What are Selection Criteria?
Selection criteria reflect the skills, knowledge and experience that the employer has identified as necessary for the job advertised. The way you respond to the criteria may determine how successful your application will be.
You may ask why do I need a resume and to address selection criteria. Your resume is a list of your skills, experience, qualifications and knowledge. It is a summary of these things. Selection criteria allows you to elaborate on your skills, experience, qualifications etc. by way of examples. This allows you to present a more detailed impression of yourself in the best possible light. Addressing the selection criteria allows you to show how yours skills and qualifications meet the job requirements.
Dos and Don’ts of Selection Criteria
- Address each of the criteria in detail
- Provide examples from work, study and other experiences.
- Write more than one sentence answers.
- Be honest
- Use positive language
- Write more than approximately 250 words per criteria
- Write vaguely
Follow these steps to help you prepare:
1. Identify the criteria.
Identify all of the criteria you need to address. For most Public Service positions this will be fairly clear in the job advertisement or in the materials about the job when you get the application package. For jobs in the private sector you may need to identify these in the ad. Consider the following examples:
Public Service Selection Criteria example:
- Computer skills
- Written and verbal communication skills
- CIII or higher in Business Administration
- Three years or more experience in an office environment
Private Sector Selection Criteria example:
"We are seeking an experienced and qualified admin officer to assist the Office Manager in our busy business. You need to be outgoing and to have up to date office technology skills".
These two may sound very different when you first read them, but they are actually asking for very similar criteria. For the private sector job you would need to analyse the ad and pull out the selection criteria yourself.
2. Address the criteria
A great way to address the selection criteria is to use the STAR method outlined here.
S – Situation (each of these need defining)
T - Task
A – Action/Approach
R – Result
From the job ads we had above, let's select one of the criteria, CIII or higher in Business Administration. From the private sector they refer to the person needing to be “qualified”.
S – Situation:
I am a student currently completing CIII Business Administration (Legal) at Blacktown College of TAFE NSW.
T – Task:
As part of my studies I need to be up to date with all of the latest administration skills and processes.
A – Action:
As part of my studies I was involved as part of a team project organising a business seminar for local small businesses on recruitment practices.
R – Result:
90% of the responses rated my team’s seminar as very positive. The feedback from the attendees was good and all requested follow-up seminars.
3. Be succinct.
You will need to rewrite your STAR into a paragraph. Take for example the example of Essential Criteria: Certificate III or higher in Business Administration:
"I am currently a student in CIII Business Administration (Legal) at Blacktown College of TAFE NSW. As part of my studies I need to be up to date with all of the latest administration skills and processes. As part of my studies I was involved in a team project organising a business seminar for local small businesses on recruitment practices. 90% of the responses rated my team’s seminar as very positive. The feedback from the attendees was very good and all requested follow-up seminars".
4. Carefully proof read.
Make sure you carefully proof read your work to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Mistakes can go against you, giving the impression you didnt take the time or care to check your work.