How to tackle an expression of interest application

Selection Criteria: how to tackle an expression of interest application

Expressions of interest are becoming a new way to do business when it comes to advertising public service and government roles. Agencies and departments are calling on applications in this way to draw from their already established pool of talent (for promotion/change of role, etc.) as well as hook some new fish from the sea.

An expression of interest is a general statement addressing your qualifications, capabilities and experience that will be associated with the role. Although there is no specific set way to address the application, the basic principle is to keep your submission, succinct, punchy and on point.

The following basic steps are provided to help you tackle this form of applying and to achieve the best possible impact in the space you have available. A well-structured response that addresses the requirements with no “fluff”, will catch the eye of the selection panel above anything else.

1: Review the job description in detail
Look for specific requirements the recruiter is seeking and plan your attack from here. You will need to identify key particulars they are asking you to address. This usually entails your skills, knowledge and experience with specifications circulating those.

2: Gather tangible examples
Throughout your career, you would have pleased someone with the services you provided them. It is these moments in time you can reflect on to demonstrate your suitability for the role (e.g. proven experience). Be sure to use examples that relate precisely to the job.

Capture what is was that you are reflecting on, what you did, and how you did it. Then be sure to highlight the positive outcome and result.

If you have the evidence and space available, select up to two examples you could use, putting your strongest first. If the panel don’t quite like what you thought was your best example, they might be happier with the next. This could give you two bites at the apple so to speak.

3: Writing your response
Commence with a short opening statement why you should be considered for the role. Base this on your knowledge, skills, experience, strengths and abilities.

Describe how you used your knowledge/skills to deliver the results (here is where you use the examples you gathered above). If you were part of a team responsible for the goal, be sure not to use “we” in your response. The expression of interest is in theory a competition and you need to sell yourself above your challengers.

Unlike selection criteria, you do not have to address each skill separately. Combining proficiencies within the one example is a clever way to keep the panel interested and avoid skim reading of your application.

Finish with a closing assertion regarding your intended contribution and your enthusiasm for the role.

Before you submit your expression of interest, read over it – at least twice! Remove anything unnecessary, make sure it is tailored and portrays you in a positive light. When you proof read, go sit somewhere else. This can sometimes help with picking up an error you have been skimming over each time.

If you are uncertain of anything within the application, contact the person listed on the brief and ask them to clarify. This clever little trick will also help to humanise your name when said person receives your application.

So that your effort with a cracking expression of interest is not wasted, make sure you tailor your resume to the skills and expectations of the role too.

Submitting an expression of interest can often be a daunting task, but if you base your application around these basics it will make the job at hand a little easier for you. Good luck.
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