Tips to address Key Selection Criteria

Create a new document

Start the document with your name, the position title and a heading such as “Summary Addressing Key Selection Criteria”.

Address each criterion individually

Use each of the criteria as a separate heading in the document, then summarise below how your skills, qualifications, experience and personal attributes are relevant for that particular criteria.

Support your claims with evidence

Avoid unsubstantiated statements such as ‘I have excellent communication skills’ as this is your opinion. We are looking for evidence that supports this claim, therefore you need to provide detailed examples that demonstrate your skills and abilities or illustrate your understanding relating to the criteria.

The STAR approach is a useful way to structure your responses to the selection criteria:


A brief outline of the situation or setting. Who was involved? What was your role?


What did you do? What happened next?

Approach or action

How did you do it?


What was the outcome? What feedback did you receive?

Use active verbs

The use of strong, specific verbs will help you to describe your role more clearly, such as ‘I negotiated’, ‘I liaised' or ‘I was responsible for’.

Use correct English

Your ability to communicate in writing will be assessed by the way in which you address the selection criteria. Ask someone else to proof read your responses for you to avoid making spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Use dot points for clarity

A long paragraph of text can sometimes lose the point of what you are trying to say. Try using dot points to clarify your claims for some criteria. For example, you might address the selection criterion ‘excellent communication skills’ by stating:

‘My communication skills can be demonstrated by:

  • Liaising with…….in my role as……
  • Preparing a report on……….
  • Representing my department……….

This does not mean that all your responses should be in this format, just those that you have a number of points you would like to make.

Don't exaggerate

Do not make claims that you cannot substantiate - think carefully before you use words such as ‘exceptional' or ‘excellent’ as providing evidence for these claims may be difficult. If you say that you have ‘excellent negotiating skills’, for example, what evidence do you have that your skills are well above ‘very good’? Avoid words such as ‘some’ or ‘limited’ as these reduce your credibility or weaken your case.

What to do if you are not strong in a criterion

You could:

  • Illustrate that you are a fast learner
  • Indicate your willingness to learn and the reasons for that willingness
  • Give examples of how the required knowledge/skill/experience is being acquired or will be acquired