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How to respond to Selection Criteria

Is this the most boring blog post ever written? Possibly.

However, responding to job key selection criteria is an unfortunate and important part of many job applications.

how to respond to job key selection criteria

If you are applying for a government, not-for-profit or university role, a lot of the time you will be asked to demonstrate how you meet the key selection criteria (KSC) for the role.

This is sometimes in a separate document, or more commonly these days within a 2 page cover letter.

In both cases, you need to use the STAR or SAR format for your responses.

Here's how.

So, how on earth do you write a Key Selection Criteria response?

You basically need to demonstrate how you meet each of the selection criteria by giving an example from your previous or current role.

The best way to give an example is using the SAR method, which is:

  • describing the Situation (what was the problem? and what was your role?)

  • then describing what your Action was (what did you do to solve it?)

  • and what the Result was (preferably describing the benefit to the organisation).

The SAR method can also be called the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or SAO method (Situation, Action, Outcome) - which are essentially the same thing (but I think a little more confusing...).

So what does this look like? Below is an example.

Note that it's nice to have a leading statement (introduction) before you launch into your SAR example.

KSC: Demonstrated experience in managing diverse stakeholders and clients

  • Leading statement: My greatest strength is my ability to develop relationships and work effectively with different stakeholders, including my staff and other colleagues as well as many external stakeholders.

  • Situation: For example, when I worked at XYZ I managed a large project that required coordination of teams in several diverse locations in order to implement a new ABC.

  • Action: I ensured that I got to know the key stakeholders at each location and found out their unique challenges. I then led weekly teleconference meetings, ensuring all voices were heard and any issues were flagged and clear action plans implemented. I also did x and y... Add some more actions.

  • Result: The ABC was implemented on time and with minimal issues. The team worked well together, and I was commended for my leadership of the project by head office.

How long should my selection criteria responses be?

If you are required to prepare a separate document responding to the selection criteria, then your responses should be approximately one third to half a page per selection criteria. (Note, full page responses are expected for most government school teaching applications.)

If you are responding within a cover letter, then you don't have as much room and therefore can't go into as much detail. A paragraph per selection criteria should suffice.

Need extra support with selection criteria responses? There is a module on these in the Not Just a Resume Template program.

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