What’s involved in addressing selection criteria?

You address selection criteria by describing situations at work where you proved you had a particular skill set.

Do you need to address selection criteria for a public service job vacancy?

Addressing selection criteria allows you to provide evidence of work and projects that you’ve undertaken – to help demonstrate your competency. Your ability to do this well will determine your success in being shortlisted for interview.

Your responses to selection criteria should help explain, with specific and genuine examples, how you meet the needs of the advertised role.

It’s important to note that responses cannot just be ‘made up’ – either by you as applicant – or someone you ask to help you.

Also, it’s rarely possible to write responses to criteria based solely on the contents of a resume or CV, because these documents generally don’t contain sufficient detail.

The responses to criteria that you submit in your application must be genuine because you are likely to be asked to explain them at interview.


• Write a response of up to ~250 words for each individual criterion – making sure, however, to comply with application instructions, i.e. word or page limits;

• Give specific and concrete examples of situations you’ve faced at work, how you approached them, and what results you achieved; and

• Examples must be recent and explained in such a way that any reader can make sense of the scenario you’re referring to.

Using the STAR method

For each criterion, give at least one example – using the following STAR technique or structure, i.e.:

  • Situation: Set the context by describing the circumstances – the challenge or problem you faced at work; give your job title, employer and the month and year;
  • Task: What was your role or involvement? You only – or you as part of a team? If a team – focus on your personal input to the team.
  • Approach: Describe what you did, and how you approached the situation.
  • Result: What results did you get? What did you achieve? What was the end result and how does it relate to the job you are applying for?


Read the ‘how to apply’ tag in job advertisements carefully. Many job ads include page or word limits. You must comply with these instructions strictly.

As a guide, with a two-page limit and four selection criteria to address, you could dedicate up to half of one page to each criterion.

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