Using selection criteria wisely
It can be daunting to apply for a position that asks for the job applicant to address selection criteria, especially if they don’t have what they consider to be strong job application writing skills. A job application writer can assist the inexperienced applicant to craft their responses to the selection criteria in a way that answers the criteria and gains them an interview for the position.
Most government positions and management positions require the job applicant to address Selection Criteria. The number of criteria in an application will vary from position to position but there are usually at least four criterion and sometimes up to fifteen.
The length of the expected response also varies depending on the specific requirements for the position. The majority will specify the maximum word counts per response and it’s important to stick to this requirement or the application will be rejected based on non-compliance.
To answer selection criteria the job applicant first needs to understand what is being requested. It is important to read through the Selection Criteria in detail and determine what each one is asking for. Use the job description and statement of duties to help you understand what is required in terms of qualifications, experience and skills and this should help you develop your responses to the Selection Criteria.
When responding to the Selection Criteria look carefully at how the criterion are worded. They often use ‘well developed skills’ or ‘demonstrated capacity’, or ‘experience using’, or ‘knowledge of’ within the criterion wording and the job applicant needs to differentiate these requirements and understand that they all require a different approach. ‘Experience using’ requires a description of how you’ve used something to achieve a particular outcome or result, whereas ‘knowledge of’ needs a demonstration of your knowledge about a particular area.
The job applicant needs to respond to each criterion writing an example or two to demonstrate how you have the skill knowledge or experience for that criteria. The best way to do this is by providing relevant examples from past job roles or experience. Initially you need to state clearly and concisely that you can meet the criterion and give a brief reason why you believe that.
You then provide the specific examples to support your claim. Using the STAR model will enable you to provide your examples in a cohesive manner. Briefly- STAR is describing a Situation and when it took place, explain the Task and what was the objective, give details about the Action you took to achieve this and the Result of your action.
It is often helpful to write each criterion down and then brainstorm examples for each one from your past experience then select the examples that best match the specific language contained in the Selection Criteria. Once you chose the best examples flesh them out using the STAR method. To round up your criterion response use a sentence or two to summarise how you feel you will contribute in the area.
Make sure your responses are accurate and honest – don’t exaggerate or misrepresent your role. Make sure you used positive language; and the examples are clear with no ambiguity regarding your role.
It is important to give yourself time. This process can be lengthy and you will achieve the best result by thinking through your experience, achievements and successes in order to present the best possible examples. Try not to leave it until the last minute and you will be more likely to succeed and remember there are professional job application writers who have experience and skill in addressing Selection Criteria who can assist you with your application.