How to Successfully Complete an Application (Pt. 1)
How to Successfully Complete an Application –
Supplemental Questions (Pt. 2)
Training and Experience Evaluation (T&E)
What is a T&E?
A T&E is a scored evaluation of the job application materials submitted by a candidate. Such materials may include the completed application form, a resume, a written qualifications statement, and written responses to specific job-related questions. The T&E is NOT a determination of whether the candidate meets the minimum requirements; rather, the T&E is one method for determining who are the better qualified among those who have shown that they meet the minimum requirements. In a T&E, candidates are typically scored in relation to one another; consequently, when the pool of candidates is exceptionally strong, many qualified candidates may receive moderate or even low T&E scores.
What are the raters looking for?
The T&E is conducted by qualified “raters” who are highly knowledgeable about the requirements of the job, and who have no prior relationship with the candidates that may affect their ability to be impartial in their evaluations. The raters follow a structured rating process for assessing the degree of a match between pre-set job readiness standards and the candidate’s background information. Some of the factors that raters typically consider are recency, relevancy, level, complexity, scope, quantity, quality, depth and breadth in pertinent education, training and experience. To be fair, raters limit their evaluation to the application material that has been requested of all of the candidates. Further, in making their evaluations, the raters rely entirely on what the candidate presents in the application material.
Raters are not expected to:
- Make assumptions due to the long tenure of candidates
- Read between the lines
- Interpret illegible, ambiguous, or incompletely stated information
- Make sense of disorganized, unfocused, or rambling information
- Compensate for a rushed or carelessly prepared application packet
- Adjust for candidates’ deviations from the required or plainly expected structure of the information requested.
Know or research the curriculum and course content of all degrees or certification programs that may apply to a job from all schools or institutions that may confer those degrees, certificates or licenses.
What should you do when preparing your application?
A video on how to apply may be viewed here:
Please be aware when you submit an application, and associated materials at the County of Ventura, you are completing an exam which will be evaluated. The process of screening application materials at the County of Ventura is known by Recruiters as an Application Evaluation. This is a structured method for assessing a candidate’s background as an indicator of readiness and preparation for a target job. There are three levels associated with this process. The first is a basic screen for minimum qualifications and/or requirements. The second level is a comparative screen which is used to determine who will be invited to the next phase in the exam process in which candidates are evaluated and grouped/ranked according to specific criteria. The third level of application evaluation is a formal evaluation of training and experience known as a T&E. A T&E is a scored evaluation. The recruitment bulletin will tell you which process is being employed for any specific recruitment. See the chart below for a summary.
|One||Level one is a basic screen for minimum qualifications and/or requirements.||Used to determine if an applicant will be invited to the next phase in the exam process.|
|Two||Level two is a comparative screen in which candidates are evaluated and ranked according to specific criteria.||Candidates are grouped and/or ranked in a manner which determines whether or not they will be invited to participate in an oral examination. All candidates who participate in level two screening meet the minimum requirements.|
|Three||Level three is a formal evaluation of training and experience which may include application materials and responses to a supplemental questionnaire.||Candidates receive a score which may be used to determine who to invite to the next component of an examination process, or which may be used to create an eligible list. In other words your score on the T&E may determine if you considered for final interview.|
|Submit in a timely fashion. – Submit the application in advance of the filing deadline. We recommend you complete the supplemental questionnaire (if any) in advance in order to reduce the amount of work required.||Sell yourself short – Please be sure to list all applicable experience you have acquired. Whether or not you proceed in the process will depend upon it. Your qualifications will be measured and compared to other candidates so it is crucial to present all qualifications you have.|
|Complete the application – Ensure ALL fields on the application are completely filled out.||Make assumptions – Do not assume HR staff know of your background or have any record of your work history with the County (if you have one). Also, do not assume we look at any applications submitted in the past.|
|Present comprehensive and organized Information – List all applicable employers for which you have recent and relevant experience.||Rely on your resume – The application process at the County of Ventura is considered the first test in the selection process. We conduct structured evaluations of the information presented in the application. Although a resume may cover some related areas, it cannot substitute for the information provided. That said, it is highly recommended you focus your energy on the application.|
|Double check your submission – Take the time to ensure your application is legible and can be read by others.||Neglect the supplemental questions – The responses provided to the supplemental questions often drive who will move forward in a process. Failing to clearly answer all components of the questions will likely have negative implications.|
|Ensure your information is consistent – Be consistent in the information you present in your application and the supplemental questionnaire.||Wait until the last minute – When an application is rushed it usually shows and increases the likelihood that one may omit relevant information or present information that is hard to understand. Both of these situations may make it difficult to evaluate your materials.|
The following steps should help you be successful in the application process:
- The first thing is to carefully read the job bulletin/announcement. Be sure that you meet the minimum requirements, and carefully review the job duties and the characteristics of the “Ideal Candidate”. Be confident that this job is right for you and that you are right for the job.
- Make an organized listing of your experience in the space provided – be sure to address all responsibilities you have had in each job that are similar to those in the job you are seeking. Include and elaborate on your relevant experience.
- Starting with the most recent, list all relevant experience you have had by each job title and employer. Do not merge different jobs under one title. If you worked in an “acting” position and were not paid for it, list the experience separately and attach a letter from your supervisor to support your claim.
- Be specific, clear, and accurate on the recency, relevancy, level, complexity, scope, quantity, quality, depth and breadth of your education and experience. Vague generalities do not earn points in a T&E.
- Honesty is the best policy. Your subsequent interview and reference checks will reveal any misleading information you may have provided. Anyone who misrepresents qualifications is subject to immediate disqualification and possible barring from taking any other exams with the County of Ventura.
- If the job bulletin describes the need for a diploma, degree, certificate, transcript, specific course work, license, or fulfilling of other requirements, attach evidence that you meet them or will meet them by the time specified in the job bulletin. Preface your attachments with a list of documents you are submitting for review.
- Think of your application as your first work product for the job. Make it neat, organized, and easy to understand. Put yourself in the position of the rater: What does your application packet say about you to someone who has no prior knowledge of your background and accomplishments?
- Go over your application (and any additional requested information) before you submit it to be sure you have given everything asked for.
The Bottom Line: It is up to you to communicate your qualifications by submitting relevant and thorough information in a clear and organized way.
To see other common pitfalls you should seek to avoid, please watch the video below.