Hitting the Target When Addressing Key Selection Criteria

Targetsmall Australian Government job vacancies require applicants to submit responses to Key Selection Criteria (KSC) as part of their application process.  State and local government, community organisations and not for profits also ask for KSC responses.  Selection criteria can include skills, experience, qualifications, knowledge and attributes, and the hiring decision maker assesses your written responses to gauge level of competence or ability to perform in the role.

So how do you make sure you are on the mark when addressing Key Selection Criteria so you stand out above other applicants?  Take aim with these 5 tips:

  • Study the position description so you fully understand the role and consider how your own experience relates to the job as well as the work environment.
  • Use meaningful work related examples that show how you’ve demonstrated each competency (such as teamwork, problem solving, customer service).  Scenarios can also be taken from volunteer work, extra-curricular and sporting activities if you’re a school leaver.
  • Draft each response in the format of Context, Actions, Result (CAR*).  For instance, Context: “In the role of Community Planning Officer at Crystal Peak Council I successfully coordinated the development of community action plans for three local towns.”  Actions: “I issued, collated and reported findings from online and paper-based surveys, visited and consulted with local interest groups; initiated, organised and facilitated community meetings and provided advice, guidance and support throughout drafting of community plans.” Result: “I oversaw the formalisation of groups to become Associations and their submission of a structured community plan that provided unity and direction for the three towns.” *NB. CAR can also be termed STAR (situation, task, action, result) or SAO (situation, action, outcome).
  • Include powerful action words that accentuate your skills and abilities relevant to the criteria, whilst keeping your writing style genuine.
  • Proof read and edit.  Have a friend or career coach look over your application to check for grammar, spelling and readability.

Setting out your Key Selection Criteria so it is well-written, achievement focussed and relevant to the role will set you apart from less prepared applicants.  Once you’ve taken the time to pen your responses these will be helpful in writing future applications and provide a starting point in preparing for interview.

Are you hitting the mark with your job applications?  Get in touch with Gen who can help get your KSC responses spot on.