Need to address key selection criteria in your application? Here’s how to do it.
Key selection criteria set out the skills, experience, personal attributes and qualifications that an employer is looking for in candidates for a particular role. It’s incredibly important that you address each aspect of them carefully in your application, as the hiring manager will use them to measure your suitability for the job.
To do this you need to create a separate document called a Selection Criteria Statement in which you list each criterion, followed by a description of the relevant skills and experience you have. The trick is to provide meaningful examples that accurately describe your aptitude in a certain area, using the STAR technique – describing the Situation, Task, Action and Result – to shape your answers.
To give you an idea of what that may look like, here are two common key selection criteria and example answers:
1. ‘A high level of written and oral communication skills’
I have been able to build excellent written and oral communication skills whilst volunteering as an events coordinator for a local annual film festival for the last three years. From the initial discussions with the event organisers and taking in their vision to producing an in-depth proposal for the event, briefing our volunteers, liaising with contractors and suppliers and coordinating different teams, communication skills were key to ensuring the event’s success.
One year I had to deal with a change of venue just a month before the event. Not only did all our volunteers, suppliers and contributors need to be informed, I also had to get the word out to our visitors as soon as possible. I got in touch with all our suppliers and contributors within one day and worked with the marketing team to ensure the change was communicated via our social media channels. I even managed to get new posters printed and distributed within a week. Getting this done so quickly meant we did not face any significant delays in our preparations and the event could go ahead as planned.
2. ‘Strong time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines’
During my final year at university I took on a part-time job to generate some extra income. Having to juggle going to classes and studying with my part-time job, whilst still completing assignments on time forced me to develop systems to keep myself on track. I had to be efficient with my time and procrastination was no longer an option. I became great with to-do lists and adhered to the blocks of time I’d allocated to each task. It was a learning curve, but I was not only proud of what I achieved but surprised by how much I could achieve.
Since I worked weekends and Friday evenings, I had to make clever use of time in between classes to get my course work done. At the end of each week I would make a list of my key priorities for the week ahead and block out time in my schedule to work on them. Half-way through the year I also started writing for the student newspaper, which meant I had to deliver one new article each week with a strict deadline on Saturday morning. I always made sure I had a draft ready by Wednesday, giving myself some time to make last-minute edits if necessary and submit my work on time. By being organised and planning ahead I was able to stay on top of my workload for university, make enough money to support myself and get valuable work experience as a writer on the side.
These are just two of many examples of how to answer key selection criteria that are available online. Take your time to look through a few and have a go at answering some yourself. As long as you read the criteria carefully, supply specific examples to support your case and use the STAR technique to formulate your answers, you should be well on your way to impressing a hiring manager.