How to address key selection criteria in a cover letter

This article is recommended for individuals near the beginning of their careers


Having spent a significant portion of my career in the realm of recruitment, I've come to understand the importance of job seekers ably addressing the key selection criteria of a vacancy in their cover letter.

It can truly make or break your job application. This is particularly true when an employer has noted these criteria as basics.

Allow me to share with you a step-by-step guide for taking on the key selection criteria within your cover letter.


How to address key selection criteria in a cover letter

How to address selection criteria

Understand the criteria

As a start, read over each of the key selection criteria talked about in the job ad. Make sure you have a clear grasp of what the employer is looking for in a candidate.

Create a table or list

Sort the key selection criteria into a table or a list format. This will help you keep track of each criterion and your answer to it. 

Use specific example

For each criterion, give specific examples from your past work experiences, education, or other related aspects of your background that show your skills, abilities, and experiences related to that criterion. Be sure to talk about your achievements, responsibilities, and any measurable results.

Follow the STAR method

When discussing each criterion, try using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to write your responses. Describe the situation or context, the task you had to carry out, the actions you took, and the results you gained. This is a clear and concise way to show your qualifications.

Highlight relevance

Make a strong link between your qualifications and the requirements of the job. Explain how your skills and experiences align with the specific criteria and how they will elevate your success in the role.

Tailor each response

Customise your answers for each criterion to match the language and terms used in the job ad. This shows your attention to detail and that you've carefully thought about the employer's needs.

Be concise

While giving detailed examples is important, aim to keep your responses concise and focused. Avoid undue elaboration or extra details that could take away from the main points.

Prioritise & order

Cover the key selection criteria in the order of importance as shown in the job ad. If the criteria are not explicitly ranked, try addressing them in the order that best reveals your strengths and relevance to the role.


After drafting your responses, carefully edit your cover letter to ensure it is free of errors, typos, and grammatical mistakes. A well-written cover letter shows your professionalism and attention to detail.

Overall cover letter structure

Integrate your answers into the overall structure of your cover letter. Start with an introduction that briefly talks about the role you're applying for and why you're interested. Then address the key selection criteria, using a paragraph for each criterion. Finally, finish with a summary of your enthusiasm for the role and your availability for further discussion.

If you're looking for more in-depth help with cover letter writing, please click the button below to read my free e-book on the topic.


By following these steps, you'll be able to effectively discuss key selection criteria in your cover letter, making a great case for your suitability for the job.

Remember to customise each cover letter for the specific position you're applying to, as a tailored approach is more likely to capture the employer's attention.

For further assistance, I recommend you check out myfuture's article: How to respond to key selection criteria.


Are you looking for a job?

Are you looking for a job?

Now that you understand how to address key selection criteria in a cover letter, you should take a moment to check our current vacancies page.

At 11 Recruitment, we have a range of white-collar temp and perm jobs available. We're always on the lookout for top talent to place with our clients, so we encourage you to apply for any positions that are of interest.

If none of our current vacancies are right for you, you should register for job alerts. Then we’ll be able to notify you when we receive a position that matches your profile.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

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