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One of the most challenging areas of the job application process that people come to a career coach or resume writer for is selection criteria. The reason being is often the process is very time consuming and many people aren’t willing to put in the work required to ensure that they are meeting the selection criteria process with demonstrated examples.

The secret to writing winning selection criteria responses is really breaking down in the selection criteria what the panelist is wanting demonstrated. To do this, you must ensure that prior to even attempting to do your responses you first take a step back and review the criteria. Following a few key steps in this process will save you time and unnecessary stress as the application due date draws closer.

Brainstorm the selection criteria

Make your notes and review the criteria prior to putting any responses on paper. Print out a copy and go through firstly writing what comes to mind in terms of your experience or roles in dot points against the criteria. If you need your resume out to prompt you then grab a copy and have it beside you while you do this.

Drill down on your responses

Once you’ve done this first stage of the process the next step is drilling down on examples- follow the behavioural STAR model when answering your selection criteria questions so you don’t miss anything when you are providing fully complete responses.

Situation- what was the situation you were in at work where you demonstrated this?
Task- what was task required at hand? Who else was involved?
Action- What was the action you took? What was the impact of this action on the situation?
Result- What was the overall outcome? What was a positive achievement or result that was achieved.

Get someone to review your responses

To get a critical overview of your response the best thing is to get someone who is impartial, either a work colleague or a friend, to review your responses and give you feedback.
It is ideal to get someone who understands your performance in the workplace or if not, someone who you can trust to be direct in their feedback.

Responding to selection criteria roles can often be time consuming work and this is often why prospective candidates engage a resume writer who is proficient and experienced in this area to do the ground work for them. If you are time poor or struggle with soliciting the right responses yourself this can be a worthwhile investment, otherwise your best option is to put in the hours required as it takes time to craft winning responses. Responding to the selection criteria for a role is not a place to take shortcuts – it’s literally the difference between an interview and a “thanks but no thanks” outcome in the application process.

Lauren Karan

Written by Lauren Karan, Recruitment Executive at Appoint Pty Ltd
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