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How to address Key Selection Criteria when applying for a new role

How to address Key Selection Criteria when applying for a new role

Rebecca Robinson

11 months ago by Rebecca Robinson

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In high school, I had an English teacher called Mrs Taylor-Duff. She was a character, but that's another article in itself! One thing she taught us that has stuck with me since I was 14 years old was... "Make a point, then prove it".

This of course is a very simple concept, but for an over-sharing, over talking personality like myself it really helped me. "Make a point, then prove it" created the basic foundations of essay writing in high school, through to University and writing my dissertation, then when putting together job applications and documents in the following years.

This brings me to today's advice, and it is my own, others may differ of course. I'm currently recruiting a couple of senior roles where part of the application process is to address Key Selection Criteria (with an instruction from the client for this to be a max. 4 pages).

In my opinion, the purpose of this exercise is a number of things:

  1. To ensure you meet their requirements for this position

  2. To see if you are able to follow instructions

  3. To assess your ability to communicate effectively and concisely

My top tips:

  • Use each Key Selection point as a subheading

  • Treat this document as a "hook" to attract the hiring manager, make them want to meet you and know more. Answer the point and give a great example or relevant achievement

  • This is not an essay or War and Peace, it's a matchmaking tool between your experience and what they seek

  • If they ask for a limit to the length of the document, remember this is likely due to the volume of applications they will need to review, changing your criteria to font size 6 to fit in 4 pages, is not advised

  • Keep referring back to the point - are you addressing it exactly or have you gone on another angle?

  • Don't be afraid to add your personality to this document, again it is a window to you as a candidate.


  1. Bachelor Degree with at least 3 years' managerial experience in the *** sector. High level of skill and proven experience across all aspects of operations specifically; internal audit, IT systems, contract and risk management. Experience or high level of knowledge of *** sector or ability to acquire an understanding.

This is point 1 of 6, they are asking for a lot of information in this one but you probably have two short paragraphs to address this, space-wise. Here would be a good response:


  • I hold a BSc Hons in Social Science. I have 5 years' experience managing operations and teams in the housing sector. In my most recent role with ***, I successfully created and implemented a new framework for internal audits and risk management. I reviewed company-wide IT systems and usage, resulting in a cost reduction of $25,000 last year whilst reducing IT help desk calls. Working with the leadership team, I was responsible for training internal teams on effective contract management and reporting, resulting in 80% renewed contracts last financial year, an increase from 50%.

  • Although I have not directly worked in the *** sector, I have successfully transitioned to the housing sector from the energy sector, learning quickly the complexities of a new space. I was asked to speak at 2 industry events this year, highlighting my knowledge level and the relationships I have built.

Of course, you could write page after page, expanding on your experience offering multiple examples, but would the hiring manager have time and patience to read 70 of these? Help them in the process. Focus on this being a taster when you are invited to interview you can share plenty more example & achievements.

Preparing a concise selection criteria/covering letter is also a step towards your interview preparation as what the employer is looking for is clear in your mind and what you can offer them is clear too. 

In summary -

  1. Follow their instructions on the applications

  2. Make a point then prove it

  3. Be clear & concise