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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 how to write key selection criteria easily even though you think you’re not good at writing, then check out my Award-Winning Key Selection Criteria Made Easy online program here

It’s won an International peer-judged Award for Career Innovation in 2022

Cheers, Athena 

Athena Ali - The Get Noticed Coach - Career Coach and Strategist for mid-career professionals and leaders who want to land a senior public service role they love where they can make a difference in the community

Welcome! I’m Athena Ali, the founder of The Get Noticed Coach.

I help public servants and aspiring public servants

– articulate their brilliance in resumes and CVs that get hiring managers excited to see them,

– write key selection criteria that prove you’re the right person for the job quickly,

– create a personal brand that sells for you so that you are headhunted for 6-figure roles effortlessly, and

– arm you with confidence-boosting strategies for your next interview so that you impress the recruiters and hiring managers and get hired in a senior public service job.

I’m for people who want to make a difference in the community and work with purpose in a senior public service role.

I use my unique marketing approach to help you get clear, get confident, get visible, and advance your career with my unique 6-step framework.

With over 13 years in the public service and landing every government role I applied for and wanted I am well placed to show you how I did it and how you can do it too!

I believe in you!