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Addressing Person Specifications (Selection Criteria)

What are selection criteria and why are they used? Selection criteria describe the qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience a person requires in order to do a job effectively. They are divided into: essential criteria desirable criteria.

You must meet the essential criteria to be considered for a position because without having the relevant qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience you would not be able to do the job. If you do not meet the essential criteria, you will not be shortlisted for interview. It is not necessary for you to have the qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience described by the desirable criteria, but your chances of being shortlisted are better if you do. Examples of selection criteria Apart from qualifications and experience that may be specific to a particular job, there are several selection criteria that are common to many positions. These include: ability to maintain confidentiality ability to work as part of a team ability to work independently ability to work under pressure problem-solving ability verbal communication/interpersonal skills written communication skills. Why selection criteria must be addressed For any general staff vacancy, the selection panel is required to assess each applicant in terms of how well they meet the selection criteria. Many good applicants are overlooked because they don't clearly address the selection criteria and assume that the panel will be able to read between the lines in their CV. How to address selection criteria Format and Layout There are a number of things you can do to make your selection criteria statement effective and easy for the selection panel to read. Make it a separate attachment from your CV and covering letter. Address each criterion separately: o indicate whether the criterion is essential or desirable o give each a title, using exactly the same wording as appears on the selection criteria form, e.g. 'Excellent verbal communication skills'

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list each criterion in the same order as the selection criteria form under each heading write one or two short paragraphs explaining how you meet that particular criterion (how to do this is explained below).

Content Your statement addressing the selection criteria needs to demonstrate how your previous experience, skills, education and training have equipped you to meet the requirements of the position. Below are some suggestions for what to include in the statement you write for each criterion. Highlight your relevant skills and experience by describing your major responsiblities in current or previous employment (this may include relevant non-paid work). Where possible, mention the same kinds of tasks and responsibilities as are listed in the advertised duty statement. For example: Prepare agendas, minutes and reports for the Committee. 'I have been secretary to a number of senior level University committees. My responsibilities have included organising meetings, researching background information, taking minutes, and preparing and distributing agendas, reports and minutes.' Filing, photocopying and general office duties. 'In all my previous positions I have performed general office duties such as handling telephone enquiries, greeting visitors, arranging meetings, filing, photocopying, sorting and distributing mail.'

Mention any relevant qualifications and training you have, particularly if your experience is limited. These might include: details of any relevant training courses you've attended, such as 'Effective Communication at Work', or 'Introduction to Microsoft Excel' subjects studied as part of award courses, such as bookkeeping, office practice, etc. Providing Additional Information At the end of your selection criteria statement you may like to add any extra information that you believe is relevant to the job. Alternatively you could refer to it in your covering letter. Make sure that any information you include is directly relevant to the position. Example An example of a selection criteria statement follows. SELECTION CRITERIA STATEMENT QUALIFICATIONS Year 12 or equivalent competency (Essential) I successfully completed Year 12 in 1980. I am currently studying part-time towards a Diploma in Business Administration at TAFE.

Current A Class driving licence (Desirable) I have held an A Class driving licence with no demerit points for the last ten years. KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILIITIES Excellent verbal communication skills (Essential) In all the positions I have held I have been the first point of contact for internal and external clients, both on the telephone and face-to-face. At present I have contact with staff at all levels in the University including executive deans, heads of department, academic and general staff. I also have regular contact with students and the public. I answer general enquiries, provide information about the department's policies and procedures, and welcome visitors to the department. In 1995 I attended an interpersonal skills workshop which has assisted me in dealing with sensitive issues. I have been complimented on my helpful manner and tactful approach to difficult situations. Good organisational ability (Essential) Good organisational ability is essential in my present position, as I frequently have to arrange meetings, departmental seminars and presentations, as well as travel and accommodation for overseas visitors. I am able to handle a wide range of tasks and meet daily and weekly deadlines, including payment of invoices and timesheets. In 1994 I was responsible for all the administrative aspects of organising a conference attended by 100 delegates. This involved arranging advertising, handling registrations, booking venues, accommodation, catering and entertainment, and ensuring that the conference ran smoothly. The event was successful and several delegates commented on how well it had been organised. Good written communication skills (Essential) In my current job I regularly write letters and memos on behalf of my supervisor. I have also produced two short reports on the use of computers within the department. Last year I developed a leaflet containing information about the department to help in the induction of new staff. Staff have said that they found the leaflet clear, concise and easy to read. I also assisted in writing a procedures manual for the department. The one-day workshop I attended recently called 'How to write clear, concise letters and reports' has further enhanced my skills. Ability to use initiative (Essential) As my supervisor is away from the office several times a week, I have to work independently and use my initiative to handle situations in her absence. Examples of things I have initiated in the past include a new system for handling course enrolments, which has resulted in less paperwork and quicker processing of applications; and a spreadsheet system for monitoring expenditure of departmental accounts. Both systems have been operating successfully for the last two years.

Ability to work as part of a team (Essential) I have worked in teams as large as 15 and others as small as three. I have always worked well with other team members and enjoyed a good rapport with them, both at work and sometimes socially. In my present job good team work is vital to ensure that events are organised effectively, that reports are distributed on time and that the office runs smoothly. I often volunteer to assist other team members in meeting their deadlines. EXPERIENCE Relevant office experience (Essential) I have worked at the University for the past six years, and previously in clerical and administrative positions in the private sector. The experience I gained working in the Department of Business at Warwick University in the UK is particularly relevant to this position. I have effectively performed the full range of office duties, including handling enquiries, word processing, arranging meetings, organising diaries, filing, photocopying, sorting mail, etc. Accounts experience (Essential) I am currently responsible for the payment of all accounts in my department and have been for the past three years. This includes raising purchase orders and R Forms, payment of invoices, checking of monthly account printouts, and monitoring expenditure against the budget. I am familiar with the University's Financial Records System, which I access electronically on a weekly basis to monitor account transactions. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION I am familiar with various computer systems, including the Human Resources Enquiry System and Student Records System, which I use on a regular basis. I use electronic mail every day and I am currently learning how to access information on the World-Wide Web.