Selection Criteria

How to Address Selection Criteria

As part of the recruitment and selection process, employers are increasingly requiring selection criteria to be addressed by potential employees.

If the advertisement uses the headings “Essential and desirable criteria” – you need to include a separate attachment for selection criteria to be considered as part of the recruitment and selection process

The following terms often appear in selection criteria, and it is useful to de-code the jargon before you begin.


The competencies contained in most selection criteria are usually the same as those in the job advertisement. Some include knowledge of OH & S policies and responsibilities and so on. Having these will help advance your resume in the recruitment and selection process


Outstanding, superior, excellent, strong, sound– means you are reasonably good at something

Do not be put off using such positive descriptors to describe your own talents in the selection criteria document as this will also help advance your resume in the recruitment and selection process

“Knowledge of, understanding of”

At the very least you have to demonstrate you know what they are taking about

If you are desperate, and have only a slight knowledge but are confident you could learn about this area then say “I have knowledge of ……………( list the work you have done)..” in the selection criteria document

“Demonstrated, ability to”

Means you are actually required to show direct evidence in your selection criteria statements that you have done this. This is a critical part of the recruitment and selection process, and should also be reflected in your resume

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“Background in, experience of”

Means the company is looking for some evidence in the selection criteria statement that you have done the tasks or competency in the past, preferably in your current or previous jobs. Emphasize work experience and do not omit relevant training as this will help in the recruitment and selection stage

“Appreciation of”

You don’t have to be an expert, but you need to have an understanding in broad terms what it means

Steps in Addressing Selection Criteria

  1. Create a document that is separate from your resume
  2. Title this document “statements addressing  the selection criteria” or whatever term the employer uses
  3. Use each of the selection criteria as headings
  4. Addressing each criterion carefully providing evidence to back up your claims
  5. Ensure you have addressed all aspects of each selection criteria
  6. Draw upon difference evidence in support of different selection criteria. Do not repeat the same achievements over and over for each criterion
  7. Use positive unequivocal language. Avoid using qualifiers like “ quite good”, or “some” “ a little” “reasonable “ “ average”
  8. Use your detective skills to ensure you understand what each of the selection criteria mean
  9. Check for word limit. If there is no word limit indicated then assume it is fine to write half a page each
  10. Make sure every claim you make in addressing these statements is consistent with any claims, achievements or job history contained in your resume


Resumes that include extra competency statements over and above the required one are highly rated in the recruitment and selection process .Use only 3-4 competencies with no more than 2 bullet points

Sometimes a candidate is asked to address the selection criteria in the cover letter. Do not fall for this. Contact the person responsible for the recruitment and selection process, and clarify the requirement.

A competency statement; as shown below; should briefly outline the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities you possess and enhance your chances during the recruitment and selection phase.

Highly Motivated

  • I have proven track record of achievement, both within the university and through extra-curricular activities.
  • I have won numerous awards throughout my academic career, but have still managed to maintain a balance with social activities

Sales & Marketing Knowledge

  • I keep in touch with the market by reading journals and magazines, as well as visiting supermarkets and other points of sale
  • Last year, I completed a research project entitled “ what makes a supermarket tick: Best placement or best product”, which looked at the dynamics of product placement in stores and the impact on sales

Organizational Skills

  • As a person who is involved in many different activities, I have developed excellent organizational skills to ensure that I plan my time effectively.
  • This enables me to achieve maximum output in minimum time, as well as handle a number of activities simultaneously


  • I am a person who is always on the go, and I’m involved in a number of activities. These range from academic, work related, and sporting activities, particularly team sports. I’m an outgoing person and enjoy being an active member of numerous clubs and associations

Communication skills

  • My diverse range of experiences at university, work and in extracurricular activities has enabled me to acquire strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • As an outgoing person, I have also had numerous opportunities to develop my interpersonal skills to a high level


  • As a person who has always been involved in a range of activities, I have developed a responsible and mature approach to any task that I undertake, or situation that I am presented with. I believe that these assets will stand me in good stead for any future position that I undertake

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