You should never get a selection criteria writer (a ghost writer) to write your job application for you.

I want to introduce a couple of concepts, which I’ll come back to later.

What is a Resume?

 

Your resume is your whole career, in minimal depth. It is like a list. A list of:

  • Jobs you’ve had and the tasks you did in those jobs
  • Study and training you’ve done
  • Interests and maybe a statement of “who you are”.
  • There may be some awards and/or achievements listed too and some references.

It is your working career in a couple of pages. If you career was a book, your resume would be the dust jacket. Don’t know what a dust jacket is? Google it, it’s an old people thing; it’s the paper around a hard copy book that describes the book and the author.

What is a Selection Criteria?

 

A selection criteria is your opportunity to give some case studies from your work experience. If your resume says everything you have done in a little detail; your selection criteria shows what you’re capable of. It is your opportunity to talk through some specific examples of things you’ve done; to showcase your skills at their best.

Competing for a job is exactly that. A competition. It’s a competition you need to win. Coming second means missing out on the job. The selection criteria is your opportunity to give case studies from your career which the selection panel can read and decide how strong your skills are against your competition

Who Are You? Who Am I?

 

Hey what? That’s a dumb question isn’t it? I’m me and you’re you, or in your case as the reader you’re yourself and I’m me, or something like that. Anyway the point is only you know the detail of what you have done in your career, and, I have as little idea of the specifics of your career as you do of mine.

That’s not going to work if a selection criteria writer (ghost writer) tries to write your application for you. Although you can tell someone the context of a case study; they’re not going to know enough detail to be able to write a detailed response to a competitive level. How do they know the skills you used, the tactics you employed, why you did the things you did, what you were thinking and with what aim and those specific details which the selection panel will be looking for.

How Do You Assess A Selection Criteria Writers Quality?

 

Did you know you can get a response to a selection criteria written for as little as $25 or $30?  If you’ve ever even tried to write a criteria response you know it takes time; hours to write the first draft, and more time to review and refine it. How much time do you think someone you are paying $25 is going to invest in your application? Minimum wage in Australia is $19.49 per hour. The types of occupations that get paid at minimum wage rates include – labourers, community and personal service workers, sales workers, and, technicians and trade workers[1].

The average wage at a well-known fast food chain is $17 an hour. With absolutely no disrespect of those professions, if you’re planning on competing for a standard, mid-level type administrative roles, or a professional role, what value do you place on the experience and qualifications of the person writing it?

To drop a couple of clichés

  • The golden triangle of project management – time/cost/quality – pick 2.
  • If it takes me 30 minutes to do a job and it took me 10 years to learn to do it in 30 minutes, you’re paying me for the 10 years, not the 30 minutes!

If someone writes a response for you. how do you know the end result will be competitive?  What are you comparing it to or are you just going on your sense “It’s the vibe of it. It’s the Constitution. It’s Mabo. It’s justice. It’s law. It’s the vibe and ah, no that’s it. It’s the vibe. I rest my case”.

The positive reviews that the writer has, could just be from people who were happy the application was done on short notice. How many ever got an interview? How many people who left good feedback ever used that person again? You just don’t know.  


Who Actually Is The Selection Criteria Writer?

The Internet is a big place. How do you know someone who says they’re in Australia actually is? You could ask? What do you think they will answer? They’ll answer that they’re in Australia. You know that, they’ve already said they are. They’re unlikely under such a strong challenge going to roll over and admit they’re not, right?

This is a real offer on a real job on a job-sharing website from a “real” selection criteria writer[2] – read it carefully and be critical:

Real Example

I hope this message finds you well. Being a certified advanced resume writer with over 15 years in HR department, I am ready in helping you do your task in an outstanding and professional manner that will captivate the recruiter’s attention so as to see you through your dream job.

My *vocation* include;

  • Professional resume writing
  • Addresing selection criteria
  • Cover letter writing
  • LinkedIn profile update and so much more…

My *offer* revolves around;

  • Professional and interview winning resume
  • No plagiarism as your task will be a unique one
  • Several revision to your satisfaction
  • All time communication with tasks completion prior to the deadline date.
  • Assign me so as to get started as you get ready for a life changing career ahead.

The spelling mistakes are real, the language is real and the punctuation is real. They claim they are a “Certified Advanced Resume writer” and they have 20 five star reviews. Their profile picture is a pink gondola.

They have some level of skill with written English; I would question there are enough phrasings to suggest it is not their native language. Bear in mind, your written application in responding to a selection criteria forms an example of your written communication. It is difficult to claim “my written skills excellent proof of communication I have” when you sound like Yoda. What they say will be representing how you are viewed by someone who doesn’t know you.

Do The Facts Matter?

Assuming it is too difficult to brief someone who is only going to give about 30 minutes of their time to me to write your application, maybe they can just make everything up?

About that – there have been more than a few awkward silences in job interviews. Situations like:

  • An interviewee has been asked about an experience in their application and they blankly stare, or,
  • They have to ask to be told some more details about the example to help in their recollection.

It is also awkward when someone claims in their application that they were a deputy school principle; principals don’t misspell their titles!

Little things matter.

The panel will assume your integrity when you apply for a job. They will assume your integrity if you get an interview. The moment you prove otherwise, or, get found out for plagiarising part of your application from the internet (yes, another true story), or, lying about your experience – consider yourself done.

Put yourself in your prospective employers shoes – you’re looking for a new employee, do you want someone who is prepared to lie and misrepresent themselves?

The Takeaways

 

Learn to do it yourself.

In the long term it will be quicker, cheaper and more authentic. You will build skills and refine them over time. No one ever learned to ride a bike the first time they lifted their feet up and tried to pedal; you may not get the interview first time. Everyone person who persevered a learning to ride can now competently ride for distances without a second thought how they learned to do it.


[1] https://www.airtasker.com/tasks/selection-criteria-resume-review-19766843/

[2] https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ACOSS-minimum-wage-submission-2019-FINAL_web.pdf