Join us at the MySmallBiz Expos across QLD & NSW from April to June 2024, a must-attend event for small business owners and anyone thinking of becoming self-employed.
Enquire 1800 007 400
An older woman at computer writing selection criteria

We have talked about Resumes and Cover Letters in previous articles, so let’s take some time now to look at how to address Selection Criteria.

Selection criteria are designed to help make the most accurate match between the advertised role and the skills of an applicant.  The role of selection criteria is to break down and describe what a person needs to perform the role effectively.

These include:

  • Personal Qualities
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Knowledge
  • Qualifications

When answering the selection criteria it is important to know exactly what the employer is looking for and respond correctly. Think about how you meet each criteria and list examples of relevant skills, experience, incidents, training and personal qualities. Keep in mind that short, one sentence answers will not be enough to answer the criteria effectively.

Essential Criteria

Essential criteria are the qualifications, experience, skills or knowledge you MUST show that you have to be considered for the job.

Desirable Criteria

Desirable criteria are used to help decide between candidates who meet ALL of the essential criteria.

Follow these steps below to address selection criteria:

1. Create a new document

Start the document with your name, the job title and position number and a heading such as “Summary Addressing Key Selection Criteria.”

2. Read the criteria carefully

One capability may ask for ‘experience in’ while another may specify ‘knowledge of’. Make sure that you understand and address these subtle differences.

3. Address each criteria separately

Education, Skills, Experience

Use each of the key selection criteria as a separate heading in the document and summarise in the space below how your skills, qualifications, experience and personal attributes are relevant for that particular criteria.

4. Break the criteria down into points

The selection criteria may be written in such a way that more than one quality is being assessed. Underline key words and determine what the employer is asking for.

For example a capability such as prepare and serve espresso coffee might have several different skills you could identify including selecting and grinding the beans, advising customers, taking orders, serving the coffee and cleaning the equipment.

5. Use active verbs

Statements such as “I negotiated” or “I liaised with” have more impact than “I was involved in” or “I was responsible for”. The use of strong, specific verbs will help you to describe your role more clearly.

6. Proofread

Your ability to communicate in writing will be assessed by the way you address the key selection criteria. Ask someone else to proofread your responses for you as it is easy to make spelling and grammatical mistakes without realising!

Final Tips

Avoid blank unsubstantiated statements such as ‘I have extremely well developed communication skills’ – this is your opinion; the employer needs evidence that it is true.

You need to provide concrete examples that demonstrate your skills and abilities and illustrate the complexity and demands of the task used as an illustration.

There are several methods you can use to support your claims when you are addressing selection criteria. Here are several of our favourites that work really well:

The CAR Approach

  • Context            Describe the situation.
  • Action              Explain your actions. What were your actions? What did you do?
  • Results            Detail the result of the actions which you took.

The STAR Method

The STAR method is a very useful tool for answering questions in an interview situation, but it is also very useful for addressing selection criteria in job applications.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and applicants are told that they should write their selection criteria as follows:

STAR method for addressing selection criteria

We hope this guide on addressing selection criteria has been helpful for you! If you need any further assistance on this topic, please reach out to your Jobs / Youth Advisor.

Check out this awesome article by SEEK – 4 tips for getting your application noticed >>



Get one of our friendly staff to contact you today.

Enquire Today

    Stay in The Know

    Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about the latest tips, trends and business insights from ETC.

      Skip to content