Selection Criteria… clues


If I said two little words to you, selection criteria”, I bet you would like, switch off, stop reading, and go “OMG, she is a fossil!”

But hang on, I will let you in on an epic FAIL, which could give YOU an epic WIN!

We have to visit the land of the fossils so I can explain….

Some larger businesses (particularly government departments) want job applicants to not only hand in a resume, and a letter, but they also want them to respond to ‘selection criteria’. Like, hello, #get-a-life dull!

I recall an employer complaining to me that only ONE out of 32 online job applicants bothered to complete the selection criteria.

That’s like only one person out of 32 putting their hand up to grab a free Pink concert ticket!

selection criteriaIf there is only one applicant completing the criteria, surely they are a shoe-in for an interview! Obviously!

Have you spotted the epic win for you here?

Yes, responding to Selection Criteria will open up career doors lightning fast! You just need to know HOW to do it.

Ok. How?

Right. Glad you asked!

Nerdy old ‘me’ has provided some guidance….

dot pointSelection Criteria Guidance…

Before giving away my secret selection criteria stash, you need to understand this—the best way to answer selection criteria is with dot-points.

  • Dot points are like, OMG, the bomb!
  • Dot points break things down into logical order
  • Keeps it simple, (KISS—Mwah!) and
  • Dot points are easy to read.

Ready to find out how to tackle selection criteria? Keep reading!


I am going to use a position at the Shepparton City Council as an example. You can see the job I will focus on for this example to the right “Cafe & Events Attendant – Kidstown” – I have deliberately chosen a job that is suitable for a school leaver.

All jobs will have a position description, you need to follow the links provided on the relevant web site to find & open it.

In this example, Shepparton City Council also provide a full set of instructions on HOW to apply. It is worthwhile to print this out and follow instructions carefully! Can't get any easier than that!

What you are looking for is “Key Selection Criteria” or “Selection Criteria“.  In this example, the selection criteria look like this:

SC ShepCC Criteria






selection criteriaThe next step is to grab a pen and a piece of paper (dinosaur alert!) and jot down each criterion on a separate page.

The idea then is to align your experiences to their criteria!

You need to think about what you have physically done at school or in your own time for each set of criteria.

For example, the first Selection Criteria is asking about ‘quality customer service‘; therefore, list ALL things you have done where you have dealt with customers. It might look like this:

  • Volunteered at School Canteen
  • Part Time Job at IGA

Under each of these dot-points, you would think about WHY you provided QUALITY customer service (more dot points!!). Include what others would say about you in this role.

For the School Canteen it might be:

  • Prepared 50+ pre-ordered meals each day
  • Followed health and safety regulations
  • Able to work with peers and manager of Canteen
  • Delivered teacher orders to staff room – on time
  • Canteen Manager loved me because I could work quickly and efficiently, and I knew the procedures. – I got on with things without being asked so we would be ready for the recess and lunch rush.
If at all stuck with answering selection criteria, go forth and nag people for ideas. You will be surprised what you can come up with once you start talking to others about it.

Once you have jotted all your ideas down on paper, it is then time to transfer them to an electronic form. Your response to the first Selection Criteria – typed into Word – might look something like this:

SC Word Pic


You may need to cut and paste from your word document into an online application too, but once you have done the hard work (aligned your experiences with their criteria) then you are on the right track.


If in doubt, go along and see your school’s Careers Advisor – and it is always a brilliant idea to ask someone to proofread your work before sending it anywhere.

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