Regarding writing job applications - coming from the perspective of someone who has been on the other side of hiring people, selection criteria are really important. I hope the following might be useful, it's not meant to be condescending or bossy, so I hope it doesn't read that way!
I work in a pretty competitive and specialist industry, so can often receive around 110 job applications for a single position. (most recently, a part time and low paying role).
I like to treat each and every application as worthy and read each of them (as opposed to skimming). It's a time consuming process (often takes 1.5 to 2 days to shortlist). It's really disappointing when an applicant looks to have some glimmer of skills (based on their resume) but they haven't taken the time to respond to the selection criteria.
Not responding to selection criteria does a number of things:
1. It suggests you're not serious about the job and may just be filling a Centrelink enforced quota on the number of jobs you have to apply for.
2. It doesn't tell us what we need to know about you. Selection criteria are often scenario based, it's your opportunity to tell us your experience and put all those dot points in your resume into some sort of context based on real time experience.
3. Your response to the selection criteria shows how well (or not) you understand and have read the position description. There's nothing more frustrating than cutting down 100+ applicants to a shortlist (generally no more than 6) and interviewing someone who just hasn't connected with the role and understood it.
4. Almost always, applications which do not address the selection criteria do not progress to interview. I understand it can take some time to write them, but not writing them shows you value your own time more than you do the potential employer. The potential employer is then forced to make those pesky phone calls trying to find out more about you - You need to consider what is so special about your experience that an employer should chase you? You need to set your application up to be successful.
5. Every resume we see will be a different layout and different writing style. Selection criteria evens out the playing field a bit, with every applicant answering the same set of questions. It's quicker and more accurate for employers to read a key selection criteria than it is an assortment of non-standard resumes.
6. The more time you spend responding to selection criteria, the better you'll get at responding to them. I've written enough of them, that if I am applying for other jobs, I'll often cut, paste and refine older responses. Depending on the types of jobs you're applying for, there will often be similar criteria across them. For instance, your computer skills, use of particular programs, ability to work in a team ... all these things will be asked again and again, so once you develop a decent response, it's done and apart from checking your writing fits the question (and updating it with any new experience you have) you're all good to go
Where is that suppose to go on the resume? I would like to include it but I got no idea where to put it..