Key Selection Criteria - KSC's

Congratulations – your newly upgraded resume sailed through the recruiters 10 second scan and you got a call for the interview you want. And they thought your new cover letter was perfect too.

But now they’re asking you to answer some specific Key Selection Criteria.

Why? What’s wrong?

You answered all the questions, your experience is a perfect fit for the role and you’re more than qualified. What more could they want from you other than get you straight in for the interview?

Relax – nothing’s wrong.

You’ve done well and all is going as it should. Your resume worked, your cover letter worked and obviously you’ve impressed the recruiter enough to get you to the next step. Which is…

…. the Key Selection Criteria or KSC’s.

KSC’s are the new black of the ITC job market and every employer is jumping onto the red-hot KSC trend for 3 reasons.

Rubbish Resumes - Simple as that. People got lazy and sloppy when there were plenty of ITC jobs and simply tacked the last gig onto their already long winded resume. Employers asked recruiters to provide a summary of their best candidates, but - the recruiters got sick of wading through 7 pages of fluffy job descriptions (not achievements) and irrelevant high school education results. As they ran out of time to re-write candidates resumes, they started passing the raw resumes straight to employers. Which resulted in….

Resume Overload – Every company hiring ITC people is getting hammered to deliver more with less – less people, less resources and less time. As they too ran out of time to wade through 7 page long resumes to find that one diamond hidden in the waffle - they figured there had to be a way to get the candidate to do their work for them. They were short on people and short on time so the answer they found was….

They Want It At A Glance –We look at our phones every 2 minutes for the latest news. We want headlines and summaries and updates and don’t have time to slog through the full story. Everyone’s time starved. Recruiters spend 10 seconds screening your resume. Employers want the summary from the recruiter. And we’ve all run out of time…

So the KSC was born as a way for the desperate candidate to show the lazy employer specific evidence of their achievements.

If you don’t address the KSC, you don’t get the interview, simple as that.

But this isn’t just me saying this, here’s an extract from the Victoria State Government about how to address KSC;

Six steps to addressing job selection criteria

No matter how the job selection criteria appear, follow these six steps to ensure your application covers all the required information:

  1. Read and re-read the advertisement, KSC and position description
  2. Print or save the job details and position description, so you can easily refer to them later
  3. Highlight key words in the first KSC and think about what the employer is looking for
  4. List examples of how you meet the KSC - describe relevant skills, experience, incidents, training, personal qualities or expertise
  5. Review your list and summarise, in 60-120 words, how you have demonstrated you meet the KSC
  6. Repeat these steps for the remaining KSC.

All other state governments and large corporates say the same thing – keep it short and keep it relevant.

The key here is to be short and relevant. Point 5 above spells it out for you. It’s not our words. It’s the state’s largest single employer telling you what they want.

The golden rule is 60-120 words for each KSC which is where ‘most’ people struggle.

You’ve gotta focus your effort to showcase your experience and achievements in short attention grabbing paragraphs. Your current resume already falls into the too long category so how do you expect to write a short, sharp summary when you can’t get the long version right?

I’ve been fixing peoples resumes and drafting interview-getting KSC’s for over 15 years.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence – I’ve hired lots of people and I’ve applied for plenty of jobs.

I remember the knots in my stomach sitting in front of a blank screen with the clock ticking knowing I’ve got just one night to summarize my career into 6 short paragraphs.

You are not alone… I’ve been there before and I can fix this for you.

Not convinced?

Have a look at this Test Analyst KSC example;

KSC - Demonstrated experience in preparing, leading and facilitating requirement workshops, group presentations and user training



In the process of confirming testing approaches have liaised with vendors, business stakeholders, testers and end users. This process often requires regular workshops, group presentations and user training. Have completed these tasks by;

  • Conducting daily meetings with Project Team Leads and stakeholders to confirm requirements
  • Attending SCRUM meetings with all project members to confirm / adjust testing tasks in schedule
  • Creating test plans and guidelines at DEECD project and held regular meetings with stakeholders to report on progress.
  • Writing guidelines, training documents and conducting training workshops for testers and end users, ensuring department standards were met

This resulted in endorsement from the stakeholders of requirements and testing approaches, as well as excellent knowledge transfer to team members

You get the idea. Short – sharp – relevant. 117 words and it’s all done.

So if this is the very first time you’ve been asked to present your KSC, you could avoid yourself a TON of trial and error most ‘other’ interview seekers have to go through.

I mean, c’mon… you’ve got a deadline to get this application done and your future rests on it.

So what are you waiting for?

You can either settle for whatever job you’re in now… and be happy with the money you’re earning, the hours you’re working and people you’re working with.

Or you can do something about getting a brighter future.

It’s up to you.

If I were you I’d take action and get my KSC professionally written so you can see what you’ve been missing out.

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