How to address key selection criteria in a cover letter
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Key selection criteria are the core skills, knowledge and qualities a company is looking for in potential candidates. Addressing them in such a way that shows how well you fulfill what the business is looking for gives you the best chance at getting considered for the role.
Here’s how you can demonstrate that you meet the key selection criteria within your cover letter.
1. Understand the key selection criteria
Don’t jump into addressing the key selection criteria. Take a moment to really read over the list, and understand what they’re looking for – this way you ensure you’re actually demonstrating the skills they want. It also allows you to note any key words that they use in their descriptions, so that you can better tailor your response and use the right language in your answer.
2. Actually address the key selection criteria
This may sound obvious, but it’s important that you think about how your response is actually tackling the key criteria. Use bullet points to break down your answer, and see how strongly these link into the skills and qualities the hiring manager is looking for.
Address the criteria directly when you come to it in your cover letter. It’s easy to think you’ve provided what they want in a response, only to discover that you’ve talked around the point you needed to make. By making your statement first, then unpacking it, you’re helping to make sure that you actually address the criteria.
You need to check that you’re ticking off all the key selection criteria in your cover letter.
3. Use hard evidence to substantiate your answers
Theoretical answers aren’t what a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for. You need to give solid examples that directly showcase the skills they’re wanting for the role. Don’t make unsupported statements. For example, don’t simply say that you’re good at time management. Instead, tell them that you’ve never missed a deadline at work, and describe to them how you managed to produce top results with a project that you were asked to do within a tight time frame.
Word your answers carefully as well. A hiring manager often deals with a large number of cover letters, and is likely to only spare each application a quick scan. Getting to the point as quickly as possible, and using key words in the right areas, helps ensure you get your message across in that short period of time.
A great way to format your examples is by using the STAR method:
By using this, you keep your examples focused and to the point, as well as giving them the details they need.
Creating a focused and powerful job application gives you the best chance to get your foot in the door for your dream role. Here at KLC Recruitment, we’re here to help you do just that. Reach out to our friendly team today to get great advice and support with your job hunt.