Essential Advice from a Professional Selection Criteria Writer
Unfortunately, by the time many clients come to me they are frustrated and overwhelmed by the complex government job application and selection writing process. There is no doubt that writing selection criteria for government jobs is stressful, time-consuming and can be frustrating when you don’t hear back from the agency or receive rejection letter after rejection letter.
By following these 5 simple tips you will ensure that you are better prepared when writing your next selection criteria statement:
Tip One: Do your homework!
This means learning more about the agency, state/territory government department or local council and the role before you submit your application. The best way to do this is talk to other people, download relevant and appropriate information online and touch base with the contact officer.
For all government roles, a contact officer is assigned to provide information and answer queries about the vacant role, the agency, their expectations and application requirements. Make sure that you use them!
Unfortunately, not all contact officers are forthcoming with answers and information however you should remain respectful and courteous at all times as many contact officers form part of the selection panel/committee or may even be the selection panel chair.
Tip Two: Get organised
If you intend applying for roles in the public service sector you can be assured that you will be required to address selection criteria as part of your application response. So start collating information and data to support your application and make sure that all of your relevant information is up-to-date. This may mean updating your resume, drafting a cover letter that you can tailor to each role and brainstorming relevant accomplishments and achievements that you can incorporate as part of your selection criteria response.
Tip Three: Update your resume
Most job applications are advertised for a period of 2 weeks. This means that you only have 2 weeks to prepare essential documentation such as resumes, cover letters and selection criteria statements.
On average, full blown selection criteria will take you a MINIMUM of 8 hours to complete. Of course, all applications vary in relation to their requirements however most will expect you to address at least 4 criteria (on average, it’s more like 5-8) with responses usually around the ¾ page to one page mark.
Taking all of this into account – you’ll see how important it is to be prepared and organised!
Remember: your selection criteria response will form the primary means of assessment for any public service role that you are applying for. However, your resume plays an important role in supplementing the information that you provide as part of your selection criteria response and will contextualise your experience and support your government application.
Tip Four: Focus on your accomplishments
This is the most important thing to remember when writing your selection criteria response. Focusing on your contributions and successes, within the context of the role description, will set you apart from other job-seekers and ensure that you prepare a quality selection criteria application.
Think about the challenges that you have overcome, problems you have resolved, systems/procedures you have implemented, money you have saved and productivity improvements you have made.
Your selection statement, like your resume and cover letter, is a marketing document that is designed to secure you an interview. Employers are only interested in what you have to offer them, so you need to focus on what you have achieved and relate this back to what they are hoping to achieve.
Adopting this approach when preparing your job application will ensure that employers see you as a possible solution to the problems/challenges that they may be facing.
Tip Five: Make sure that your application looks good
Although the content of your application is the most important, don’t underestimate the importance of a visually appealing application. This will enhance readability, reduce reader fatigue and ensure that your application is read! You can achieve this through:
I hope that this information helps when you are preparing your next selection criteria response but please feel free to contact me if you require further information.
Happy Selection Criteria Writing!
For an obligation free quote and assessment please feel free to contact me on nikky@CareerPro.net.au or call me on 0404 427 212
Having held a range of diverse and varied roles as Recruiter, Human Resources and Hiring Manager, and selection panel member, having sat on hundreds of selection panels, it seemed only natural that Nikky transition her passion for assisting job-seekers to establish CareerPro, a leading, professional writing business focused on helping job-seekers to effectively market and "sell" themselves to prospective employers. Through her unique writing services (selection criteria, resumes, curriculum vitae, cover/application letters) she assists clients and job-seekers locally, nationally and internationally to achieve their goals of promotion, interview and job success.
"Hi Nikky, This resume is amazing! I think that I had read similar comments to this on your website, but - I can't believe this was describing me when I was reading it! I am so happy that I decided to have you do this for me - the best investment for me for quite a while. I think that it is definitely going to be the secret weapon in obtaining a position. I am just in awe at your ability with words." DF, Bookkeeper
"Oh my goodness Nikky - this is amazing! You are certainly sensational at what you do and are totally worth the money! I would recommend you to anyone. I was a little uncomfortable at first reading this amazing resume that looked like it belonged to someone else, but once I read it in more detail you have described me and what I do to a tee! You are a very clever lady and you make me look very clever too!!!! LOL! The cover letter and selection criteria are so awesome and I'm 100% happy with these." DS, Administration Manager
"Hi Nikky, What you have written is amazing and I certainly could not word this application the way you have!" JJ, Service & Administration, University
"Thank you so much, I have to say I do look good on paper!" KB, Local Government, WA
"The outcome has far exceeded my expectations and I am over the moon with the result." KG, Executive Assistant
"Brilliant! I'm very happy with what you have written. Thanks so much and I'll let you know how I go." MR, Quality Assistant, Tertiary Education Institute
"You will be pleased to know that I was ranked No. 2 on this job - this is what I expected as the officer that has been acting in the position re-applied. I am actually going to be doing the job for 8 weeks so am pretty pleased with the result!"
DB, Client Services, Federal Government Department
"It sounds pretty damn good, would you employ me? Thanks so much for all of your help and the quickness of getting this done for me. I really appreciate it. Will let you know the outcome."
CM, Administration, Local Council
Resume is exactly what I wanted! Very professional Nikky, you are great with words. Thank you."
CB, Hair Stylist / Nail Technician
"The first draft looks fantastic!! I'm really happy with the wording and changes you made."
JC, Communications Manager
"Thanks for making my selection criteria so fantastic. I wanted to let you know that I did get interviews for all of the jobs."
JH, Administration, Local Council
"Morning Nikky, you have done a brilliant job with my resume. Thank you very very much."
JR, Executive Assistant
"Just wanted to thank you again for doing up the selection criteria for the Business Administrator position - I was shortlisted and had an interview yesterday. The interview went well I thought, but even if I don't get the job, it was invaluable experience for me. I should find out by the end of the week."
KW, Administrator, Tertiary Education Sector
"WOW, that was fast !!!! Thank you very much, they look fantastic."
"I wasn't going to tell you until afterwards, but I have been offered and interview. The interview is being held this Tuesday at 11:40am. I didn't ant to jinx myself by telling you but I really wanted to let you know. Thank you so much and I will let you know how the interview goes.."
TS, PA, Private Education Sector
"WOW, thanks. I sound good! I didn't expect to hear back from you so soon."
JK, Environmental Management, State Government
That's fantastic, thank you so much. I would never have been able to write like that about myself. Funny thing is, a few of the personal type bits you added in, is exactly what I am like (ethics etc), so it was brilliant."
KH, Business Manager, Education Sector
"WOW - awesome. I am off work tomorrow & will scrutinise!! Looks fantastic at first read. Thanks Nikky."
MP, Consultant Change Management, Private Sector
"What great work! That all looks really great, you made it look so easy."
PT, Administration, Defence
"Your first draft is very good. I cannot believe it is my Resume. Thank you so much.."
RR, Entry Level Graduate, Public Sector
"Hi Nikky, it is brilliant, you made me sound perfect for the job. Thank you for your help."
MS, Registered Nurse, Allied Health Professionals, Centrelink
"Nikky, I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the personal attention that you provided as part of the development process we have been through in drafting my resume. The finished product has been a resume that presents my experience and achievements in a way that I would never have considered. You have provided a one-on-one consultancy that was most beneficial in tuning the vocabulary of my resume and skill focus for the industry I am targeting."
JM, General Manager,
Telecommunications, United Kingdom
"Thanks so much for taking me on as a client. I have nothing but praise for the work your business is doing and you have been unreal to deal with. Quick, accurate, pleasant! And yes the resume looks a lot better than before. I couldn’t believe how you managed to fit all that information into a few pages."
ID, QLD Government, Financial Controller
"Well, what can I say …………………..but what a job I am really pleased. I will have a really good read through it all tonite."
BW, Queensland Police, Automotive Engineer
"I just found out that I have been offered an interview for this job at (name removed) in Brisbane. You helped me with the resume and selection criteria. I had thought it was a bit out of my league so obviously your input helped to get me this far!"
KL, Postgraduate Student, Government Application
You are amazing! What an amazing job! Thanks so much for this so far and for your promptness. I may have a colleague here coming your way.
AC, Business Specialist, Telecommunications
Wow and Thank you so much for this! You have done such a tremendous job. Of course you can enter it into the awards also :) I would love my resume to be a part of that as I think it is fantastic. Thanks for your wishes and I'm sure I'll get snapped up with this for sure. Good luck with your awards. Make sure you let me know how you go.”
AC, Business Specialist, Telecommunications
You are absolutely wonderful! Many thanks for ALL your assistance, hard work and guidance! Let me say that I thoroughly enjoy working with you, I’m very lucky to have you as my career CHAMPION!!!! Thank you very much for your encouragement and a warm hug back to you!!! "
IT, Marketing Executive, Tertiary Education Sector