November 16, 2020

How To Write Selection Criteria Responses

Key selection criteria are one of the most popular recruitment tools used in academic, profit and non-profit sectors in Australia. Standing out from the 100s of other candidates for a position depends on how you write selection criteria responses.

How To Write Selection Criteria Responses?

If an organization asks addressing selection criteria, it is prioritized in the selection procedure. Government positions throughout the country often require a writing selection criterion.

You can find numerous resources and websites that guide you on writing selection criteria responses. In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you should know about writing your responses efficiently to improve your chances of getting hired.

What Is Selection Criteria?

Generally set by the HR department of an organization, selection criteria are a set of questions asking about your knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience in the areas relevant to your job position.

It is important to answer these criteria to be eligible for the job. You can find anywhere from four to up to twenty questions though the average number of criteria is four to six.

The number of criteria can vary depending on the job position and department and so does the length of your responses. Some of them have a limit for maximum word count per response while others impose a limit on the total number of pages for the entire response.

Some others can leave it open. It is important to take note of requirements because any non-compliance with the specifications can get your application rejected.

How To Write Selection Criteria Responses?

When you respond to a selection criterion as a part of your application for a position, the response should be submitted as a document in addition to the resume and cover letter.

This criterion can make up as much as 60% of the assessment for the recruitment. So it is important that you don’t take it lightly.

How To Write Selection Criteria Responses
How To Write Selection Criteria Responses?

Make sure you explore and address each criterion in the description of the position. Respond to each in detail with examples of your experiences and explain how they can help you thrive in the position you are applying for.

Here are the key steps involved in addressing selection criteria,

Understanding The Requirement

Before you can address it, read the selection criteria on the advertisement thoroughly. Go into the details to understand what each criterion asks for.

You can get a clear idea of the requirements from the job/role description. Identify what skills, qualifications and experience each of them requires. This will help you give shape to your responses.

In addition to this, take a look at the exact wording of the selection criteria to understand the requirement and address them with the right approach.

For example, the words ‘experience using’ would want a description of how you have utilized something to achieve a result while ‘knowledge of’ requires that you demonstrate your knowledge about the specific area.

Stating The Claims

You should respond individually to different criteria in your writing within separate paragraphs. Use a few examples to show how you fulfil the required experience, skill or knowledge.

Firstly, you should precisely state that you claim to meet the particular criterion along with a reason you think so.

An example is ‘I possess proven communication skills, refined further in my present role over the course of three years, through different modes of communication I have used to interact with clients, executives, public and other stakeholders’. Such examples can make the claim clear and confident.

Supporting The Claims

After covering the base points for the selection criteria, select the examples that best suit these claims. This step is the most critical part of the selection criteria response writing.

For the best results, you can use the STAR model which involves thinking about the Situation, Task, Action and Result for a role to help you describe the examples in an effective, comprehensive manner.

Supporting The Claims
Supporting The Claims

To find the best examples, you should start with brainstorming to get a list of the most relevant and recent ones. Think of as many as you can and then use the STAR approach to curate the right examples and explain them in detail.

If you can’t think of examples, you can talk about your work with colleagues and supervisors to create some ideas. Along with the examples, include a short summary of how you think you can add value to the position. 

Checking The Response

Once you have written the response, check the document thoroughly and look for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Read it over strictly and check whether you have included the best examples to support your ability to fulfil the criteria. Go over all the responses again and confirm that you have addressed everything that was asked.

Ensure that your responses are genuine and precise and you haven’t exaggerated any statement. Make sure the overall tone of the writing is positive and the examples sound clear without any confusion about your role.

See that you have used the first-person language that makes it certain that it was you who implemented whatever you have described.

Make sure your language of the response matches the one used in the advertisement. When the employer goes through your application and finds words that are relevant to the job position, it is likely to create more interest and improve your chances of being shortlisted.

You can also consider getting your work proofread by somebody else. While your response may seem the same to you whenever you look at it, another person can pick up some errors you might have missed.


Selection criteria are certainly one of the most important aspects of a job application in Australia. While it may seem easy to address, taking time to frame it well can pay off.

The process can be very thorough and involve a lot of thinking to include your achievements, abilities and experiences and the right examples.

After all, selection criteria responses give you a chance to showcase your skills and strengths and prove to the organization that you can meet their expectations for the role you are applying for.

We hope this guide makes it easy to write the selection criteria responses for your application and improve your chances of getting through.

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