Selection criteria consist of a list of educational qualifications, skills, abilities, experience, and knowledge that one must have to be eligible to do a job. Both employers and applicants use selection criteria for hiring for a position or for applying for a particular job position, respectively.
However, as an applicant, you must write impressive selection criteria that contain relevant skills that match the job position you are applying for. Good selection criteria can represent you as a potential candidate for a job position. Selection criteria are as important as a good resume and a cover letter. Therefore, it is crucial to create a separate selection criteria document to increase your chances of getting selected.
Even though your resume can provide an overview of your skill sets, addressing selection criteria in a separate document demonstrates your skills and makes it easy for the employer to know about your competencies needed to perform a job.
Examples of Selection Criteria
Selection criteria consist of two main categories, such as essential criteria and desired criteria.
The essential criteria consist of the list of all the essential criteria for a candidate to be considered for the interview process.
The examples of essential criteria are
The educational qualification can be a three or four years degree, training course, or diploma in a specific field. For example, a minimum one-year certificate in computer to be considered for the job position.
This section of the criteria focuses on different skills. Different skills that an employer can ask for are technical skills, discipline skills, and transferable skills.
3. Technical skills
Examples of technical skills are certification in cybersecurity, penetration testing, computer programming skills such as JAVA, Python, DotNet, etc.
4. Transferable skills
Skills like time management skills, communication skills, and public speaking skills are examples of transferable skills.
The third main criteria that an employer mentions in the selection criteria is the work experience—for example, minimum three-year expertise in retail to become eligible for a branch manager position.
Knowledge about a particular subject area. For example, knowledge about the marketing field.
How to Write Selection Criteria?
Both employers and employees are required to write selection criteria. Employers write selection criteria to post specific skills, qualifications, and experience that they want a candidate to perform the job well.
How to write selection criteria as an employer?
The following steps will help you build effective selection criteria to attract suitable and talented employees for the job position.
Step 1: Prepare a clear job description
The first and foremost step to prepare effective selection criteria is to have a clear understanding of the qualifications, skills, and experience that you might require to perform the job. To do this, you need to examine the job description before you start writing selection criteria. The criteria will help you in the evaluation of applicants.
The information that you need to prepare a clear job description is what experience a person should have to perform the job? What skills are necessary to perform a job? What educational qualification should the candidate have to be eligible for the job position?
Step 2: Make separate lists for desired and essential criteria
Criteria for the selection can be mentioned in two categories, such as essential criteria and desired criteria.
1. Essential criteria – Essential criteria list all the kills and qualifications that a potential candidate must have to be considered for a job position.
An applicant’s application will not be considered if he doesn’t match one of the mentioned essential criteria; for example, for a junior software developer job, the critical criteria would be a degree with computer background, proficiency in software development languages like JAVA, Python, Ruby, etc.
2. Desired criteria – Desired criteria list all the additional skills to make an applicant make to the top candidates for the job.
The additional or desired skills for the software developer’s job role would be work experience in particular fields, excellent communication skills, etc.
Step 3: Use proper keywords to write the selection criteria
Keywords used to write criteria play an important role in attracting the right candidates for the job position. Using the right keywords, you can emphasize on what you are looking for in the candidate.
For example, if you want a candidate to have an educational qualification in the computer field, you will mention “qualify in” computers. If you want applicants to have experience in a particular field, you can use the keyword “proven record in” the areas.
This will indicate that you want candidates to provide experience certificates to prove their experience in the field.
Different keywords indicate different requirements. Writing the keyword “knowing” means the person knowing something is desired, but it is not essential. In contrast to this, the phrase “having certified in” makes it necessary for the candidate to have the skills to be able to get the job.
Step 4: Keep your selection criteria simple
Complicated and lengthy selection criteria can deter many applicants from applying for the job. Therefore, you should not include more than ten criteria.
Moreover, use simple language to write selection criteria and avoid using jargon and complicated words that can make a candidate confused about the requirement.
Step 5: Avoid adding personal qualities in the selection criteria
The last and essential thing that you should keep in mind while writing criteria is that all criteria should be measurable. For example, criteria like “hard-working” are difficult to measure.
How to write selection criteria as an applicant?
Responding to the job opening is the first step towards getting a job. Your job application will make your first impression on the employer. Selection criteria is an essential part of your job application.
Therefore, writing effective criteria can increase your chances of getting the job.
The following are the steps that you can follow to write effective selection criteria:
Step 1: Read the job description
The first step for writing an effective job description is to understand the job requirements mentioned in the job advertisement. Read it thoroughly, and while you read, think about how your skills can fit for the job position.
Think of the particular work experience example that you can mention perceiving as a potential applicant. Avoid applying for the job position if your skills don’t match the requirements for the job position.
Step 2: Determine the essential and desired criteria
An employer will mention the essential and desirable criteria for the job position. Make sure that you match the critical criteria to be considered for a job position. You don’t need to match all the desired criteria.
However, matching some of the desired criteria will make you a strong applicant. Avoid applying for the position in case you don’t fit all the essential criteria.
Step 3: Determine the format and length of the selection criteria
Most employers have a specific format that they want applicants to use to write the selection criteria. Read the “how to apply” section carefully of the job description section.
In case you have any confusion, you can contact the human resource manager of the company. Creating a separate document for selection criteria will make it easy for employers to know about your skills.
Step 4: Organize your response
The first three steps will provide you information on whether you should apply for the job position or not and what format should be followed to write the selection criteria to make your first impression. However, in this step, you respond to the job position.
Having organized thoughts to write effective selection criteria is essential. Address each criterion under a different heading and explain how you gained that skill and experience in 2-3 lines.
Use bullet points to mention experience and skills from various jobs.
Step 5: Use the proper model to address the selection criteria
Different models can be used to respond to the various criteria, such as the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and results) model. That means you should first write the situation, then task, and so on to address criteria.
In addition to the STAR model, other models can be used to address different criteria. For example:
- CAR (Circumstance, Action, Result),
- SAR (Situation Action, Result), and
- SAO (Situation, ACtion, OuTcome).
Step 6: Respond to all the criteria
To be considered for the job, you need to address all the critical job criteria and the desired criteria that you fulfill. Write your response to each criteria using any of the models, as mentioned earlier
Step 7: Avoid common mistakes:
Avoiding common mistakes will increase your chances of getting selected. For example, responding to criteria that you can’t justify with specific examples can put a wrong impression on the hiring manager.
Mention specific examples, avoid general statements and don’t rephrase the employer’s information in the job description.
Step 8: Proofread your document
Once you have written your selection criteria, the last step is to proofread the document before sending it to the employer. Avoid mistakes like incomplete sentences, misspelled words, and grammatical errors.
Tips to Address Selection Criteria
The following are a few tips that you can use to write effective selection criteria
- Use simple language to write the selection criteria. Avoid using jargon and complicated words that can make readers lose interest in your application.
- Don’t cross the limit of maximum words to write the selection criteria. You can find the maximum words requirement in the job description posted by the recruiter.
- Don’t address the criteria for which you don’t possess experience. Choose only relevant examples that can demonstrate your skills adequately to address each criterion.
- Make the use of action-oriented words such as developed, implemented, organized, etc. to define the work that you have done.
- Avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes. Proofread your document and get it proofread by your friend or some professional who can help you create impressive selection criteria.
- Address all the criteria in the same order that they have been asked in the job description.
- Use professional font size and font style. Some organizations prefer a specific font size and font style to be used while writing a response. You can find this information in the job description posted by the employers.
Selection criteria is an essential part of both job description and job application. Selection criteria highlight your skills, educational qualifications, experience, and knowledge.
The selection process can be written as a separate document when applying for a job position or made part of the resume. Writing effective selection criteria is essential to be considered for a job interview.
As mentioned above, the steps to address selection criteria can help you write effective selection criteria.