Career Centre

Key Selection Criteria

When applying for a job, particularly in the public service sector, tertiary education sector, health sector and sometimes for private sector positions, it is likely that you will be asked to address the key selection criteria. In this case you will need to prepare a separate document to respond to these, in addition to your resume and cover letter.

Selection criteria are a list of skills, experience, and knowledge that are considered to be either essential or desirable in an applicant for them to successfully perform the duties of the position. They are used to find the best person for the job and are also used as benchmarks against which each applicant is measured.

Selection criteria must be addressed. Many good applicants can be overlooked by not clearly addressing the selection criteria and simply assuming that the selection panel will “read between the lines” in their resume. So it is important to clearly demonstrate your value, as the shortlisting of applicants will be based on your ability to convince the panel that you can meet the essential and desirable skills necessary to perform the job.

Your statement addressing the selection criteria needs to demonstrate how your previous experience, skills, education and training have equipped you to meet the requirements of the position.

Some common examples of selection criteria include:

– demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively

– proven ability to manage projects

– good organisational and administrative skills

– proven ability to work as part of a team

– well developed customer service skills



Our Career Centre staff can help you write your Key Selection Criteria document.  Please contact us for more information and pricing.








The following 10 tips will help you prepare your responses:-

1. Under the headings “Essential Criteria” and “Desirable Criteria” list each criteria as a subheading using the same wording as appears on the form, listing them in the same order.

2. Read each criteria carefully and underline the key words to help you clearly understand what they are asking.

3. Brainstorm experiences for your work life to find examples where you have demonstrated the particular skill.

4. Demonstrate you have the skill by providing evidence

5. Refer to actual examples of what you have done, how well you did it, what you achieved, and how it relates to the requirements of the job. Use the STAR method to help you:-

– S – Outline the SITUATION where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience.

– T – what was your TASK or role

– A – what ACTION or APPROACH did you take

– R – what was the RESULT or outcome

6. Use positive language. Use action words and avoid passive language.

7. Check your writing – proof read for grammar or spelling errors

8. Length – the suggested length of the response should be between 1 to 3 paragraphs per selection criteria. It is often recommended to write approximately 250 words.

9. Layout – Your answers can be written in paragraph form or dot form

10. Presentation – include your name, job reference number, page number on each page.


Don’t forget to make sure that any information you include is directly relevant to the position.

Make sure your application accurately reflects your skills, experiences and abilities.




If you need help writing your Key Selection Criteria document, please please contact our Career Centre staff.





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