Michelle Bentley, General Manager Hender Careers
They are a great framework for Addressing Criteria in Job Applications.
Of the thousands of people, I have assisted in application development, I am yet to find someone who enjoys this part of the process. Understandably so. Addressing criteria are tricky to prepare!
Whilst industries, organisations and talent / recruitment teams vary in their expectations of responses (depth of explanation, approach, word counts etc) here are a few guidelines that will assist to meet the general ‘rules’.
- Create a new document. Generally, address the selection criteria separate from your cover letter and resume. Be aware of any specified page or word limit.
- List each criterion separately. Use the same wording as appears on the Position Description (e.g. Excellent verbal communication skills).
- Address each criterion. Write a couple of short paragraphs explaining how your experience, skills, education and training equip you to meet that specific requirement. Provide case examples, with outcomes.
- Dot points are also acceptable, embedded with text.
There are a number of steps you can take when putting together your responses to increase their clarity and impact.
- Give details of one or two specific things you’ve done that are good examples of the relevant experience or knowledge required. For example: ‘I was responsible for organising an event attended by … This involved …'
- Preface these examples with a short overview that shows you appreciate the relevance of the specific criterion.
- Quantify your experience (number of years worked, staff supervised, etc.). For example: ‘I delivered a presentation to an industry forum with an audience of 100 people.’
- Where possible, indicate how effectively you meet the criterion. How you have added value, made a positive difference. For example: by referring to feedback from others, or things you've set up that are still being used. ‘I initiated a new process for capturing customer feedback that is reviewed regularly by managers to improve our customer service. Our customer ratings have improved by 10% and our customer retention rate is now at 90%.
Using the STAR or SAO method as a framework when describing case examples of your work is helpful. Check your draft responses against these elements. The Result / Outcome is a critical one.
STAR – Situation – Task – Action – Result
SAO – Situation – Action – Outcome