Field Officer’s Two-Page Cover Letter Addressing Selection Criteria
The client had found a Field Officer role that he was perfectly suited to, and that would allow him to make use of his extensive experience and expertise to support a government organisation. However, upon looking at the application requirements, he was uncertain of how to best showcase his skills within the cover letter. The two-page cover letter would need to address 27 criteria points, some repeated in different categories, with some discussing very similar concepts, and within the PDF provided by the Department, these criteria spanned three pages. Deleting repetitious points and paraphrasing both to shorten ideas and merge similar criteria, I reduced the word count taken up by the criteria points to give space for meaningful examples of my client’s capabilities and experiences.
It is important to remember that the formatting of a cover letter gives you less space than you would usually have for a typical selection criteria response, so when you are working with a large number of selection criteria, it can be helpful to choose examples that let you showcase multiple criteria points. This way, you can discuss multiple points in fewer words to ensure you have enough space to reflect on each of the criteria points. For example, as a Field Officer, fire management, mentoring of staff and volunteers, and leadership experience were fundamental requirements, and the client had multiple strong examples for each. Guiding the client throughout the consultation call, I supported him in finding examples that could work for multiple criteria points, and to effectively utilise the STAR method to give useful context to the example through acknowledging the Situation, Task, Action and Result. This allowed us to find an example of leadership and mentoring of staff and volunteers that directly related to his fire management duties.
Though a clear understanding of the role and its requirements, as well as the criteria we needed to address, I was able to support my client in developing a series of very strong examples that not only responded to the selection criteria but allowed me to provide additional insight into their work ethic, dedication, and ability to manage problems and time constraints. I know that my client is a very worthy contender for the role who would positively impact their team and the wider Department, and by taking the time to find the perfect examples, I have supported them in professionally demonstrating these qualities within their cover letter. I look forward to hearing from my client to discuss the outcome of their application, and to gain feedback to improve my own skills.