How to address selection criteria

November 29, 2019
Selection criteria are the skills, knowledge, and experience required to successfully do the job. Learn to show how well you meet the criteria by writing convincing statements in your job application.

A key aim of a job application is to demonstrate that you meet the inherent requirements of the role. While a resume may offer an overview of your skills and experience, statements that directly address the selection criteria provide more detail about how you have demonstrated the competencies required to do the job. The employer can then compare candidates against the same set of criteria.

Where do I address selection criteria?

Keep the selection criteria in mind when describing your skills on your resume, but most employers will also expect you to address the selection criteria more directly elsewhere in your application.

Here are the most common formats for addressing selection criteria:

A statement of claims against selection criteria is a document where you will use each criterion as a heading and write a description of how you meet each one. Organisations that use this method of addressing selection criteria include government departments, non-government organisations (NGOs), universities and research institutes. They will request this document in the job advertisement or information package. Use the title the organisation has given this document and include the job title and reference number, if applicable, as well as your name as a header on each page. Deal with the criteria in the same order as in the advertisement or duty statement.

How to address selection criteria?

Your responses to the selection criteria in a statement of claims or online application form will be more detailed and contain enough evidence to convince the employer that you meet the job criteria. A simple one- or two-line answer will rarely be sufficient.

The key to writing a strong response lies in identifying examples of instances where you have clearly demonstrated the required competency. Use the STAR formula to construct your answer. About 80% of your answer should focus on the ‘Action’, describing what you did and how you did it.


· When selecting examples, choose examples that are relevant to the criterion, the employer and the job. Where possible, select more recent examples, and use examples that give you the best opportunity to demonstrate your level of skill.

· For most industries, you can choose examples from a range of different activities such as internships, casual work, volunteering, university projects and extracurricular activities.

· If you are writing a statement of claims against selection criteria as a Word document, list criteria as headings in bold print, and address each criterion in a couple of paragraphs.

· For criteria with more than one part, eg, ‘Effective written and verbal communication skills’, ensure you address each part.

· Quantify your experience or outcomes if you can, eg, ‘three years’ experience in creating monthly budgets using Microsoft Excel’.

· Use action-oriented words, eg, ‘assessed’, ‘implemented’, ‘organised’, and ‘developed’, that reflect the language used in the job description.

· Where you have extensive relevant experience to draw on, you can start your statement addressing a criterion with a brief summary of that experience and follow with one or two detailed examples.