The public service often issue a list of selection criteria which include the knowledge, skills, attitudes, abilities and education they would prefer the candidate possess.
Failure to address selection criteria explicitly is one of the biggest reasons why people get rejected when applying to the public service.
Selection Criteria for all positions in the Australian Public Service are available from HR departments, web sites or from recruitment companies handling positions. In some cases the selection criteria will be summarised in the job ad or there will be a number on the website where you can get the information package containing:
- Selection criteria
- Job description
- Employment forms
Other employment-related and policy information (EEO, OHS)
Ensuring You’re Selected
If you are not clear about some aspect of the job it is a good idea to clarify selection criteria by obtaining the information package or speaking to the contact person.
Addressing selection criteria is like compiling competency statements - you have to write succinct statements that clearly demonstrate your knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes.
Steps to address selection criteria:
- Create a new document separate from your resume - specify name, job title, position number and title eg. Statements of Claims against selection criteria, selection criteria statement, selection criteria summary.
- Use each of the selection criteria as a heading
- Provide evidence of your ability to meet each of the criteria
- Understand the key phrases and address these in your application
Eg. 'Experience in project management' means you have actually worked as a Project Manager, whereas 'knowledge of project management' means you know what project managers do. You need to understand the statement as well as the subtle differences in meanings.
- Understand the difference in levels of qualities being sought and providing evidence and concrete examples to illustrate you meet the required level.
Eg. I have 16 years experience in the project management of road and bridge construction projects….
- Understand the role and functions described.
The roles of managing, leading, supervising or administering are different, but are often confused with one another.
- Demonstrate skills and abilities sought and provide concrete examples and descriptions of these skills and abilities eg. examples of contributing to a work group interacting with people or managing own performance.
- Avoid making unsupported claims or sales pitches about your skills based on your own personal opinion.
Eg. avoid statements such as " I have well developed communication skills…." . Instead include evidence from your education or work history that support competence in communication. Eg. My effective communication skills are demonstrated by ……..
Also avoid 'motherhood' statements eg. I believe strong communication skills are……
- Use direct and active verbs - to indicate what your contribution was eg. I designed and developed a new training course to new employees.
- Select the appropriate use of bullet points rather than long paragraphs of text.
- Avoid phrases and words, which reduce your credibility eg. Little, limited