Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ostriches and Key Selection Criteria

Completing Key Selection Criteria (KSC) seems to strike fear into many hearts.

Are you one of these people?

A recent survey found that 8 out of 10 applicants for a professional position hadn't bothered to attempt this segment of the application process. Why is this, when the applicants presumably hoped to be invited in for an interview?

What are Key Selection Criteria, and why should you complete them?

KSC's are a series of qualities that the employer has defined as being essential or desirable for fulfilling the requirements of the job. They outline the qualities, knowledge and skills that you need to demonstrate in order to get an interview. The aim is to provide a fair and transparent selection process and your answers will be compared to those of the other applicants.

They are used for assessing and comparing written applications and also provide a framework for the interview.

How well you fulfill the criteria will determine whether or not you're asked to attend an interview. In fact, your statement addressing the selection criteria is sometimes seen as more important than your resume. Your resume becomes a supporting document.

You can begin to see why they are so crucial can't you.

How to tackle Key Selection Criteria.

To tackle them properly, you'll need to prepare another document as well as your resume and covering letter. If you take them one by one, they aren't quite so daunting.

Remember to write for the real person who will read your documents. If you find this tough, stick a photo near your computer of someone you admire or would like to impress, and write with them in mind. How would they respond to your answers?

If you're stuck, try using the STAR approach.

Describe the Situation
Identify the Task/problem that needed to be performed/solved
Explain the Approach and/or Action you took and what skills you used
Specify the Results

Any relevant aspect of your life can be used to show that you fulfill the criteria, but remember to write a direct statement with examples to show and clearly demonstrate how your knowledge, skills and experience make you the best applicant for the vacancy.

What happens to your application once it's been submitted?

The temptation is to think that once you've posted your hard copy, or clicked "submit" for your online application that it's all done and dusted.

In fact, this is just the beginning.

A real person will compare your responses to the other applicants. In fact, someone just like me :)

You want yours to shine don't you? You want to show that you've taken the process seriously? That you are just champing at the bit to get started? That you know your stuff, and are keen to present at interview?

Don't be an ostrich and hide your head in the sand when it comes to KSC. Remember to answer all questions, and give it your best shot - and do seek professional help if you still feel overwhelmed.

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