How to address selection criteria

Selection criteria are a common set of factors against which employers assess applicants for a role. The selection criteria outlines the experience, skills, personal attributes, qualifications, knowledge and expertise needed to do a job effectively.

Here are some key steps to help you successfully address selection criteria and stand out as the right person for the role.

Step 1: Understand Meanings

It is critical that you understand the meaning of the selection criteria before you begin crafting your responses. For example, asking you to ‘demonstrate ability’ is very different to asking you to ‘demonstrate knowledge’. Take time to read the requirements in detail so that you can respond appropriately. This will set you apart from other applicants.

Step 2: Break It Down

Many selection criteria are made up of several parts, such as ‘..A professional and proactive approach to customers with the ability to handle pressure.’ This requires you to address three different areas; a professional approach, a proactive approach and the ability to handle pressure. In order to fully meet the criteria, it is vital that you address all three components with specific, relevant examples.

Step 3: Match Requirements

The next step in addressing selection criteria is to brainstorm how you match each of the job requirements. Think of experiences from your past when you have demonstrated the skills or attributes required. Write down as many appropriate examples as you can, and then edit this list down to focus on your most impressive, relevant examples. These will form the basis of your responses.

Step 4: Substantiate Claims

When addressing selection criteria it is not only critical to outline the nature and extent of your experience and responsibilities, but also to provide concrete examples to prove your competence and past achievements. The best responses follow what is known as the STAR method: Situation (set the context), Task (outline your role), Action (explain what you did), and Result (key positive outcomes). Quantifiable measures such as cost reductions, process improvements, or productivity increases help to verify your achievements.

Step 5: Review Responses

Employers do not have time to ‘read between the lines’ so make your responses concise, direct, relevant and easy to read. As well as reviewing for grammar, spelling, layout and word limit, ensure you have used positive language and strong action words. Pay attention to the language of the criteria, address all parts of the criteria and provide evidence for claims about your capabilities.