Increase your chances of landing that job by applying with a great cover letter and effective answers to selection criteria. As the first point of contact you have with an employer, it’s an opportunity to introduce yourself and engage an employer with a summary of your experience and career aspirations.
A Strong Cover Letter
This is your chance to express your interest in the position you’re applying for, so be sure to do that in the opening paragraph. Be sure to state the reason this job stood out for you, and a stand out attribute that sets you apart from other applicants.
Quick tip: Welcoming the opportunity to speak with an employer about your application presents you as a pleasant professional with confidence your abilities.
A Great Match
Your cover letter should include a summary of your qualifications and relevant experience, as well as a snapshot of your principal attributes as an employee.
Hiring managers want to know if you’d fit into their workplace, so it’s a good idea to tell them why you chose to apply for a role that particular company.
Remember: employers are looking for enthusiasm and a good work ethic, no matter what the position is.
Use examples wherever possible, and quantify statements with data to increase impact. That might be including your GPA to highlight your excellent work ethic or sales figures to show your contribution to a business.
If you can quickly explain what you’ve achieved and how you’ve achieved it, this is the place to do so. Never apologise for shortcomings – simply highlight the positives.
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You might be asked to formally address a separate application criteria as part of your application for an advertised role.
Selection criteria could cover various aspects of employment, including skills, qualifications, ability and experience. This helps an employer determine your suitability for a role.
It’s easiest for everyone if the criteria provided are used as headings; there’s no need to rewrite them.
Those are the attributes an employer requires of the successful candidate – so address the criteria clearly and as articulately as you can.
Support Your Statements
The most effective and widely used approach to addressing selection criteria is the STAR approach. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
Describe the situation or problem, highlight the task you had to accomplish, explain the actions you took to achieve the task and most importantly, show the result - what specifically did you achieve and what did you learn?
Show Your Knowledge
Prove that you are familiar with the knowledge or discipline by outlining the key points of what you know or have learned. This may be important where specific knowledge of a particular discipline is required or where there is no other way for you to demonstrate that you have the required knowledge.
By referring to your attitude, philosophy or practice in relation to the criterion, you demonstrate the type of employee you are – while also showing that you’re capable of the task in question.
Find a range of great resources, examples and templates to assist with your job search.
Here you'll see sample resumes, cover letters and selection criteria, as well as handy tips for performing well at interviews.
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