Addressing selection criteria
What are selection criteria?
Selection criteria are a list of education, experiences and skills required to perform a role successfully.
Addressing the selection criteria provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your key strengths by providing examples from past experiences to show how you meet the requirements of the position.
Written selection criteria are broken down into 'essential' and 'desirable' qualities. You must be able to demonstrate the essential qualities to be considered for the position. If you can also demonstrate the desirable qualities, this will strengthen your application. Applicants who best meet the selection criteria will be considered for an interview.
How do I address selection criteria?
Your aim should be to show, through your workplace skills and experiences, how you have been able to successfully handle situations similar to those which you will be likely to face in the advertised position.
Make sure you individually address each criterion, carefully reading each one and breaking it down into parts ensuring you address each aspect thoroughly. The most important aspect of addressing selection criteria is to provide evidence through relevant examples. Support your claims with actual, specific examples of what you have done and how well you did it. One way to do this is to use the STAR model:
Situation: Outline a specific circumstance where you developed the particular experience or used the required skills or qualities. Set the context of the situation.
Task: What was your role? What did you have to do?
Action: What did you do and how did you do it?
Result: What did you achieve? What were the results of what you did?
- use clear language with specific and relevant examples from your current or past employment (paid or unpaid), study, extra-curricular activities or other experience.
- quantify your experience or skills if you can, e.g. ‘three years experience in creating monthly budgets using Microsoft Excel.’
- if an example applies to a number of selection criteria, include it under each separate criterion.
- remember you are limited to a maximum of 500 words for each selection criterion.
Here is an example of using the STAR approach to address selection criteria.
Demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively
‘My ability to communicate effectively with a range of people was demonstrated in my position as receptionist with the organisation. I dealt with members of the general public, officers from the local council and government departments, and representatives from private businesses on a daily basis.
I communicated with these people face to face, over the phone and through use of email. As I was the first point of contact for the organisation it was very important that I was professional, courteous and helpful in my interactions. In recognition of my positive interpersonal skills my temporary position was extended for nine months beyond my initial contract.’