How to Address Selection Criteria

Applying for a government application? Chances are you will need to address selection criteria. Selection criteria are a set of attributes that represent the key qualifications, training, knowledge, skills and experience needed for an advertised position, and must be addressed in full following application instructions.

Considerations When Writing Selection Criteria

Before undertaking the selection criteria writing process, there are a few key areas that must be considered. Understanding the process and why employers use selection criteria to compare applicants on the same measures will assist you when developing your responses. Take the time to study the selection criteria and think about what the employer is really looking for. Research the company and review their website for more information on their vision, values, structure and culture. Finally, ensure that your resume and cover letter integrates relevant key words and elements of the selection criteria to demonstrate to the interview panel that you have taken the time to research and done the legwork to illustrate you are a qualified and experienced candidate.

When reviewing selection criteria for an advertised role, ensure you meticulously read the job advertisement and application instructions that will outline how the selection criteria is to be presented. Some will be explicitly laid out in the position description, others will be listed in the advertisement itself. Ensure to strictly follow word and page limits or your application could be discounted on this basis alone. Some applications request specific types of fonts or formats, be sure to pay attention to detail when compiling your application and cross reference you have followed all instructions.

Types of Frameworks

STAR is the most commonly used framework across government applications and stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result:

  • Situation: describe a recent work situation that you were faced with and what role you were in
  • Task: describe the task that you had to complete
  • Action: describe the action that you took to complete the task
  • Result: describe the end result of your action and quantify this where relevant

Another common framework, predominantly used in the education sector, is SAO which stands for Situation, Action and Outcome:

  • Situation: detail a work situation you were faced with and what role you were in
  • Action: outline your course of action and steps you took to achieve
  • Outcome: the result of your actions, quantifying where relevant

Addressing the selection criteria doesn’t need to be a daunting task if you take the time to carefully read through the key criteria, do background research into the company and relate the criteria back to your relevant qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience.

As specialists in writing government selection criteria, we assist clients applying for roles across all industries with success daily. Get in touch today to ask questions and provide guidance on how to make your government job application processes less stressful!

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