Applying for a government job and not sure how to write the selection criteria you need to lodge your application? Here’s the ‘need to know’ basics to get you started.
So what’s the best way to make writing selection criteria less sucky? Start with the basics. Make sure you title the document what it is. ‘Response to Selection Criteria’ works just fine and add in your name and contact details. If your selection criteria is going to be longer than 2 pages it’s also a good idea to add in a footer with your name and the page number (just in case the employer gets lost printing all your details off). You can do this by going to Insert on the top of your Word document, followed by Footer and just follow the prompts to choose a style that is suited to your needs.
When it comes to font size, 11 or 12 is best and pick something easy to read. There is a reason that many people choose to use New Times Roman. It is one of the easiest fonts for the employer to read. Other good choices include Calibri and Arial. I also like to add a border but it’s a personal preference. Adding in a plain black border is super easy. Just hit Page Layout on your menu bar, followed by Page Borders and choose one that suits your needs.
The next step is to either retype or copy and paste the actual selection criteria questions onto the document so you know exactly what you are faced with. You don’t have to number them but you can if you want to. Always underline or put the actual questions in bold so it’s easy to read. Now comes the tricky part. You need to actually write the criteria.
Remember to break your text up with paragraphs so it’s easy to read. And please double check that the criteria does not specify either a word or page count. There is nothing worse than pumping out a six page criteria only to discover that there is a 200 word count on each question!
How long should my criteria be?
If no word count is specified, this is up to you. I like half a page per criteria unless you really do have heaps and heaps of achievements and need more room. That said, anywhere between one paragraph and a page is pretty average depending on the actual position. For example, if you are applying for a role as a Biological Engineer you will be leaning towards the one page mark. If it is a simple reception position, one paragraph usually covers it.
Ok, that’s the basics of how to write selection criteria for a government application. If you need more help – Get in touch:)