If you are having difficulty with the ‘addressing selection criteria’ process, it might help to know you are not alone. I did a search on Twitter last night using the term ‘selection criteria’. Here is what job candidates were saying:

  • damn selection criteria. maybe writing job apps is easier without the wine  
  • Selection Criteria….yuck! 
  • Aren’t selection criteria’s fun!? 
  • I hate selection criteria. 25 min to write 3 lines. 1 question down, 12 to go 
  • job applications are hard! selection criteria wtf? 
  • Damm selection criteria 
  • Ignoring the last few of those pesky selection criteria. Maybe later this evening. Trying to ignore the nausea. 
  •  ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ selection criteria – it somehow sounds very erotic… if you changed essential to sensual 
  • Attacking those darned Selection Criteria. First one: High level of reception & communication skills. Can’t I just say “yes” & move on? 
  • Responding to the World’s Largest Selection Criteria with my equally lengthy and wordy supporting statement. 
  • Selection criteria suck I hate writing them 
  •  just did her second selection criteria for one day… aghh!! 
  • Frell me. I HATE Selection Criteria. “Knowlege of public sector financial & administrative legislation.” YUCK. Don’t know what to write. 😦 
  • TEN selection criteria? Are you kidding me? Moreton Bay Council; you’re no ASIO.


For job seekers, the words ‘Selection Criteria’ can often be found in the same sentence as hell, nausea, darned, hate, yuk and you have got to be kidding. Nevertheless, they are here to stay, particularly for publically funded roles. There are many good reasons for employers to use specific criteria, and to assess against these requirements to find the best person for a job.

It is not the principle of selection criteria that brings bile to the throat – the problem is the way that some employers use them to make writing a job application into a very onerous task.

In the pre-November employee shortage, a growing number of public sector employers decided that a tailored resume and brief statement (or answers to questions) were sufficient to screen applicants who should move to the next stage of the selection process. Unfortunately, other employers have persisted in using too many, often repetitive selection criteria; and asking candidates to ‘address selection criteria’ without giving any guidance on the length, depth or format required.

The latter approach may lack courtesy and be an inefficient way to run a competitive selection process. However, it is the current reality for some jobs. Applicants need to learn to effectively tackle the addressing of selection criteria – in whatever format – if they wish to secure what can be a rewarding public sector career. Candidates can get help through books and web guidance, employ a job coach (like me) or hire someone to write their applications.

Share your ideas on what has helped you to ‘address selection criteria’.


Looking for an expert to coach you to write your job application or prepare for the job  interview – contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com or 0403766812