A Cover Letter Addressing The Selection Criteria For Projects

While including a separate response to all the selection criteria is no longer a requirement, you should ensure that all your key attributes for the advertised position are documented in your application.

  1. Selection criteria and why are they used
  2. Examples of selection criteria
  3. Meeting the requirements
  4. Addressing the criteria
  5. Additional information
  6. Example

Selection criteria and why are they used

Selection criteria represent the key qualifications, training, abilities, knowledge, personal attributes, skills and experience a person must have in order to do a job effectively. You must meet the selection criteria in order to be considered for a position.

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Examples of selection criteria

Aside from qualifications and experience that may be specific to a particular job, there are several selection criteria that are common to many University positions. These include:

  • analysis and research
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • decision making
  • independence
  • initiative
  • interpersonal/verbal communication
  • knowledge/experience of specific software or equipment
  • knowledge/experience of University organisation, policies or procedures
  • leadership
  • negotiation
  • organisational/planning/prioritising/time management/ability to meet deadlines
  • proficiency in a range of computing skills
  • presentation/public speaking
  • problem-solving
  • supervisory/management
  • teamwork
  • written communication skills

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Meeting the requirements

For any position advertised in the University, the selection panel is required to assess each applicant in terms of their ability to meet the requirements of the position, including the selection criteria.

There is no longer a requirement for applicants to provide a separate written statement addressing all of the selection criteria in detail. This is now optional.

However, you are expected to demonstrate in your written application (resume and covering letter) that your capabilities fulfill the requirements of the position, including the selection criteria.

If you choose to address selection criteria in your written application, guidelines on how to do so are outlined below.

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Addressing the criteria

Preparation work

Before you write your statement addressing the selection criteria, it is recommended that you go through the following steps:

  • Read each criterion carefully and highlight the key words, such as

High level written communication skills, with the ability to write memos and reports for senior staff

  • For each criterion, brainstorm for ideas and write down all your relevant knowledge, skills, abilities, training and experience.
  • Think of specific examples where you have used your skills, abilities, etc., and note these down. Consider them in terms of:
    • Activity - what happened, what the situation was
    • Behaviour - what you/others did
    • Consequence - what the outcome was.
  • Focus on your key achievements and note these down, for example:
    • reduced costs/time taken to perform tasks
    • procedures/processes streamlined
    • suggestions you made that were implemented
    • satisfied clients/colleagues

Format and layout

There are a number of things you can do to make your selection criteria statement effective and easy for the selection panel to read.

  • You can provide a mini statement as part of your Covering Letter giving examples of how you meet the selection criteria
  • Alternatively, you could make it a separate attachment from your résumé and covering letter. In this case, give the document a heading and include the following details:
    • title, such as 'Statement Addressing Selection Criteria'
    • name of the position
    • position reference number (for example, 42/08)
  • Address each criterion separately:
    • give each a title, using exactly the same wording as appears in the position description, such as 'Highly developed written and verbal communication skills'
    • list each criterion in the same order as it appears in the position description
    • under each heading write one or two paragraphs explaining how you meet that particular criterion (how to do this is explained below).
    • choose the best/most relevant items from the above examples to include in your selection criteria statement.

Content

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 for which you're applying.

Below are some guidelines on what to include in the statement you write for each criterion.

  • Write a brief introductory statement outlining how/why you meet the criterion.
  • Highlight your relevant skills and experience by describing your major responsibilities in current or previous employment (this may include relevant non-paid work). Where possible, mention the same kinds of tasks and responsibilities as are listed in the advertised position description. For example:
    • 'I have been executive officer to a number of senior level University committees. My responsibilities have included organising meetings, researching background information, taking minutes, and preparing and distributing agendas, reports and minutes.'
    • 'In all my previous positions I have performed general office duties such as handling telephone enquiries, greeting visitors, arranging meetings, filing, photocopying, sorting and distributing mail.'
  • Indicate the extent of your experience in relation to a particular criterion, for example the number of years' experience, number of staff supervised, and the like. For example:
    • 'I have over four years' experience using Microsoft Word on a daily basis to produce letters, memos, reports, tables and course materials. I regularly use advanced features of the program, such as ....'
    • 'For the past eight years I have worked in libraries, including ... '
    • 'I am responsible for supervising the day-to-day work of five staff, including ....'

      This is very useful if you want to emphasize that you have lots of experience. If your experience is limited, you may prefer to be vague about how much you have!

  • Briefly give details of one or two specific things you've done that are good the best/most relevant examples of your ability to meet the criterion. For example:
    • 'I was responsible for organising a large seminar attended by 100 staff. This involved ....'
    • 'My ability to work well in a team was demonstrated when ....'
  • Where possible, indicate how successful you were at achieving your tasks. You could do this by referring to feedback you've received from others, suggestions you have made that have been adopted, changes you have implemented that are still being used. For example:
    • 'A report I wrote about .... was well received by the .... Committee, and circulated as a discussion paper.'
    • 'The accounting spreadsheet system I introduced two years ago is working effectively and staff find it easy to use.'
  • Mention any relevant qualifications and training you have, particularly if your experience is limited. These might include:
    • details of any relevant training courses you've attended, such as 'Effective Communication at Work', or 'Introduction to Microsoft Excel'
    • subjects studied as part of award courses, such as bookkeeping, office practice.

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Additional Information

Either at the end of your selection criteria statement, or in your Covering Letter, you may like to add any extra information that you believe is relevant to the job. Examples of things you could mention include:

  • skills and abilities which you think are important and which haven't been mentioned in the selection criteria, e.g. 'flexibility', 'ability to maintain confidentiality'
  • knowledge or experience you have which you believe is important to the job, for example, knowledge of particular University systems, policies or procedures.

Make sure that any information you include is directly relevant to the position.

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Example

An example of a separate document addressing all of the selection criteria:

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Selection criteria (or key selection criteria) are standards that job applicants need to meet. These include qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

Some examples are:

  • excellent research and analytical skills
  • well developed written and oral communication skills
  • ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • a degree in a relevant field.

You must always address the selection criteria when applying for a job. This is the most important part of your application.

Selection panels will:

  • use these to decide who to short-list for interview
  • base interview questions around the selection criteria.

Finding the selection criteria

The selection criteria may appear in advertisements, position descriptions or duty statements.

Some employers do not use the label of selection criteria. You may need to analyse the job to find what the employer is looking for in candidates. For example, if the role involves dealing with clients, it implies the need for interpersonal and customer service skills.

See employability skills for help in working out which skills employers look for in candidates.

How to address the selection criteria

State how your skills match the requirements of the job and organisation. Be clear about how your skills have been developed or applied.

List examples

It is vital you provide relevant examples to back up your statements. Avoid using vague examples. Be specific to show you have the knowledge, skills or experience needed.

Use examples from your course, employment (paid or voluntary), social or sporting activities.

  • Use a range of experiences.
  • Select recent and complex examples.
  • Use specific, real life examples.

Formatting your responses

  • Use dot points to keep the information concise.
  • Start each point with an action verb. This makes your application sound strong.
  • Keep the length to a paragraph or half a page (senior roles may require longer responses).

Always follow employer instructions. This means you must comply with word limits and follow guidelines on the format.

Depending on employer requests, you will address selection criteria in one of these formats:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • statement of claims
  • employer application form.

Cover letter

Your cover letter should have a couple of paragraphs describing the skills you bring to the position. Make sure they are relevant to the selection criteria.

Selection criteriaResponse
Ability to examine and report on a company's financial records. My role as Treasurer of the Green Club required that I maintain financial records and report to the management committee. This has added to my knowledge in compliance and governance issues and clarified my interests in auditing as a career pathway.

Resume

Your resume should have a skills section. This should include skills that relate directly to the selection criteria. You can give evidence by referring to several relevant experiences.

Selection criteriaResponse
Ability to work as a part of a team. My excellent team skills are demonstrated in casual employment in hospitality, membership of the Monash Netball Club and participation in team-based academic assignments.

Alternatively, you could incorporate skills when describing your job responsibilities in the employment section of your resume.

Selection criteriaResponse
Ability to work as a part of a team. Operated as an effective team member and consistently contributed successfully to the quarterly sales targets.

Statement of claims

Make a separate document and type all selection criteria exactly as written. This forms the headings to provide the relevant information.

The advantages of this approach are:

  • you stay focused on the specific criterion
  • it is easier for the reader to see how you match each selection criterion.
Selection criteriaResponse
Must have excellent written and oral communication skills. My excellent communication skills include the ability to listen to others and present detailed information clearly and concisely. I am able to adapt my presentation style to suit different audiences and situations. For example, as a call centre operator, I respond to customer enquiries about transferring energy consumer deals to 'Green Energy' customer plans. This requires me to explain clearly the details of the payment schemes.

Employer application form

Application forms often have behavioural or competency-based questions, such as 'Describe a time when you set a goal and achieved it'. You should answer these using the STAR model (Situation, Task, Action and Result) as described in sample interview questions.

Employers use a range of application forms. For more information, see application methods.

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