Then read through each criteria – decide how critical they are to your overall ability to do the job and the importance of them relative to each other – the most important are generally listed first. Work out roughly how much space you will have for each criteria bearing in mind that you will have an introduction of your overall skills and an ending. This means you won’t spend hours writing long responses only to have to cut them down to meet the required length – the focus is on best explaining your experience and skills in line with the requirements . Think of examples for each criteria – the aim is to show examples of what you have achieved and show how this experience will help you perform well in this role.
In response to addressing the selection criteria you may well be asked to write your selection criteria in a STAR format. This means SITUATION: Describe a work situation that you were faced with. Explain the context of the skill in your specific role. Describe the specific situation or event. This is not a general overview of your skill. TASK: Describe the action plan, purpose, challenge, expectations, what needed to be done. ACTION: Describe what you did i.e. your process, how you went about it, your solution, your specific steps – focus on your individual role not others who contributed and RESULT: Describe the effect of your action / outcome / impact / how did it reflect positively on you / quantifiable result e.g. 25% saving.
Using the STAR method allows the recruiter/ employer to assess HOW you have used your skills in real life scenarios. By giving a specific example of a skill which demonstrates proof of performance/ evidence, achievements and differentiation, growth and self-awareness.
To start write an opening paragraph outlining your skills, experience, and qualifications as if you would a standard Cover letter – use your summary in your Resume to help you here. Then go into addressing each criteria. Start addressing the criteria with an opening statement stating that you have the experience/ attributes/ skills e.g. Over the last three years I have led a team in my role as Team Leader at Company. Use your STAR method to give an example writing a paragraph for each criteria . Keep working your way through the criteria keeping an eye on how much you have written and what the maximum length is . Once you have done the above write your response to each selection criteria. It will take a few attempts to get it right. Sometimes it can help to have a break so that when you come back you are reading your response as if you were the employer. End with a line thanking the reviewer such as ‘Thank you for considering my application’.
It can help to add headings or to write the selection criteria in bold – a large block of writing can be hard to read . Another method you can use is bullet points – however make sure you do the introduction or overview of your skills in a paragraph format before going to bullet points – you definitely don’t want the whole response to criteria to be in bullet form.
Finish by checking you have addressed each of the selection criteria, that the content is relevant to what is needed for someone to be able to assess if you can do this job well and do a final spell check. Ask someone else, ideally someone who works in your field/ industry to read it through. It is not easy addressing selection criteria but it is a skill you can master.