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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

What's the Difference Between the Selection Criteria and Cover Letter?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a cover letter and a letter addressing the key selection criteria?

It's understandable if you're confused about this. The reason why it can be confusing is because some job applications ask applicants to submit a copy of their resume, cover letter and responses to key selection criteria, while other applications simply request the candidate attach a copy of their resume and cover letter addressing the key selection criteria.

So one begs the question, what's the difference between the two?

First and foremost it's important to remember that the cover letter complements your application and is usually a one-page document that introduces you, explains why you want the role and what you have to offer.

98% of all jobs advertised will ask for a cover letter to be included as part of your application and some employers won't even consider a candidate who has applied without one. It's an essential component of the job search process and for good reason. Employers want to know that you are genuinely interested in the role that they have advertised and that you have taken the time and effort to apply.

For example, one of the main services that we provide at ClientCentric are our resume and cover letter writing service where we professionally write a candidate's CV and tailor their cover letter to a particular role. We offer this service because we know that most employers will ask for a copy of the candidate's CV and cover letter when applying.

On the other hand, selection criteria takes the application one step further. The employer sets a set of criterion that the successful candidate must meet and to demonstrate that they have what it takes to do the job, the employer requests that these key selection criterion be addressed - either in addition to the candidate's CV and cover letter, or as part of the cover letter.

When our team write quality responses to key selection criteria for our clients, we either included the responses into a cover letter or address them as a separate letter.

Remember, that yes there is a difference between a cover letter and selection criteria, and it's important to not get confused by both.


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