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Selection criteria, it’s still a thing

June 23, 2020 by Susan Surgener

Selection criteria, it’s still a thing

You’ve crafted your personalised cover letter and spruced up your resume.  All writing tasks are now successfully completed, unless… there’s still that matter of addressing the dreaded selection criteria, meaning more writing and more reflection.

More and more advertised jobs these days will include the selection criteria within the advertisement. Which means the employer will be checking your cover letter and resume to see if you have what it takes to do the actual job.

For public sector positions, such as roles relating to health, education and administration, the employers are going to go one further. They still ask for applicants to attach a separate response to the selection criteria.

The selection criteria are essentially the skills and characteristics an employer needs evidence of. They need to believe that you can do the job effectively.

Employers are generally looking for a few key things:

  1. The required education level
  2. Relevant and pertinent experience
  3. The right perceived personality

And, they want examples of skills e.g. communication, teamwork and problem solving. It’s important to get this right as employers will make their selection for interview based on your written application.

Here’s a classic example of application instructions connected to a government position:

Applicants are requested to follow the instructions and provide the following: 

  • A detailed curriculum vitae which summarises your experience and how you are able to meet the position requirements.
  • A written statement addressing the requirements related to the essential selection criteria (ESC) as per the Job Description Format (JDF).

With public sector positions you’ll be given plenty of instructions – the key thing is to read everything carefully. You’ll generally have a Job Description Format, which clearly outline the statement of duties or job responsibilities (what you will actually be doing) and any work related requirements (selection criteria).

The main thing about addressing selection criteria is that it takes time. Allow plenty of time to sit down, work out your best examples, and then cull your responses to be clear and concise.

It’s a major exercise in written communication, to be honest, and your language skills need to be top notch. It’s definitely not an easy task, but the rewards can be so worth it.

Luckily for Curtin students we’ve got some really great resources to help you out – including our online Challenge module on selection criteria. For an hour of effort, this might save you several!

We’ve also got Graduate Gateway coming up, including an online workshop on this very topic.

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