Addressing the Job Criteria
HR personnel and recruiting officers go through literally 100’s of resumes for just one position. This is one of the most time consuming tasks of the recruitment process. In an effort to judge all applications unbiased and save time, they often use job criteria. When they have a specific job criteria that positively lists qualifications that match their position it makes their job of selecting a candidate much easier and saves time.
The Job criteria is a brief overview of what the employer requires in a candidate. This can include formal qualifications and “on the job” experience. It helps the recruiter to pre-qualify the candidate for the vacant position. The criteria is often stated in the job ad and/or in the job description (look for key words). It can also be stated when an employer or recruiter sends out information about a job to a prospective candidate. If it is not located in the Job ad, email or call the person conducting the recruitment of the role prior to sending in your application! This will save your time and theirs. If you don’t possess the exact criteria, talk with them about your experience and ask their opinion if you should apply.
What can YOU as the job candidate expect?
When you look at a description for a job it will state exactly what the employer needs from a candidate. This criteria is based on research into different jobs and their exact requirements-formal qualifications and “on the job” experience.
What questions can you expect?
- Knowledge: educational qualifications are usually stated. You need to assess whether the education you have fits these qualifications.
- Skills: basic and specialised skills will be presented. Again you should go through these carefully and see if you have all or at least most of the skills required.
- How the job will relate to other jobs in the company: this shows you how, as an employee, you will interact with other workers in the company doing different jobs.
How do you address the job criteria?
- Read the job criteria very carefully. Make a note of everything the job requires.
- List your qualifications and be sure they match up with the need of the job. Take your list of job criteria and go through your list of qualifications and see how many match up. If you have quite a few, then use these and do not mention other qualifications that do not pertain to the job.
- Write a selection criteria statement in your cover letter which includes all your qualifications that match the job criteria. This should not be any more than a small paragraph; don’t “waffle”, keep it professional and to the point – at this stage they really don’t care if your mother/father/friend is also doing a similar role and/or you have a Certificate in Aged Care when you are applying for an Electrician’s role! Remember they don’t have a lot of time and you want to land in the shortlist pile, NOT in the “bin”!
The advantages of using a job criteria:
- They will get better qualified candidates. This is because the prospective candidate will know exactly what the employer is looking for.
- Fewer resumes to sift through: the recruiter does not need to go through so many unqualified resumes. This will save their time.
- Better qualified employees will mean a work force that is more focused and can complete the work better. There are more chances of the employee staying with the company if they are qualified for the job.
- They know what to expect
- They do not have to waste time applying for jobs that do not match their skills or qualifications.
- They can prepare their job statement for the employer based on what the prospective employer needs.
DO’s & DON’T’s
- DO highlight the key criteria in your cover letter
- DON’T “waffle”! Keep it short and to the point
- If you meet most of the criteria but not all, DO call and discuss it with them
- If some requirements are marked “preferred” and you have these, highlight them. These are in their “wish list”!
- DO Spell and grammar check it. Attention to detail.
- DO use a professional template
- DO look for key words
Remember addressing the criteria correctly is the key to your application standing out and ultimately being successful.