Key Expressions When Writing Key Selection Criteria
Usually, all the pointers are there, but you need to be able to quickly interpret language. For example, you must be able to quickly discern the differences between ‘demonstrated’ ‘awareness’ and ‘understanding of’, ‘ability to’ and ‘proven record’.
Often used in reference to areas of specialisation within a range of different industry types (for example accounting, human resources, or administration)
For this descriptor, you must have actually done the work as opposed to having observed it. For example, ‘experience in analysing data’ means you must demonstrably show that you have analysed data in another role or position.
Proven record of / Demonstrated
Here, you must be able to substantiate any claims to the experience or skill, and with positive outcomes that have been documented. For example, ‘a proven record of planning, implementing and managing projects’ or ‘ demonstrated management experience in a multi-disciplinary environment’ means that that you have to document what you have specifically done and achieved in these areas.
Knowledge of, understanding of, awareness of
These expressions are often used in reference to policies, practices or the specific responsibilities of a work area. Subtle differences distinguish these terms. ‘Awareness’ involves the least amount of familiarity with a subject. For example, you are aware that a concept or policy exists but are not necessarily familiar with the details or understand the significance of the subject. ‘Knowledge of’ refers to familiarity gained from actual experience or from learning/study. For example, ‘knowledge of recent legislative changes affecting the higher education sector’. ‘Understanding’ is more than knowledge. In this instance, you may have knowledge of a policy in so far as you have read it, but understanding requires that you know why the policy was developed, who it is relevant to, why it is important and what the implications are for related policies.
Ability to, aptitude for, the capacity to
These words suggest degrees of ability. ‘Aptitude’ suggests suitability or fitness for a task or a talent or flair for a particular skill or quality. ‘Capacity’ generally means that you will be qualified to perform a particular task however you are not expected to have actual experience. For example, ‘capacity to seek and attract research funding’. You would need to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills or qualities and that these could be transferred to the position. ‘Ability’ means having the skills, knowledge or competency to do the task required.