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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

An Expression of Interest – the New Selection Criteria

Government employers are increasingly using an expression of interest as a format for applications. While there is no one way to tackle writing an expression of interest, it can help to have some ideas on format and content.

Most expressions of interest from applicants fall short because they:

• Lack structure,

• Don’t make a case for why they are a strong candidate,

• Try to give examples of every criterion or skill set mentioned in the job description.

To ensure you write a solid case, try the following steps:

Step 1: Carefully read the wording on how to apply. An illustrative example is:

‘Applicants are required to provide a summary (no more than 850 words) outlining your skills, knowledge and experience and why you should be considered for this vacancy. You should consider the Job Overview (including any precise position-specific requirements) when drafting your response. Where possible, include specific relevant examples of your work.

Note that you are asked to outline skills, knowledge, and experience mentioned in the Job Overview and outline why you should be considered for the vacancy. So, you need to make a case and provide an example for ‘why’.

Step 2: Thoroughly read the Job Overview and identify all the skills, knowledge and experience mentioned. The job description may be for a single role or several at a particular level. If the latter, you must pitch your case to the level of seniority of the roles. Note any selection criteria mentioned. Also, note the specifics of the roles and the common factors.

Step 3: Collect the material from which you will compile your expression of interest. This material will include a log of incidents from which you can choose your best examples.

Step 4: Write your expression of interest. This can be formatted around three sections:

A short opening paragraph that makes a concise case for why you should be considered for the vacancy, based on your portfolio of relevant skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to the roles.

Various example-based paragraphs telling stories about how you have used your role-related skills to deliver results. These stories will be structured around the details asked for – context, role, action, results. Rather than taking criteria and skills separately, look for examples that combine skills.

A short closing paragraph that could indicate the contribution you wish to make and your enthusiasm for this opportunity.

Step 5: Update and tailor your resume so that it complements your expression of interest.

An expression of interest will likely require a different approach to a set of selection criteria unless the instructions tell you to address the criteria. It is much more a selling document that captures your strengths and experience in a way that convinces the reader that you will make a valuable contribution.


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