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When the stars align

September 14, 2022 by Kelly Kendall-Jones

When the stars align

We recently explored how to address selection criteria. I’m sure you’ll agree that such an edge-of-your-seat topic warrants a second article, so consider this to be ‘Selection Criteria 2.0’. I can hear you cheering all the way from Curtin Careers’ home base in Building 101!

A quick re-fresh – selection criteria relates to qualifications and experiences specific to the job you’re applying for and are required to do the job effectively. Each application is likely to be ranked in terms of meeting these requirements, so knowing how to write yours effectively could be the difference between gaining an interview or not!

We touched last time on using the STAR method to organise your responses to each criterion. By using STAR, or similar methods, it’s easy to see a link between your tasks, actions and results. It can also be a helpful way to get your thoughts flowing and document your claims against each criterion in a way that makes sense.

Let’s put this technique into practice with a common criterion example:

‘A proven ability to use initiative when and where necessary’

Your opening statement should provide context, by outlining the situation and task. For example:

As a casual shop assistant at Dianella Newsagency, I am frequently required to demonstrate initiative by keeping the shop clean and tidy and by motivating my colleagues to work to their optimal ability when the supervisor is absent.

From here, a description of the actions you undertook demonstrates to the employer that you are able to apply specific skills or strategies appropriate to the circumstances. For example:

Whenever there are no customers in the store, I take the opportunity to perform the additional duties my manager has identified to maintain the cleanliness and presentation of the store. These include topping up the magazine racks, tidying displays, dusting and vacuuming. As I move around the store completing these tasks, I use my initiative to identify other tasks that need to be completed. I maintain a list for myself and my colleagues so that we can continuously contribute to the general upkeep of the store.

A description of the outcomes of your actions provides the employer with measurable evidence that you made good decisions relevant to the situation. For example:

As a result of this initiative, my manager promoted me to the role of mentor for new staff members. This recognition of my ability to role model a proactive approach to work for my colleagues demonstrates my commitment to my duties.

Remember that, when addressing selection criteria, you can draw on evidence from all realms of your experience to find the most recent and relevant examples. The aim is to showcase your knowledge, skills and attributes at the highest level possible. Examples might be drawn from your previous employment, extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, course projects and assignments, and even family responsibilities or caring duties.

To further develop your skills, complete the Selection Criteria online module as part of our Getting a Job Challenge. You’ll be whipping up your answers like a pro in no time!

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