Writing the right selection criteria

If you’ve ever applied for a government job, you’ve probably had to write a selection criteria, but did you know exactly how important your answers were in that first step to getting an interview? The selection criteria will depend on the kind of job you’re looking at and all of them will ask different questions based on your experience – basically a way of finding out what qualifies YOU to get the job. It’s important that you include the right information, so we have put together some tips to help you write the RIGHT selection criteria.

When answering the questions, stay focused. Keep your answers clear. Don’t waffle on, but be direct and to the point. Keep your answers at around half a page.

You want to ensure your answers are based on the question, so only list skills and experiences that directly relate to that specific criteria. Use examples with things you have done in the past and how it relates to the job you are applying for now. This is the most important aspect. If you don’t have experience in the workplace, use examples from other aspects of your life (such as university).

Use the STAR model:

Situation – present a situation where you developed or used a specific skill or quality.
Task – what did you have to achieve and what was your role?
Actions – what did you do in that role and how?
Results – what did you achieve? What have you learned through that experience?

If you need to, call the potential employer to ask questions about what they are looking for. Usually they are very forthcoming in finding the right applicants, so they will be happy to help.

Once you’ve written your criteria, make sure you proofread properly. Mistakes might cost you the job. You might even want to get a friend to check for any spelling or typing errors; a fresh set of eyes can be extremely useful.

Finally, follow the job application instructions correctly, so that you can ensure your criteria goes to the right place, before deadline.

Good luck!

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