A quick guide to… key selection criteria

When applying for a job you may be asked to address the Key Selection Criteria (KSC), which describe the personal qualities, skills, abilities, knowledge and qualifications a person needs to perform the role effectively. Some of these criteria will be regarded by the employer as essential requirements for the job, others may be desirable. Employers assess the responses of all applicants to each criterion in order to shortlist candidates for interview. It is important that you understand the correct format for addressing key selection criteria, including how each employer wants you to document your responses, and how to present clear examples using the STAR model.

Examples of key selection criteria


  • Sound oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Good research skills
  • Good problem solving and analytical skills
  • Degree in Behavioural Science


  • Experience using statistical software packages such as SPSS
  • Current Victorian Driver’s licence

How to respond to key selection criteria

First, it is best to check the method preferred by the employer. Usually they would mention this in the job advertisement or position description. If not, then contact them to clarify how they want you to include this information in your application. The usual way to address the KSC is to create a separate document (not as part of your cover letter) with a title of ‘Responses to Key Selection Criteria’. You would then type the criterion as it appeared in the position description and beneath that, type your response. Then repeat for each criterion until you have addressed them all. If the employer has not specified a word limit, write at least one paragraph explaining how you have demonstrated a particular skill or quality. Allow plenty of time to write your response to the KSC. The whole process is almost like writing a 1500 –2000 word essay.

Analyse each criterion to identify the skills and attributes being rated, then think of scenarios from work, study, volunteering, sports and other activities that could be used to illustrate your skill. If possible, use a different example for each criterion and structure your response using the STAR model.


1 Comment

  1. Jon Stenson

    Always always always call the selectors and get more specific information on what they want to hear about. Calling is so easy and can make such a big difference.

Leave a Reply

© 2021 Career Ready

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑