise, there is no "right" number of pages.