How to write and nail your Selection Criteria Responses

Selection Criteria is now being referred to in other terms by government agencies looking to get creative with their wording. Government job applications are often intimidating at the best of times, and so when they list unfamiliar terms like “Core Capabilities”, “Focus Capabilities” “Role Suitability” and even “Work Related Requirements”, it can be tricky to work out exactly what they’re asking of you. The thing to remember is that all of these terms mean the same thing; they’re referring to the skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications that you, the applicant, need to prove that you have when writing your application.

To make it even more confusing, some government job advertisements also include questions you must answer in your application like targeted questions, as well as “Key Application Responses” that need to be addressed. These are both often a few points that are extremely similar to Selection Criteria, that ask you to explain and prove certain competencies and skills relating to the job.

When responding to Selection Criteria (no matter the term they’ve used) you need to remember that you should be writing in the past tense, because the examples or stories you give happened in the past. It’s no good just writing down any old achievement or story on your application, you need to make it relate to the question you’ve been asked to answer. 

You should always use specific examples from your past; if you tell them you always do something, and talk in present tense, you’re not directly answering the question and so you’re wasting your time, as not answering correctly will see your application discarded.

So, if the application says Core Competencies or Work Related Requirements, or some other similar term, just remember that these all mean the same thing – Selection Criteria. Go over the job advertisement and the application requirements thoroughly so that you don’t miss anything, and reach out to whoever is listed as the contact person for that role if you’re ever unsure of something and need clarification. 

You can also get in touch with us here at Resumes to You, as we specialise in Selection Criteria and can help you translate your past experiences and skills into responses that will get you noticed by recruiters.

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