They might appear in the job advertisement or at the end of the job description and may be listed as “essential”, “desirable” or “preferred”. Use them as a guide to what questions you can expect to be asked at the interview.


Different types of employers require you to show them how you meet the selection criteria in different ways.

Public sector and education sector jobs usually ask applicants to provide a separate document, in addition to their cover letter and resume, with the criteria as headings and a written answer below each one.

If you need to include this, check the application information for details about how to format your response and whether there is a word limit, preferred style, etc. If you can’t find these details, check the organisation’s website or contact the employer for guidelines.

Many private sector employers won’t require this separate document. If an employer doesn’t ask for this, you should still highlight how you meet the criteria within your cover letter and resume.

A few of the selection criteria you are likely to see are:

  • good research and analytical skills
  • good oral and written communication
  • excellent interpersonal and liaison skills
  • good organisational skills and proven ability to apply those skills to achieve results
  • ability to work effectively in a team

Employers will rate applicants on how well they demonstrate that their skills match each of the selection criteria. If you fail to properly address the selection criteria, you are unlikely to be offered an interview. Use your own words and be sure not to copy-and-paste the criteria into your application.

  • Anaylyse the selection criteria one at a time to work out what the employer wants.
  • Brainstorm ideas - find examples of things you’ve been involved in from different parts of your life eg study, employment, industry placements etc.
  • Provide evidence to support your examples; be specific and include measurements of how well you did them. If you increased sales, say by what percentage or how many dollars. If you streamlined a process, say how much time it saved.
  • Match examples to selection criteria – make these matches as logical and relevant as possible (for example, writing about how you improved a customer service process in your retail job to demonstrate selection criteria about problem-solving).
  • Write it up – create a separate document if it’s a public sector job application, or insert the examples into your draft resume and cover letter.