This blog is a discussion about modifying old selection criteria responses to answer new or similar selection criteria.
If you’ve read any of my other selection criteria writing blogs, you’ll have heard me say constantly “don’t be lazy”. What’s this blog about? Being lazy. It’s about refining and reusing work you have already done so technically that’s efficient not lazy. It’s especially not lazy when you did the work in the first place. To rewrite the same thing again in its entirety for an almost identical question is just wasting time.
So, lets get efficient.
Similarities Between Selection Criteria
In the selection criteria frameworks blog, I discuss how almost all criteria originate in the framework document for the jurisdiction you are applying for a job in.
Using this example from the individual contributor profile, the competency area is “Understands how their work aligns to organisational objectives”
Within that are three behavioural indicators. Selection criteria will have these copy pasted into them for you to respond to. These are:
- Can describe the vision for their area
- Able to describe how their work contributes to organisational objectives
- Considers wider organisational objectives when making decisions and going about their work
They’re three different indicators, but when you look at what they are looking for in terms of behaviours you have shown in the workplace, are they so different?
Are They Different at All?
Taking out all the waffle words from the selection criteria, they become:
- <describe> <vision> <work area>
- <describe> <work contributes> <organisational objectives>
- <considers> <organisational objectives> <their work>
Now can you see some striking similarities between them?
The Parts of Speech
Describe appears in two of them, and, considers is in the other. They’re all verbs (doing words). You need to give written examples of when you have done these things to answer the selection criteria. Even if you can show you ‘consider’ something, guess what you need to be able to do? Describe it!
For all three therefore you need to be able to give a workplace example, like a mini case study, of when you have done those things.
In one behavioural indicator the outcome of what you have done/your example needs to be realising vision. The other two are realising organisational objectives. The mission or vision statement of an organisation captures what it exists to do.
All three are asking you to show when you have done something that contributes to the organisation realising what it exists to do.
The other key part of each criterion relates to the work ‘area’ or ‘contribution or ‘done by the person’. They’re all asking for work examples, which is self-evident when you think about it as it’s a selection criteria and you need to give work examples.
How They’re the Same
All three examples are asking you to give an example of something you have done in your workplace. An example of something that you did consciously to make sure the organisation was achieving what it exists to do.
For all the differences in words, when you break the selection criteria down into the question it is asking; they’re the same. That means you can use the trick of modifying old selection criteria responses to address them.
Modifying Old Selection Criteria Responses
How does being efficient and reframing an old example become a point of discussion if they’re all the same?
If you have completed the Completing Selection Criteria course or watched the free Three simple actions for improving your selection criteria responses you’ll know I say to paraphrase the criterion in your response.
I recommend doing this so that you tell the reader exactly what you are about to talk about. It also helps you talk about a relevant example or case study.
When you have a core example of something you have done, you can apply it to whichever form of question you want to. That is the fundamental idea in the Your Career Example course, where I talk about documenting you career so you can use the examples in all contexts.
Reusing or Modifying Old Selection Criteria Responses
Able to describe how their work contributes to organisational objectives
Let’s say you have an example for ‘Able to describe how their work contributes to organisational objectives’ which reads:
“I have shown I can describe how my work contributes to organisational objectives while I was employed at ABC Corporation as a customer service manager. I showed this when I was responsible for developing a new customer service unit to manage online shopping customers. ABC Corporation had invested heavily in its online presence, but it was new to the business; they’re brand and mission of “Customers first, every day, every time, any way” however was well established. When I commenced developing the new team I ensured this mission was consistent across recruitment, training material, project plans and it was communicated to staff every opportunity so it was deeply embedded in the culture”
Considers wider organisational objectives when making decisions and going about their work
To adapt that to “Considers wider organisational objectives when making decisions and going about their work” with a few small changes:
“I have shown I consider organisational objectives when making performing work and making decisions while I was employed at ABC Corporation as a customer service manager. I showed this when I was responsible for developing a new customer service unit to manage online shopping customers. ABC Corporation had invested heavily in its online presence, but it was new to the business; they’re brand and mission of “Customers first, every day, every time, any way” however was well established. When I commenced my work developing the new team I ensured the organisational objectives, particularly it’s mission, was consistent across recruitment, training material, project plans and it was communicated to staff every opportunity so it was deeply embedded in the culture”
Same Example, Different Criterion
Showing the difference in Word with compare versions you can see the first and second examples overlaid. This shows quite clearly where it is a modified old selection criteria response.
The red strikethrough text was in the first example, the red underlined text is used in the second example.
Looking at that you know clearly they are the same example, but, you are supplying this response for one criterion for one application so the readers won’t know otherwise.
The reader you are applying to is only reading the selection criteria response written specifically for the criterion, and therefore the topic sentence you write, they only read it as an example that specifically relates to the criterion.
It Takes Practice to Learn Modifying Old Selection Criteria Responses
You may not be able to do this first time you try modifying old selection criteria responses to a new criterion. It is easy to learn with time and practice.
My recommendation is to know your examples, and learn to apply them to different contexts which I cover in the Your Career Examples course.
I suggest this because that same example, could equally address a criterion dealing with customer service.
The following screen shot is taken from a customer service role position description.
While you would have to make more changes than I’ve shown above adapting to differing wording for the same criterion; the same substantive example could be related with a focus on how you engage with customers and understand them as opposed to how you align work to mission.
Talk through those details from the same ABC Corporation example and hey presto, you can answer this criterion.