How to Write Key Selection Criteria
We break down what key selection criteria are and how to address them effectively
There are times when job advertisements, particularly Government roles, will ask that you address selection criteria as part of your application.
These key selection criteria are what your prospective employer has decided are vital to succeeding in the role, from qualifications and skills to knowledge and attributes. These criteria are located in the position description. If the job advertisement doesn’t include them, they will be linked to for you to read.
Addressing these criteria involves writing a brief explanation of how you meet each criterion.
Why are key selection criteria used by Selection Panels?
Of those in charge of recruiting new staff, the Selection Panel is an integral part. They decide on the selection criteria, both key and desired.
When processing applications, the Panel uses the answers of each candidate to make objective assessments of their suitability. It allows them to do so consistently, with their judgement being influenced directly by your own words.
Along with your resume and cover letter, they allow the panel to form a fair opinion on whether you fit the criteria. That’s why it’s so important to know how to properly answer key selection criteria in your applications.
How to answer key selection criteria
There are simple steps to follow to address selection criteria. By approaching them systematically and following this process, you’ll be able to confidently answer key selection criteria.
Set up a document:
The first step is the simplest one – put your name, along with the job title and reference number at the beginning of the document. You should then include a heading that is along the lines of ‘Summary Addressing Key Selection Criteria’.
Thoroughly study the key selection criteria:
You need to ensure that you fully understand what each capability is asking of you before you start answering them. There are often subtle distinctions that you need to be aware of and address within your statements.
There will be a person listed in the position description as the contact for those with questions about the selection criteria. Be sure to make use of this if you need clarification on anything. Their number is there for a reason – you won’t be looked down on for calling to ask questions. If you’re with an employment agency, they will have help available as well.
Answer one key selection criteria at a time:
Each criterion should be used as a heading, with your summary underneath it. You need to summarise how your experience, skills, attributes and qualifications are related to each criterion, which we explain further in the next steps.
Look for the main points within each key selection criteria:
You might need to address more than one capability within your statement, so it’s crucial that you break each selection criteria down to see what you need to include.
Use the STAR method to help write your statements:
You cannot just claim that you have certain skills or attributes – you need to explain how and why you have them, and provide examples of times you’ve demonstrated these qualities.
The STAR method is the easiest way to do this:
Situation – Detail a time and place where you exhibited the skill, quality, etc. in question
Task – What you had to do
Action – What you did to complete the task
Result – What the outcome was of your actions.
It’s also wise to use active, strong verbs when describing the situations you were involved in, as well as your actions and results. These have a much bigger impact on the reader.
Ensure you have someone proofread your writing:
This is a step that many people miss, but it’s incredibly important. Sometimes spell-check isn’t enough, and it can’t give detailed feedback. Ask a friend or family member to go over your answers so that they can check for spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as flow issues.
Use Key Selection Criteria as the benefit it is:
It’s not only the Selection Panel that assesses your suitability for a position based on your answers. By following the steps above, you’ll be able to identify if you meet the specifications of the role as outlined in the position description.
Key selection criteria go deeper than cover letters; they allow you to describe in greater detail how you suit the role’s requirements against set criteria. If you put the effort into answering the selection criteria, you’ll find that your chances of being selected to progress further have increased dramatically.
Still not confident in addressing key selection criteria?
If you need help answering key selection criteria, contact the team here at Resumes To You. It’s just one of the many useful services we provide. We have a group of experts in selection criteria ready to help you address selection criteria effectively and get you noticed!