Administration Officer (Department of Defence) -1000 word Selection Criteria


The client, a bi-lingual Police Liaison Officer, was applying for an Administration Officer role in the Department of Defence, stationed in Washington.  Before the consultation, the client provided the link to the job she was applying for, her resume and several research papers and reports that she had direct involvement with.

In preparing for the consultation, I reviewed the documents and made a list of targeted questions to go through with the client.  Throughout the consultation, we identified examples using the STAR methodology to support each claim for the criterion including:

  • Demonstrated organisational and problem solving skills, including the ability to manage conflicting priorities, and achieve work goals under pressure and with limited supervision
  • Highly effective administrative skills including ability to undertake basic financial management activities
  • Well-developed written skills and a demonstrated ability to prepare correspondence and maintain accurate and up-to-date records
  • Well-developed oral and interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate with senior military officers and other internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to use judgment and an understanding of the need to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to undertake research tasks and provide analysis for senior management
  • Ability to contribute effectively to the development of harmonious working relationships as a member of a small team, including proven initiative, cooperation, flexibility and reliability
  • Computer literacy in using Microsoft Office suite of appliances, with strong proficiency in computerised/electronic file and information management systems
  • An understanding of current Australian Defence Force operations or experience in an
  • Australian Defence environment is desirable
  • Experience in coordinating, or assisting with, events is desirable

There was a strict 1000 word limit for this application, and with 11 criteria to address, every word chosen needed to be high impact and meaningful.  The initial write up was over 2000 words.  The first editing step was to incorporate the selection criteria into the response paragraph, highlighting it in bold, saving 165 words.  From there, it was a case of ensuring every word used was high impact and added value to the application.  I liaised closely with the client to ensure that she understood and agreed with my reasoning on choosing to include some things over others.

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