Selection criteria are the specific skills, knowledge and experience needed to undertake the duties of a job successfully. Applicants are assessed how they fit against the selection criteria to determine their suitability.
Every job has selection criteria. Some jobs identify them more explicitly than others. Employers may want you to address them in one of the following ways:
- A separate document or 'Statement against the selection criteria' is usually required for jobs in fields related to the Public Service, such as education, health or government. This is in addition to your resume and cover letter.
- Where a separate document is not required, your cover letter and resume should be tailored to focus on the selection criteria.
Types of selection criteria
Selection criteria are often categorised as 'essential' or desirable'.
- Essential criteria are required in order to be short-listed for an interview.
- Desirable criteria are valued by the employer. While not essential, your chances of being short-listed would be greatly enhanced if you possess them.
Selection criteria are usually related to employability skills, technical skills or specific knowledge.
Preparing to address selection criteria
Addressing selection criteria for the first time can be very time consuming so don't try to rush it. Your document needs to clearly demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the position.
- Read the wording of each selection criteria carefully. You need to respond to all of it. You might break it into sub-sections. For example:"Professional level oral and written communication and interpersonal skills" has three components to address. See a range of selection criteria samples (52 KB).
- Under each heading brainstorm and write down all examples that show how you meet that particular criteria.
- Include all your work and non-work activities.
- Prioritise your examples, citing the most important ones first.
When you are satisfied that you have good examples to address each of the criteria, write a final draft.
- Be wary of the structure of your answers. View the basic principles to help you write your final answers.
- Proofread it and then have someone else read it to check for spelling and grammar.
- Do not be too worried about any overlap of examples you use for the criteria. When using one example to demonstrate different skills, ensure each response clearly focuses on the specific skill in question.
Take your time until you are satisfied with all your responses
Address all listed criteria
Do not skip any. If you come across one you cannot satisfy:
- Write about your understanding of the criterion, such as the theory or knowledge of best practice in the area, or your proven ability to acquire similar skills or knowledge.
- Convince the employer that you possess the potential to satisfy it at a later date. Outline the steps you would take.
You may be able to edit the examples you produce for other job applications. The more practice you have the better and quicker you’ll become.