It sounds like the most basic advice possible but it’s amazing how many applicants don’t really understand the selection criteria when they apply for a job.
But according to APESMA Senior Careers Consultant Gabrielle Foldes, failing to understand the selection criteria could have even an even worse impact than just missing out on a job opportunity.
“Too many professionals are stuck in jobs they don’t really want because they didn’t really understand what they are applying for,” Ms Foldes said.
“We all know people who say ‘I wish I knew what this job was all about before I applied for it’.
“Well the sad news is that it was probably described quite accurately in the position description.”
Ms Foldes says that is is vital that you address the selection criteria in your cover letter or job interview.
“If an employer wants someone who can build great relationships with suppliers, for example, you need to explain the experience you’ve had in this area,” she says.
“They may not care at all that you have had some management experience.
“To pick just one profession, engineers need to realise there are more than 360,000 other engineers in Australia right now, and you need to show why you are exactly the right candidate from all the rest.”
Ms Foldes says you need to study the selection criteria like you are studying for a final year exam.
“If you are in a job interview situation, try to relate every answer you give back to the selection criteria,” she says.
“Know which criteria are essential and which ones are just preferred to help fine tune the way you project yourself.
“If you’ve been given a weighting breakdown for the criteria, give more detail for the more important ones.
“And even if you don’t have any workplace experience for some of the criteria try to show your skills in that area through non-curricular activities. For example if you have been the secretary of your cricket club for the past ten years you’ve probably developed some pretty good administrative skills.
“Employers put a lot of time and effort into drawing up a selection criteria to make sure they get the right person so give yourself the best chance of success by understanding their perspective.”
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