Employers may need someone who has a specific set of skills, experience or abilities to do a job. These are known as selection criteria, key selection criteria or person specifications.
Some common examples include:
Having the selection criteria will help you to find out more about the role and whether it is a good fit for you, and also what to include in your application.
If the selection criteria are not listed in the job advertisement, ask the employer for them by phone or email. You may also be able to download a copy from the organisation's website.
Job requirements can be either 'hard' or 'soft'.
Hard requirements are:
Soft requirements are personal qualities like being:
These kinds of skills are known as core skills for work, considered essential for your success at work.
If an advertisement asks for many 'hard' qualifications you don't have, there's no point applying for the position. But in many cases you don't have to meet the job requirements exactly. For example, you may not have experience using certain accounting software, but know a different package well and have a record of picking up new software skills quickly. You might still have a chance of being considered for this job.
Even if you can't show that you have all the required skills, with a carefully worded application you might still get an interview, because you've shown how quickly you learn new things or transfer your skills to new roles.
Spend time making a list of examples for keywords from the selection criteria or specifications. Use examples that show how you have applied these criteria to your work or life experiences.
Some key words to consider are:
You can respond to selection criteria or specifications by using a technique referred to as STAR.
STAR stands for:
For example, the selection criteria may ask you to demonstrate problem-solving skills.
Your response might be:
In my recent position as Food and Domestic Assistant at Residential Care Centre, l assisted the Domestic Manager to develop a new food plan for the elderly residents. I had noticed that a number of residents were not receiving their preferred meals in the evening because the Domestic Manager was unaware that some residents were vegetarian and others disliked certain food. This meant some residents were not eating their entire evening meal. I suggested a simple tick-the-box plan that I designed. The system was introduced and all residents are now receiving food they like for evening meals. This has reduced dissatisfaction and food waste at the Centre.
You can use some dot points to make your response easy to read.
Below are eight tips to create a good first impression.