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There is a vast list of things you should and shouldn’t do when responding to selection criteria. Here are a few for you to think about.


  • Take the time to thoroughly read the job description or information about the position for which you are making application.
  • Acquaint yourself with any word or page limits and formatting requirements. These can be found in the vacancy advertisement, role description or some organisations may have information about how to apply for roles on their website. If there are any requirements stated, you must abide by them as the company have requested these for a reason.
  • Make a list of all the skills or experience that are in each criteria. Often companies will put three or four key skills they are looking for in one statement. Let’s look at an example.
    • “Ability to work autonomously and utilise discretion in the absence of decision makers, skills to resolve conflict, meet deadlines, establish work priorities, organise meetings and travel arrangements”.
    • Here you would need to frame your answer mentioning skills in time management, communication, being organised and attention to detail. It can also include an awareness of policies and procedures (particularly about travel)
  • Key accountabilities or duties are also an important part of the job description. In answering the selection criteria, you should consider your experience as relates to the key accountabilities or duties and how these in turn fit into specific selection criteria.
  • In an initial draft of your responses include everything, then go back and revise your response to be certain that you have addressed each point in the selection criteria. It is recommended that you revise multiple times until you are satisfied. Check again for word or page limits and formatting requirements.
  • Have someone else read it for you and particularly check for spelling and grammar. When you are familiar with the content it is easy to miss spelling errors or wrong words spelt correctly.


  • Leaving it till the last minute or the day before an application needs to be submitted is not advisable. This situation means you will rush and the potential for error is high.
  • Don’t think you have the job in the bag. Even if you are applying for a position that you may have been acting in or have performed before doesn’t guarantee you an interview. You must put your best effort in to writing selection criteria responses.
  • Putting in an application for a job you don’t really want wastes your time and the employer’s. Consider whether the role is something that you would like to do.
  • Being honest about your experience is the best policy. Don’t make up or embellish your skills and experience as this has a way of being found out eventually.