Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Write the Dreaded Selection Criteria


So you're an Artist looking for work in the Arts Industry and need to write that dreaded selection criteria. My approach to many things is to simplify tasks, so my process for writing selection criteria is to break-it-down and build-it-up. As a teacher, breaking down an assignment task sheet is what you need to do with the students...so why not apply this thinking when looking at selection criteria for a job application? An assessment task sheet can be overwhelming for students and so can selection criteria for adults. So the first thing you need to do is break the task down.

First, read the question/statement/criterion and re-read again. You will notice some statements have two or more parts. Go through and highlight or underline key words. Now jot down in bullet point the first few things that come to your head; relevant skills, qualifications, past work or volunteer experience and provide an example or too. And repeat for each statement.

Now go back and try to answer the statement using full sentences in a paragraph. Start by addressing the statement. Provide a general overview of how you have met this criterion by including your bullet points jotted down and forming them into sentences. Provide an example situation and what action was taken. Conclude the paragraph to wrap up your response by providing the outcome or result (you usually mention the successful positive things you achieved due to your good work).

Some government bodies ask for a formula to be followed such as using the S.T.A.R. method as a guideline:
  1. Situation—A specific example of the circumstance i.e. experience, skills or qualities used.
  2. Task—What was required of you to do?
  3. Actions—How did you complete the task?
  4. ResultsWhat was the outcome?


A paragraph is 5-7 sentences but be sure to keep to the word limit or page limit asked. Try to use affirmative or positive language for example; rather than saying "I tried to help implement a system" say "I implemented a system", then explain what you did to achieve that. Be confident in your response, be confident in your skills and experiences you have. 

Respond to the selection criterion using the numbers provided in the position description or retype the criteria in bold or italics so the reader knows what section you are addressing. Use simple black font such as Ariel or Sans Serif in 11 or 12 sized font. Remember to spell check and get someone else to read it for you. If they can understand it, it reads well and you have been clear in explaining your response then you're on the right track.

Remember to include any other information such as the position and reference number, your name and contact details. Remember you are trying to sell yourself as the best candidate. 

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