If you’re applying for a position in government, council, the public sector, a university, a school or a not-for-profit organisation, you will more than likely be asked to address key selection criteria.

Key selection criteria (KSC), also known as job selection criteria, are designed to help make the most accurate match between the requirements of a position and the skills of an applicant. If you do not address them when required, your application will not make it through to the interview stage – no matter how well qualified or well suited you may be to a position.

Keywords: the key to success

But it may not be enough to simply address the key selection criteria. Did you know that 95 per cent of organisations do not actually read your résumé, cover letter or key selection criteria? Instead, your documents may be scanned by sophisticated software that only searches for the keywords. If your documents do not contain the right keywords, your application will be eliminated and you will not be shortlisted.  


Consider the following common key selection criteria:

  1. Excellent time-management skills and administration skills.
  2. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the proven ability to target these to specific audiences.
  3. Able to work autonomously or as part of a team.
  4. Excellent computer literacy and able to effectively use a wide range of programs.

How would you address them? There are two main methods for addressing key selection criteria: the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach and the SAO (Situation, Action, Outcome) approach. Both are designed to help you address all aspects of a criterion and ensure that you provide concrete examples to demonstrate your skills and experience.

The Proven Group

If all this sounds a little overwhelming, we at The Proven Group are here to help. We are experts in this area and know the correct way to address key selection criteria, use keywords and provide the specific examples that organisations are looking for.

Your key selection criteria document is the first part of your application that government organisations will be judging you on. Therefore, it needs to stand out. We know how to achieve this so that organisations will then want to read your résumé and cover letter, and go on to invite you to an interview.

The Proven Group provides professional cover-letter and résumé-writing services in Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong. In addition to these services, we offer interview coaching, LinkedIn profile-writing, how to address key selection criteria, personality profiling and career counselling. Contact us today to discuss our services.

Recent Posts