When you’re looking for a particular type of job or grad placement, do you skip to the selection criteria first to find out whether you’re eligible to apply for the role? After all, that’s where you’ll locate the list of skills, experience, attributes and qualifications that the employer needs, or wants you to have.
Unless there’s something specific listed as essential that you definitely can’t provide, such as a PhD or experience working with rabbits in the Outer Hebrides, it’s a good idea to read it more than once.
At first glance, you might feel you don’t meet the stated requirements. However, you may just need a little bit of time to evaluate what you have done and how it aligns with what the employer seeks.
Skills are transferable. If you want to be an architect and you meet the job selection criteria except for one or two things, think about times you’ve demonstrated the skill or experience they seek, but in a different setting.
So, for example, if the employer has asked for practical experience in client liaison in an architectural practice, look at other things you’ve done where you’ve had to assist people or build relationships with them.
Maybe you’ve worked in a shop or volunteered in a homeless shelter. Use the STAR method to make it clear how your example connects with the selection criteria. An engaged recruiter can join the dots but use the keywords from the ad, so you’re not passed over by a computer.
Similar roles will have similar selection criteria, so collate your responses in a separate document. Having a range of examples that demonstrate your skills, attributes or experience will save time if you apply for another role.
You might need to tweak what you’ve written to suit each employer or role, but you won’t need to start from scratch for every application.
For in-depth advice on meeting selection criteria, head along to our Selection Criteria workshop or complete an online module on Curtin Challenge, and learn how to tackle selection criteria with confidence.