key selection criteria, ksc

Once upon a time, not that long ago, I was a recruiter on government selection panels. 

It was a tough gig sometimes, because if the role I was recruiting for was popular, I would unashamedly cull the applications due to errors or omissions made by applicants in their documents. 

First impressions do count when a recruiter is busy and they don’t have time to wade through errors, grammar, or someone who hasn’t answered the criteria questions at all. 

I always think in the back of my mind that I’ve probably missed a good applicant in there, but I just really don’t have the time to try and work out what you want to say. I just need you to say it.

But it’s not your fault. We don’t get taught this stuff at school and not everyone is good at selling themselves either. 

So today I thought I would talk to you about the things that recruiters want to see in your Key Selection Criteria responses for government or not-for-profit jobs.

1. Examples relevant to the seniority of the position

If you are applying for a leadership role, for example, you need to ensure that your work samples reflect the seniority of the role.

Leadership roles require more strategic level examples because of the responsibility attached to them.

If you want to be a Director and you’ve not been one before, you need to have examples that show you have gone over and above in your current role and show examples of how you have met the strategic and leadership criteria before.

Without this, it is difficult to speak to a senior role.

2.  The contact person

Use the opportunity to call the contact person listed. This gives you the chance to clarify anything that is baffling you or finding out more about what they are looking for in their next team member.

It is also an opportunity to be remembered by someone who is likely to be on the panel or potentially looking through the applications.

Get as much information as you can from them, and use this newfound knowledge in your responses to key selection criteria.

3.  Self-Marketing

This is your opportunity to stand out confidently.

Use language that is positive. Don’t use words like “I could” or “I might” this doesn’t reflect a person with confidence. You need to use “I am”, “I can” or “I will”.

You need to sell yourself to your next employer, you must tell them how fantastic you are for them. This is no time to hide!

Selling ourselves is not something we feel comfortable doing, but in order for an employer to believe you are capable of the role you need to straight out tell them.


So next time you are addressing your Key Selection Criteria keep these points in mind.

If you’d like to learn the exact strategy I use in my client KSC so that you know “How to write Killer KSC” to land interviews for your next government job application then the much-anticipated module “How to write Killer KSC” will be released in my online program “The Ultimate Government Career Accelerator” on Monday. 

If you don’t want to miss out on gaining access to this course, then you need to get onto this today! Join the team now!  Click here for more information on the program and to book your place!

If you need to ask any questions, just send an email to me via the contact page here.

Cheers, Athena 

Hi, I’m Athena Ali the Founder of The Get Noticed Coach and Get Noticed Resumes.

I help you land your dream government career in the fastest, easiest way without you wasting anymore time and money trying to figure it out yourself!