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Key selection criteria (KSC) is an important part of a job application. They are an inseparable part of every ad and depending on how a person answers them, it can increase or decrease their chances of landing a job. When grouped together, they can represent a selection criteria template.

Besides job postings, selection criteria can also pop-up during interviews. It represents a set of questions that break down a person’s skills, experience, knowledge, qualification, etc.

Most common KSC questions

A recruiter can ask you a lot of different questions during a job interview. These questions are not asked randomly; instead, they are used to assess your persona and ability to perform certain tasks. In a way, you can call this set of questions a selection criteria template.

Through selection criteria, recruiters are able to quickly and efficiently reduce their lists and form new shortlists with the best candidates. In a way, selection criteria can be regarded as elimination questions.

Here is an example of a selection criteria template:

  • How much experience do you have performing a certain job?
  • Are you able to resolve a particular issue?
  • Can you use previously acquired skills for this job?

Tips when writing or answering key selection criteria template

  • Make sure to understand it properly

Oftentimes people do not fully understand what is asked of them (even if they have worked within the industry for a while). Understanding KSC is half of the battle as it can also tell you whether or not you’re the right person for the position. This will save you a lot of time moving forward. In the end, there is no point in taking a particular job if you cannot perform it the way it’s required.

  • Are your skills good enough?

This can be connected to the previous point. Basically, you need to be realistic regarding your skills and what you can give to a company. Not only do you have to assess your own skills properly but you also have to determine what might be asked of you in the future. Jobs change and evolve over time so you might be faced with some tough professional decisions going forward. Keep in mind that certain jobs require numerous skills and experience to be performed correctly. That being said, you will also have to determine what is the most important aspect of the application and whether or not you’ve mastered it.

  • Simplify whenever you can

Selection criteria questions oftentimes consist of 2 or 3 sub-questions. That being said, some of the candidates can easily get confused and present a convoluted answer. The best way to approach them is by dissecting the questions and addressing different parts separately. It is also very important to use simple language and provide concise sentences. Keep in mind that certain things can easily be mistaken and you might leave a wrong impression on whoever is reading your responses.

  • Focus on providing examples

It is much better to provide real-world examples whenever you can. STAR method is pretty good in such situations. STAR stands for situations, task, action, and result. It breakdowns common business situations and explains how you carried yourself during an ordeal. If you’re able to present your case in the right way, it can easily increase your odds of landing a job.

Today, employers can go a bit overboard with their key selection criteria template. Given that we’re living in a modern society and people are used to sending numerous applications, it is normal for hundreds of people to apply for one job. Because of that, you need to be very careful when addressing selection criteria as this can be a difference between getting a job and remaining unemployed.


If you ever applied for a governmental job, you’ve probably heard of key selection criteria.

Basically, when applying for certain positions, you have to meet basic standards. In order for recruiters to determine whether or not you’re fit for a job, they will ask you a series of questions helping them determine your business abilities, knowledge, and level of experience.

For example, certain positions may require that you have good oral skills while for others you need to be meticulous and highly disciplined.

Meeting selection criteria is the crucial part of the recruitment process; without it, you cannot expect to get a job especially when we’re talking about better paid, responsible positions.

There is also a selection panel that makes sure you possess these skills. Its main function is to determine who to put on a short-list and what kind of questions should be asked. In this article, we will cover some basics and will give you some criteria examples so you know what’s ahead of you.

What does selection criteria look like?

You can find good examples in various places such as the ad itself, job description or duty statement.

However, you might not realize this is a criterion from the get-go as most employers don’t label it in such a way. Instead, you will have to check the job posting and based on it to determine what the company is looking for and whether this is one of the questions connected to that criteria.

Here are some key selection criteria examples:

  • Candidates are required to have good oral and communication skills
  • They must be able to work in a team
  • They must be able to analyze financial records and present a long-term strategy

Needless to say, the requirements will vary from company to company and from position to position. In most cases, more responsible jobs will have more requirements although it doesn’t always have to be so.

Nowadays, it is common for companies to post numerous job requirements as they are interested in finding the best-suited candidates for a position. Oftentimes, this might go a bit overboard which is why selection criteria examples may vary from a company to a company.

Things you need to keep in mind

Like with everything else, there are certain things you have to keep in mind when answering selection criteria:

  • Understand the questions and why they are being asked. Most of them are closely related to your future position so from this alone you will be able to analyze what you’ll have to do at your future job.
  • Make yourself invaluable. The selection criteria shouldn’t only be answered in a positive way (as most candidates will do the same) but you also have to find yourself a specific niche. Find a way to make yourself extremely important and make sure to showcase certain qualities and skills which other candidates may not have.
  • Learn more about the company in advance. It is always better to learn more about the company, how long they have been in business, what their market position is, and what you can expect going forward.
  • Learn more about your position. Almost every job ad looks serious but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a high-level of responsibility.
  • Use a simple layout. Given that companies get a lot of applications, it is much better to make a mark by keeping it neat and clean. Better layout ensures that your answers are more likely to be read and taken seriously.
  • Be thorough. Sometimes, it is not enough to simply answer a question; instead, try to go into details so that a company can have a better understanding of your previous position, responsibilities, skills, etc.

In summary

If you properly understand the criteria, your answers will be much better and help you land a dream job. With these examples, you’re able to predict what kind of questions you’ll be asked and with that, prepare better for the upcoming selection process.


Most people are struggling with job interviews. Whether they are being nervous or simply faltering under pressure, there are certain issues that most of us had to deal with at one point. But oftentimes, the issue is not due to our composure. Instead, it is a product of bad preparation.

Presenting all your accomplishments, skills and experience during an interview is an arduous task. This is why we have the STAR model. It is a technique that everyone can use to make their job presentation better.

It is a model based on practical situations as a way of proving that you possess certain skills. The candidate will give examples where he or she overcame work-related obstacles.

What does STAR stand for?

It is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a pretty simple concept that works in almost all circumstances and is one of the best ways of explaining things that you encountered during previous employment. 

STAR is especially effective when answering competency-focused questions where interviewers expect you to present real-world business issues. It helps recruiters learn more about your behavior and how you employ your skills and experience when the going gets tough.

These questions are very important as companies are always dealing with new situations in an ever-changing environment. Adaptability is a trait that is highly respected in the corporative circles and can make or break your job application.

Previous performance is also important as it can outline future tendencies. The model is also a good way to determine your overall understanding of the matter and whether or not your knowledge can be used in a day-to-day business environment.

Situations where you might consider using STAR model

As already mentioned, the STAR technique can be used in most of the cases given that employers are particularly interested in practical situations. So basically, whenever you’re asked about something, you can use the model to provide a concise answer.

Here are some of the questions in which STAR model may come in handy:

  • What were the worst deadlines you had to meet and how did you handle them?
  • Have you gone above and beyond to help the company? Give us an example.
  • Have you ever had an issue with a problematic coworker? How did you resolve it?

If you’re new to job interviews, you might not realize that the STAR model is ideal for these situations. However, oftentimes recruiters will help by pointing out that you can use it for such questions. So, you won’t have to overthink it.

Breakdown of the STAR model

As already mentioned, this phrase is used to explain Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Here’s what it means in practice:

  • Situation – Real-world business situation that is relevant to the asked question
  • Task – What was your particular task in this case? What was expected of you? Even if your manager wasn’t around, what is your perception of what had to be done?
  • Action – What kind of action did you perform in order to accomplish that goal?
  • Result – What was the end result of your actions?

STAR model is pretty intuitive and is actually a step-by-step process. Everything comes naturally so you won’t have to overthink it even if you’re not completely sure what this abbreviation stands for.

If you’re actively looking for a new job, then these tips are definitely something to keep in mind. Wherever you can get an advantage, you need to capitalize on it and try to “move the needle” in order to get the dream job you deserve.


The term “positive language” is rarely used in the business world. Although we know in the back of our head that you need to be well-mannered and polite, this is often overlooked. We almost never work on our language, whether it’s written or used in direct communication. However, positive language can yield amazing results, especially when applying for a job.

In this article, we will cover some of the main reasons why you should improve your business language and how to do it. Read on!

Importance of a proper language in cover letters

If you are a young person with limited work experience, you probably don’t realize that cover letters can be even more impactful than resumes.

Basically, they allow us to say much more, to introduce ourselves properly and to sell our skillset. While resumes provide a quick breakdown of our skills and experience, cover letters are used to persuade an employer to give us a chance. They allow us to create a direct channel of communication.

People oftentimes neglect covering letters; they see it more as a nuisance. If you’re applying for lots of different jobs, such a document may even become a hindrance as you try to send as many applications as possible at once. Some people even avoid sending them.

This is a wrong approach!

Cover letters actually increase the odds of you landing a job. So, instead of applying for numerous jobs, why don’t you try and make your applications stand out with great cover letters.

Here are some of the things you can accomplish with them:

  • Introduce yourself properly
  • Give insights into your persona
  • Create a connection with your future employer prior to the interview
  • Place focus on skills, education, and experience that might be important
  • Sell your upsides while downplaying your flaws

As the name implies, cover letter is a letter of sorts; it has a personal stamp. You can say much more with it as it gives you more freedom.

However, all of that is impossible if you don’t have proper control of language. Let’s see how positive language can help you create better cover letters and where you need to place focus!


The audience is the first thing you need to consider when creating cover letters.

  • Who will read the document?
  • What kind of a person is he or she?
  • What are the company’s values?

When considering your audience, you have to consider both the individual (or individuals) reading the letter and the company as a whole. These two are not separate as top managers are often those who are most supportive of the company’s culture and goals.

In that regard, you have to put yourself in the shoes of a person with the same (or at least similar) values and goals. It is much easier to get a job if you evoke compassion in a person reading the letter. 

You should also use the voice that a company uses. For example, if you’re applying for a laid-back position or a position with less responsibility, there is no need to be too official. Same goes for relaxed, modern companies. On the other hand, people working in the medical field, engineering, finances have to have a much more disciplined and serious approach.

Professional language

Candidates oftentimes tend to be inclusive while writing cover letters. They try to create documents that can speak to everybody. This is a mistake.

When introducing yourself, it is very important to leave an impression of professionalism and experience. Don’t be shy and use technical expressions. This can only benefit you as recruiters can see that they’re dealing with an individual who is comfortable enough using professional expressions.

Personal touch

Of course, the main reason why recruiters would read your cover letter is that they want to get more information about you. They will always focus on your experience, skill set and how you can be valuable to the company. Your persona, while it will be considered, plays a small part of the whole equation.

But don’t think that limits your options. In fact, you are the one that has to leave a personal mark on the document and become likable.

Most experts will tell you that cover letter needs to be focused on your accomplishments and skills. But this isn’t its main strength. The main benefit of writing a letter is to present your character in the best way possible.

Now, you don’t have to write a novel, but the letter has to have a personal touch. Whoever reads it, has to have a positive impression about you, even though you’ve never met. With positive language and enthusiasm, you have to create an impression that you’re the best option for the company. 

With that being said, we have to mention the tricky part. Stay with us!

Avoiding “I”

One of the most common mistakes you can make is using too much I’s.

Companies are always looking for team players. If you’re able to work within an organization, you will be a welcome addition. Although individualism and independence is supported, there is a fine line between having a character and being arrogant.

Using too much personal pronoun “I” leaves the impression that you’re too arrogant, self-centered and harder to integrate as a part of the team. Usually, this isn’t the case; it is just the way people are writing letters and other documents. Still, it does leave a bad impression on a reader.

So, whenever you can, try avoiding this expression and form sentences in some other way.

Focus on active voice

When writing any type of copy or a document, you can either focus on passive or active voice. While most people are not using passive voice as it is, there are those who are. If you’re one of them, make sure to stop it and fix this mistake.

Basically, when using the passive voice, everything gets more static. It explains a state of existence; things that are as they are. On the other hand, active voice indicates movement and action. Needless to say, active voice perceived as a positive language and leaves an impression that you’re a person of action.

Recruiters will notice this and will attribute it to your persona. 

Assertive language

Assertive language is often seen as a positive language.

When writing cover letters, people are often timid. They don’t wish to be too intrusive or aggressive. This can be seen throughout the copy, based on phrasing such as “would”, “could”, or “should”. All of these phrases are ambiguous and don’t provide any certainty to the reader.

Although you might think that this is positive, it does ring-hollow. Recruiters don’t want to hire a person who might help them; they want people who will help them. Try to be assertive throughout the copy and give guarantees. Even if it’s subtle, it will stick in readers’ mind and leave the impression that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Put emphasis on goals

There is a good reason why all HR managers love the question: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Their main goal is to make a profile of the person and conclude whether or not this employee can progress and assist the company in the future. In fact, most companies are trying to find people who are willing to do more than they were asked.

Because of that, you have to place emphasis on your long term goals; you need to show ambition, positivity and initiative. If you’re only talking about past accomplishments, the reader can easily conclude that the best days of your career are long over and that you cannot add anything fresh to their company.

Be positive throughout the cover letter and make sure to talk about the bright future. Talk about your plans and how you intend to accomplish them with this company.

Finish with proofreading

Now, even if you created a great cover letter, you have to check it once again.

Proofreading is the last step of the process where you make sure that your document is flawless. Although you have to focus on grammar, you also shouldn’t neglect the positive language and the way sentences are phrased.

Use all the tips and tricks mentioned in this piece and try to implement them as well as possible. Lastly, read your whole cover letter out loud and see what kind of an impression it leaves on you.


When applying for a job, most candidates completely disregard the cover letter. Instead, they just focus on providing a well-rounded resume. Not having a covering letter seems unprofessional and is one of the most common reasons why people get rejected.

Basically, cover letters are used as a way of introduction. While resumes will contain most of your personal data and will rarely be changed, cover letters have to be adapted and modified whenever you apply for a new position.

There are several things that can be accomplished with a cover letter such as:

  • It is the best way to introduce yourself
  • You can talk about your previous experience in the industry and how it can serve you for the new position
  • Candidate should talk about motivation; why did you apply for a particular position in a particular company
  • It sets a tone for your resume

As the name implies, this document serves as a “letter” of a sort. In other words, you can use it to create a meaningful text, something that resume’s form usually doesn’t allow. Unlike resumes, where you mainly use bullet points and short sentences, the cover letter is much more wholesome and natural-sounding.

However, that doesn’t mean you should use it to tell your life story. Like CV, it should be short, up to point and it has to have a call-to-action. Similar to resume, it is a promotional tool that allows recruiters to learn more about you. 

Main elements of a cover letter

Keep in mind that creating a such a document is not an exact science; there are no rules in terms of what you need to include. However, given its form, there are certain elements that are necessary so that the document makes sense and helps you achieve your goals.

Basic contact details

Similar to a real letter, you need to add basic contact details. Make sure to put your name, phone number, and email in the top right corner. When reading it, the recruiter has to have the option of quickly contacting you. Pay special attention to your email; make sure to create an address that looks presentable.

You shouldn’t add anything else, like a street or postal code. There is no need to go overboard as you have to be careful with the amount of information you’re providing.

Proper introduction

Every letter to a stranger has to have a proper introduction. But before we get there, make sure to add the name and details of a person that you’re contacting. Put first and last name, position within the company and contact details (preferably just email).

Oftentimes, it is really hard to find this information. Bigger companies have lots of employees in their HR department so you never know who is going to receive it. Nevertheless, you can put the information for the main HR manager; this is usually the safest bet. In the worst case scenario, if you can’t find anything, you can just put “To whomever it may concern”.

The first line is the most important one. Tell the recruiter who you are and why you are contacting the company. Be cordial at all times and try to sound as natural (but professional) as possible. Put the name of the position you’re applying for. Showing some enthusiasm from the get-go is also a positive thing.

Skills and experience

There are two main advantages to creating cover letters: you can make normal human contact with a person and you can also showcase your skills and experience.

If you have a long professional history, there is probably some information you’re omitting from a resume for the purpose of being short. In the cover letter, you can mention all the skills, experience, situations, issues that you’ve dealt with and that can help you perform the job better. At this point, you’re trying to leave a good impression on the recruiter and persuade him or her that you’re the best person for the job.

Companies usually have specific requirements (for example, you might need specific skills for the position). Even if you have limited experience or skillset, the cover letter can be used to discuss them and present yourself in a better way. On the other hand, if the company is focusing on a particular skill and you’re great at it, you can write more about it and showcase your proficiency.

This is especially important for individuals who have changed a lot of jobs and companies. Unlike your resume, where information may get diluted, covering letters help you focus on one thing that a company needs.


Call-to-action or CTA is a common tool that marketing experts use.

It is not enough to simply provide information; you also have to persuade a person to act. After finishing the text, you can place a call-to-action such as “Looking forward to hearing from you”. This might seem like a small thing but it does work and helps put a bit more pressure and urgency on a person.

Things you should avoid

Like with resumes, things that are redundant are often the main reason why we lose a chance. This item has to be clean and on-point. Here are some things you have to focus avoid at all costs.

Bad grammar and typos

Bad grammar and lots of typos can big deterrent to recruiters especially if you’re applying for a high-profile, well-paid position.

Too many mistakes can indicate a lack of discipline and attention to details which can be disastrous in the modern business world. While programs such as Microsoft Word have their own grammar checkers, you should always double-check everything before sending. There are also tools such as Grammarly that can help you with that.

Anyway, if you’re uncertain about your skills as a writer, you can always hire a resume writing company to help you out with that.

Keeping resume and cover letter together

As already mentioned, cover letter and resume have different purposes. Although lots of people realize this, there are still those who put the cover letter and resume in the same document.

These two always have to be separate as they have a different purpose. In fact, while your resume will most likely be kept and printed for later use (if you get to the interview), the cover letter is usually read once. So, in that regard, there is no real reason to keep them together. By doing so, you’re just making a clutter which can be a bad sign for recruiters.

Too much use of “I”

One of the most common mistakes is using the personal pronoun “I”. It always looks like a sign of arrogance and it can severely impair the flow of the letter. While it is really hard to completely omit it, try to reduce it to a minimum. Instead, try focusing on different phrasing.

Mentioning other companies

Even if you’re currently employed or being recruited by another company, it is something you should always avoid mentioning.

You need to focus on the company you’re applying to; you need to sell your skill set to them. If there are too many things going on in your life, it is best to keep it under wraps. Mentioning other employers will not provide any benefit but instead, it might deter the company from hiring you.

If you do have to mention other company, mention them in a positive or at least neutral light.

Additional tips to keep in mind

Here are some other things you need to consider prior to creating a letter.

Learn more about the company

The first thing that you have to do is learn more about the company. How are they rated as employers? What kind of benefits and salary can you expect? What are the working hours?

Luckily for you, most of this information you can find online. Start by checking their site and “About us” page. But, keep in mind that this isn’t enough as companies always present themselves in the best light possible. Instead, make sure to go to YouTube and see what other people have to say about them. You can also ask around on the web, through various sites such as Quora or Reddit.

You have to learn more about their culture and values. Even though you don’t have much space when writing a cover letter, if you present yourself as someone who shares these values, you can significantly increase your chances of success.

Learn more about the position

Oftentimes people are desperate to get a job and they tend to neglect all the negative information coming their way.

Certain jobs can be much worse than they look initially. Make sure to ask around about the position.

  • When was the job opening first posted?
  • Is it the first job opening of this kind for that company?
  • What happened to the previous person who applied for the job?
  • What is expected from you?

If you get more information about the job, it will be easier to modify your cover letter. With this knowledge, you can give the company exactly the person they’re looking for.

Use an appropriate language

As mentioned, language has to be adapted to the company. Not only do you need to show that you’re sharing the same values but you need to use lingo that is common within the industry. This shows that you have experience working on similar jobs and that you can quickly become a part of the team.

In terms of professionalism, you will also have to adapt. Some jobs and companies are more relaxed, so you might want to consider using a more casual phrasing. For jobs that allow less creativity, make sure to sound rigid and disciplined.

Use visual aids

Now, you don’t have much leeway when it comes to creating cover letters. In the end, they need to look clean and neat. But, that doesn’t mean you cannot do anything with them. Small changes in the font can go a long way. You can also use a cool watermark for presenting personal data. Again, it all depends on the job, the industry, and the company you’re applying for. Make sure to perform tests before sending the piece and see if this is the right approach; you don’t want to lose a chance just because you took a big risk on visual appearance.


There are numerous things that need to be considered when writing a cover letter. As an inseparable part of your job application, you need to give it proper thinking and research prior to creating it. In the end, it is a document that can have a big impact on your career.

On the other hand, if these tips don’t help and you’re still not certain how to approach the issue, you can always contact our team of professional career counseling experts. We have tons of experience and are here to help you with everything you need.

Happy job hunting!


Back in the day, creating a document with a bunch of words on a blank page was sufficient enough to get you a job. You didn’t have to be too creative; all you needed was Microsoft Word and you could make a well-rounded resume.

However, things have changed over time. In order to be noticed, you have to start by having an amazing CV that is also well-optimized for resume checkers. Writing information on a blank page will no longer cut it.

Luckily for you, there are various writing checkers and applications that can help you out with this.

Keep in mind that different software will help with different tasks. Some of them are primarily used for infographics and videos while others are used for text resumes. Ultimately, your choice of CV checker will depend on the position that you’re applying for. If you’re going for a marketing job, perhaps you should rely on infographic tools. On the other hand, stricter positions may demand a focus on text applications.

We tried lots of different resume checkers prior to creating this list. Our main goal was to compile the best of the best; a list that will truly help users avoid applications that are subpar. During the elimination process, we focused on 5 major factors:

  • User-friendliness

If you’re using a new application for the first time, it is very important for it to be simple and intuitive. You really don’t want to waste too much time learning about various features. So, we made sure to focus on products that are extremely user-friendly and that you can start using from the first day.

  • Free trial

While the free trial option is not always necessary (as you can tell by online reviews which software is regarded as premium), it does instill confidence in a buyer. In the end, if a company decided to provide a free trial for their resume checker, they are most likely confident in their product and its high quality. 

  • Focus on the tool

Like in every other industry, it is not uncommon for resume writing companies to create their own tool which they will then sell to users together with their services. The main point of buying a CV creation software is so you can make a good resume yourself; there is no real reason to pay for both the product and the service. So, we made sure to include only professional tools that don’t upsell on resume writing services.

  • Quality of the product

Having a simple, easy-to-use software is just one part of the purchase. You also have to buy a tool that gives you good results. In that regard, we made sure to include software that allows you to create awesome resumes (based on our opinion) while also making the creation process simple.

  • Regular updates

No matter what you may think, resume creation is a dynamic process and trends tend to change rapidly. CV design that is popular this year will fade away in a year or two forcing candidates to always stay in touch with trends. This is why constant updates providing new features and new templates are something that needs to be considered when choosing a resume creation tools.

Top 7 resume checkers

Without further ado, let’s start with our list!

1) Canva

Canva is known as one of the best graphic design tools on the market and of course, it can also be used for the creation of resumes. Compared to all other software on the list, this program gives you the most options for customization.

If you wish to create an infographic resume, this is definitely the resume checker you need to keep in mind. Unfortunately, its biggest advantage is also its biggest drawback: the software gives you a lot of options in terms of design, templates, colors and so on which can be really overwhelming for inexperienced users.

Even though Canva can be used for pretty much anything, it is really great for creation of graphic-rich resumes. There are several plans to choose from and if you don’t use premium elements and instead focus on the free ones, you can even create a CV without paying anything.

2) Visme

Visme is another great resume checker tool for creating an infographic CV but it does have fewer options than Canva. Again, this isn’t necessarily a drawback as you probably don’t need that many options anyway. Due to this limited number of options and features, as well as the good categorization of elements, new users can quickly and easily create their infographic-based resume.

The software has some amazing sharing options allowing you to send your work directly to emails, job sites or post it on social media. The biggest flaw of this tool is the fact it doesn’t allow you to make a single purchase. Instead, a person has to subscribe for a monthly package. Although it has free elements like Canva, there is a few of them so you likely won’t be able to create a nice CV without going all-in.

3) Visualize.me

LinkedIn and other social platforms have become extremely important for landing a new job. Most companies check candidates’ social profiles prior to calling them for an interview. So, in that regard, you also have to pay some attention to how your LinkedIn profile looks like.

Visualize.me is a tool that helps you make an interactive resume for your Linkedin profile. It works by relying on your LinkedIn data and creating a template around it. The template shows your career timeline and users can hover over individual information to get additional insights. It is a really intuitive, simple and allows you to focus on the most important things.

So far, there is a limited number of options in terms of design, fonts and so on but given that the tool is still in its early phases, we can expect to see more in the future. While sharing the resume is free, you will have to pay for downloading and printing it. Keep in mind that this resume checker is not exclusive for LinkedIn; you can also use it to share resume on a site or through other social media and email.

4) CakeResume

If you’re looking for a way to create a custom CV, this is one of the best tools on that market to help you out with that. CakeResume gives you numerous options. It is based on a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to customize each section of a resume. You don’t have to use only one template, with one style you can create several underlying themes.

Keep in mind that CakeResume is primarily used for the creation of textual CVs. Still, you have the option of adding images, your profile picture, as well as other multimedia (if you wish so). The software is pretty intuitive although it has a bit different features compared to other apps on the market. Its biggest drawback? It takes some time to master. However, it also gives you a lot of options in terms of creating a unique-looking resume.

Lastly, we have to mention that CakeResume is completely free if you only make one CV. For creating numerous documents, you will have to subscribe.

5) VisualCV

Visual CV is the perfect example of a resume checker.

The tool focuses on an existing document and enhances it. Once you upload a finished resume, it will add all the elements into a new template. It further polishes the information leaving you with a good final result. Needless to say, this product is ideal if you wish to update your existing information and put them in a more modern, trendy template.

Like most other programs on the list, VisualCV is free if you’re using only the free elements. There are also lots of premium ones including charts, portfolios, background images and more. Although the free option is great, you might also want to consider the paid one. Unfortunately, it does require a 3-month subscription which can be too long for casual users who only wish to create one CV.

While this Curriculum Vitae checker is great, it does have limited use. So, you might wish to try the free option before going all-out.

6) Uptowork

Uptowork is another great polishing resume checker app. With it, you can go through existing CV and discover all the issues. The program will give you tips on how to improve things. Uptowork is especially great for beginners as it provides lots of valuable recommendations guiding you through the process of resume creation.

The program is really intuitive, simple and does most of the work for you. It will help you modify information as you go, molding them according to current HR trends. Nevertheless, it does have certain design options, allowing you to play with spacing, colors, and design.

Uptowork shows most potential when dealing with existing templates. It doesn’t have as many design options as some other tools so if you’re an advanced user, you might want to avoid it and go with some other programs that have more advanced features.

7) Adobe Spark

This software was made by Adobe which instantly tells you their focus is on design.

Adobe Spark is a tool that allows you to create an interactive resume even if you have no experience whatsoever. Currently, there are 13 themes to choose from; your main task will be to add text, images, videos, and links.

The software gives you a lot of sharing options. Unfortunately, the biggest issue is that you have to start from the ground up. It doesn’t give you any standard templates which can pose a problem for most users. However, it does make up for it when it comes to quality of the final product. You can even use an existing resume and paste it into the tool making it more interactive.

While there is a free option, it is rather limiting. Not only will you have to use free samples but there will also be an Adobe logo on it. The only way to remove it is by subscribing.


There are lots of resume checkers and tools out there.

As you can see, they have very different features and can help you in different stages of the CV creation process. Furthermore, you can choose based on your proficiency, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate.

No matter what, they are a great solution for people who are actively looking for a job. Using a plain template is no longer enough; you need to work a bit to create the ideal resume. But, once you do it, you can rest assured that more and more interviews will be coming your way.



If you’re applying for a job in Australia, non-profit or academic sector, you’ve probably heard of the term key selection criteria (KSC). This expression is often tossed around by the governmental bodies and headhunters but only a handful of candidates know what it actually means.

Basically, key selection criteria is used as a way of filtering the candidates and deciding which ones are best suited for a position. Due to its importance, you cannot take it lightly. Instead, make sure to learn more about KSC before applying for the desired position.

In this article, we will talk more about key selection criteria, how to answer them and how will they affect your ability to land a job. Read on!

How do you define selection criteria?

As the name might imply, selection criteria is a set of principles that help public agencies select the right candidates for a job. They are created by HR departments working within particular agencies or organizations.

In our case, key selection criteria are a set of questions that a department will ask a candidate during the recruitment process. They are used so that the HR department can learn more about a candidate, his or her skill set, experience and so on.

KSC usually focuses on the practical application of said skills. In most of the cases, a candidate will be asked somewhere between 6 to 8 questions. Occasionally, the HR department may categorize these questions in the essential or the desirable criteria. Needless to say, essential deals with crucial skills and experience.

Is key selection criteria necessary?

Some candidates may think that these principles are unnecessary especially if you have a wholesome resume. That they are just a waste of time. This is especially true for individuals who have worked within the private sector for most of their lives and don’t know anything about public organizations.

But they are more than just a procedure; without answering these questions, you won’t be able to land an interview. In fact, the application is regarded as incomplete if you’re unable to provide selection criteria together with a resume and whatever else a particular department needs from you. This is usually disclosed within a job ad.

Keep in mind that the selection criteria may help recruiters unravel some things about you that a regular CV cannot.

How are selection criteria scored?

Like with most other things during the vetting process, answers you provide are being scored. Each one is addressed individually and a certain amount of points is given to each response. In that sense, they are very similar to school tests.

Each criterion is used to asses one of your skills or to analyze how you behaved in particular situations. Those individual scores are then summed and you are given a total score. The final mark indicates whether or not you have passed. If you have, you will go to the next phase of the process, usually the job interview.

Always bear in mind that a candidate doesn’t have to answer all questions perfectly. Still, you need to show that you’re good enough for a position. Basically, the majority of questions should be met with an appropriate response. At least 80% of them to be precise. Forcing yourself will not help you even if you land a job. Instead, it is much better to answer these questions honestly and the department will tell whether or not you’re the best fit.

The best way to write KSC answers

Now, we come to the crucial part. Although you might have just the right experience and skill set to perform a certain task, you still have to be able to present it in the right way. “Selling” your skills is the best way to get a job so make sure to address key selection criteria properly with these tips:

  • Focus on the question. Make sure not to stray away or provide any additional information besides the ones that will help you get a job. Being short is oftentimes better than being too long. It will also create a better response in readers.
  • Focus on practical experience. While having a certain type of education is great, public organizations are more interested in people who can instantly help them and perform particular tasks.
  • Give real examples. Make sure to mention the problem, your approach, why you chose that approach and what your end results were.
  • Don’t overdo it or present yourself in a different light. Like with resume, faking information is never good as public departments are able to check you easily.

The government heavily relies on a method known as STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result). We recommend that you also use it for answering the criteria.

Writing these answers may seem really tricky. As you can see, there are lots of requirements that you have to meet. Furthermore, if writing is not your forte, it might become even harder. So, if you’re uncertain of whether you can pull it off, there are two choices ahead of you: either ask a friend or a family member for assistance or hire a resume writing company. No matter what, if you wish to get a job in a public sector this is something you will have to address sooner than later.

How important is formatting?

Almost everything within public service is structured so there is no confusion. Same goes with the formatting of selection criteria. Each one has to look the same and this is something that employers emphasize on. In fact, you will get instructions telling you which format to use so there is no confusion.

Commonly, there will be a guide for applicants where this information will be disclosed. This may either be the ad itself, on-site or on some other noticeable place accessible to all applicants. Anyway, you shouldn’t miss it. The help section will tell you which format to use, what font, how long the responses should be, how the answers should be formulated and so on.

The length of a response

As already mentioned, most organizations will provide instructions regarding the formatting. However, if there is no instruction regarding the length of the response, here are some of the tips that might help you:

Make sure that your answer is brief and up to point. You shouldn’t make an answer longer than half of a page. However, it also shouldn’t be too short as this will not provide enough information.

Being uncertain regarding phrasing

In most cases, when asking a question, the department will use phrasing such as “proven” or “demonstrated”. It is really hard to tell what a “proven track record” is or whether or not you’ve “demonstrated leadership”. Interpretation of these phrases is very subjective and may vary significantly from case to case. No matter what, you need to provide some kind of an answer.

Depending on where you’re applying, you can guess as to what is organization is looking for. Certain jobs may require discipline while others require creativity. No matter what, make sure to structure your responses so that you provide an answer they’re looking for, in a form they’re looking for.

Is this the right path for you?

Even if you managed to write proper key selection criteria, you might feel as if something is off. This is normal as there are numerous requirements when writing them. You might feel that your answers are subpar or that they won’t help you land a job. So, before sending your answers, here are some final considerations you need to keep in mind:

  • Is this really a job you want? Even if you have the necessary skills or education, perhaps this isn’t something you would like to do.
  • Are you answers adequate? Oftentimes, candidates cannot provide good enough answers because they don’t have the necessary skills or experience. You might notice this once you start writing or even worse when you finish writing the criteria.
  • Do you feel as if you cannot answer some of the questions? This is a good indication you lack expertise. So, instead of wasting your time, perhaps it’s better to find a position that is better suited your current skillset.

Final thoughts

Key selection criteria exist for a reason. It is meant to reduce the number of candidates searching for employment within the Australian public sector. They can also be eye-opening for the job candidates. If you’re unable to write it, that is a clear indication you don’t have what it takes to perform the task. Make sure to keep that in mind as it might save both you and recruiters a lot of time.



Regardless of the position you have in a company, it is really important to behave professionally.

By behaving the right way, not only are you improving the odds of getting a promotion but you’re also representing the organization in the right way.

You can say that professional behavior is a set of social rules that have to be abided while at work. Some people think that these rules only apply to your interpersonal relationships but this isn’t entirely true. It also refers to your knowledge or company’s vision, mission, and preferred behavior while with clients. For example, if you’re a mascot, your main goal is to stay in the role while promoting products and services.

Basically, professional behavior is behaving the way a company wants you to behave while also being respectful to your fellow co-workers. Interpretation of what professional behavior is can also vary based on the profession and industry you’re working in.

In order to help you out, we’ve created a list with 12 tips that will help you behave professionally. Read on!

Always consider your appearance

Let’s start from your physical appearance. First and foremost, you need to consider the company’s policy regarding the outfit and never stray from it. You also need to look clean all the time. Unfortunately, there are some people who have a different perception of what tidy is and may go for a kitschy outfit or inappropriate makeup. Best thing to do in these situations is to consult with your senior if you’re uncertain whether your appearance is appropriate for this job.

Learn more about the company’s values and goals

Almost every company has a set of values they abide by. Once you land a job, it is necessary to speak with your manager and learn what these goals and values are. You might also want to learn more about professional conduct imposed by the organization. This will affect everything you do from this point onward. Needless to say, you shouldn’t work for a company that has opposite beliefs to your own. However, if these values don’t go against your own, you should adapt to them.

Talk with the manager about previous mishaps

If you’re uncertain as to what to expect from a new company, its best to ask your superior about previous mishaps. This is especially important if a company has a specific set of rules or if they’re doing something different from most other organizations. The superior can give you a few examples of the previous blunders and how employees should’ve behaved in such situations. Sometimes, you might make a mistake without even realizing it and offend some of the higher-ups. Although this might sound a bit silly, it is much better to learn from other people’s mistakes than to make your own.

Be respectful

Respect is a word that is often tossed around in the business world. However, there is a good reason for it. We are all different individuals and there are some things that people simply won’t stand for. So, especially if you’re new, make sure to be polite, forthcoming, ask for feedback, listen to your seniors and try to behave the same way you would with any other authority figure in your life. Don’t try to get too friendly with co-workers from the get-go but instead, let the relationship build itself over time.

Focus on open communication

In most of the cases, issues occur due to lack of communication. One of the most important skills for an employee is to be a good listener. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking with the boss or some of the team members, you need to take note of what they’re saying. Paying attention to body language is also important as it can provide you with some extra information. But at the same time, you shouldn’t be too timid avoiding conflict at all costs. Sometimes, conflict is important to resolve an issue. Sweeping problems under the rug will only make them emerge later on, in a much more severe form. With that being said, we come to our next tip.

Manage your language and emotions

One of the biggest hindrances to open communication and proactive problem-solving communication is our language and emotions. People often get offended by the things said to them. But communication shouldn’t always be used to drive a point or defeat someone; instead, it is used to resolve the issue at hand. That being said, you shouldn’t take personally what other people are saying to you. Employees have to keep their head on their shoulders, be rational and avoid using foul language regardless of how they’re feeling. Not only is this a sign of professionalism but it will also help you resolve the issue quicker.

Time management

Professionalism is also seen through time management. Successful employees are able to do everything on time without having to take work home or endanger current projects. Time management is not only a sign of professionalism but also affects your productivity more than anything else. It’s also worth mentioning that not everyone has this skill; it is something that is developed over the years. But, if you wish to progress in your line of work, it is important to hone it as soon as possible.

Honesty and culpability

Oftentimes, employees are prone to covering for their mistakes in a hope that the management will not find out. However, these things are always discovered putting you in an even worse situation. Honesty is the best way to go. By being truthful and forthcoming, you gain more respect in the eyes of your peers and you look more professional at the same time. Taking the blame for your mistakes is the best way to grow and even if your superior gives you a hard time, you will learn from that experience.

Being a team player

Every company appreciates team players. In the end, there will be lots of friction and conflict as you go forward so being able to handle such situations is of the utmost importance. A good team player will work together with other employees, respecting their ideas and opinion. Always remember that your main goal is to achieve results and if you work in a team, you cannot overlook other participants.

Managing your social media accounts

Today, companies are well aware of what their employees are doing online. All of us have social media accounts and sometimes, posting something stupid can affect a company’s reputation. If you’re not managing your accounts properly, it shows that you lack professionalism and can also be a reason for termination of a contract. Ideally, you can keep your accounts private so that only friends and family can see what your posting.

Staying positive

Sometimes, there is more to professionalism than our interpersonal relationships. Our impact on the employees can also be considered professionalism or lack thereof. Good employees will always pick up other team members and provide support when it’s needed. They will comfort them and help them get through a rough patch. The best way to do this is by staying positive no matter what’s happening. You cannot look backward but instead, you have to focus on tasks ahead.

Reacting properly to situations

Putting yourself in a favorable position is always perceived as a negative thing. Employees always have to start from themselves when judging a situation or work performance. No matter what, you shouldn’t scrutinize others for something that you would’ve done or have done in the past. Instead, it is much better to provide support and point out their mistakes. On the other hand, you need to be careful with this approach because if you’re a workaholic or a perfectionist, you cannot expect everyone to follow your model of behavior. You need to help others develop their skills without pushing them overboard or imposing unrealistic expectations.


As you can see, there are lots of different things that are perceived as professional behavior.

Sometimes, these factors may vary from company to company but in general, they are usually the same. In a nutshell, you need to treat other employees like you would your friends by showing them respect, listening to their ideas and supporting them when needed. At the same time, you should never forget that you’re at work and that certain types of behavior are unacceptable.

With these tips, you will be able to do just that.



At one point during a job interview, a recruiter will ask you if you have any questions. This is usually done at the end of the interview and is a good opportunity for an interviewer to learn something more about you.

However, although it might seem benign, this question section can be detrimental for your success. Candidates that have no questions to ask usually seem disinterested. Even worse, they might not have thought about any questions which make them look even more unprofessional.

Having an opportunity to ask some questions is very important for you. Not only will you look more interested in the job, but you can also learn some new things about the position and whether this is the right thing for you.

Here are some of the best questions you can ask recruiters during a job interview.

1) How long has the position been open?

This is something that you should always ask. If the position has been open for a long time, this shows that either the manager is too picky or that no one wants the job. With this question, you might also discover that the position is constantly open indicating there are lots of people coming or going from the company which is never a good sign. On the other hand, if the position just opened, you might want to relax a bit and to wait for all the candidates to be interviewed. If you’re instantly accepted, this might be a bad sign as it may indicate they are eager for a workforce.

2) What is the reason behind the open position?

If you had any doubts previously, this question can give you some additional insights. If the company is losing lots of employees, recruiters will certainly never mention this. Still, through their reaction, you can conclude whether or not the job opening is due to a bad situation in the company. Ideally, the company is growing so they need more people or the previous employee got a promotion. Both of these answers are good signs and can tell you that this is the right job for you.

3) Who will I be working with/under

Now, if you’re new to the industry, asking this question probably won’t give you any insights. But, if you know the people working in this company, you can decide whether or not you wish to work under this superior. The same goes for the team. Given that you will be cooperating with these individuals on a daily basis, it is much better if you know who you’re dealing with. Who knows; this can also be a good learning opportunity if you get the right mentor. Oftentimes, the manager will attend the meeting so you will likely have an opportunity to meet him or her face to face. So, even if you don’t know much about the company or its employees, you might learn something new during the job interview.

4) What are the main skills needed for the job?

One of the main reasons candidates don’t succeed at a new job is because they’re not qualified enough. Although you might be eager to start working in a new organization, that doesn’t mean you should accept any type of job. In fact, a certain type of experience can even pose a problem for your career if you’re situated in a smaller city. By accepting a job you’re not suitable for, you will only be losing time. No one benefits from this so it’s better to ask in advance and see if you’re the right person. On the other hand, if you think that you got most of the skills required, you can focus on them during the future interviews for the company.

5) What kind of results are expected from me?

Like with skills, it is very important to know what a company is expecting from you. If you have the necessary skills and experience but you’re uncertain if you can meet the demands, you should at least be aware of this. Company’s requirements can pose a problem for you if you’re unable to deal with the workload but it can also be a good opportunity to get a bigger paycheck. Professionals who have lots of expertise can use this information to their advantage as they negotiate the compensation package and other benefits.

6) What can you tell me about the company?

In most cases, the interview with a recruiter is just the first step of the process. Afterward, you will have a talk with the manager and get some additional information. Nevertheless, it is much better if you get a head start. Learn more about the company, their current growth (or lack thereof), market share and all other things that can show whether this is the right environment for you. If you have several offers at the same time, it is very important to sift through the companies and see which job has the best potential.

7) What is the interview process?

You should also learn how the next interview will look like. This will give you some extra time to prepare, to learn about potential mishaps and all the issues that might cost you the job.

8) How did the recruiter get your name?

If a recruiter approached you without you applying for a job, it is very important to know how he or she learned about you. Did someone recommend you? Have they found you via a social network? Asking this question is very important for your future job hunt. For example, if you have several social profiles and everyone is reaching you via Linkedin, this means you should professionally focus on this network and pay more attention to what you’re posting. If you got recommended by an old employer, it would be wise to call the company and thank them for their assistance. Who knows; they might recommend you for some future jobs as well!

9) Is there a chance for promotion?

Most candidates would like to know more about the potential for promotion. And who can blame them? If you get stuck on a dead-end job, this will be bad for your career. Companies that offer possibilities for promotion are usually bigger organizations with lots of different departments. Not only will this allow you to grow within the company and increase your paycheck but it will also be good for your resume. This is especially important if you applied for an entry position.

10) What is the compensation package?

One of the most important questions, one that you should ask from the get-go, is about the compensation package. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t only be interested in the paycheck but also all the benefits that the job is bringing. In certain professions, bonuses can be quite high so that is definitely something you should look into. Asking about the compensation is also a professional thing to do. It shows that the other companies are looking for your services and that you have to measure what is your best option. If a candidate doesn’t ask this, it will be easy for the recruiter to presume that a person doesn’t have any other option which can be tricky.


Although young job candidates find interviews to be annoying or stressful, they are a great chance to learn more about a company.

Every information that you learn can be used to your advantage to make the best out of it. You should try to learn more about the company, the team, job requirements as well as your potential paycheck. This is especially important for candidates that have several offers in front of them.



Unlike what most people may think, executives also need a lot of coaching in order to excel at their job. Most executives are pretty raw when they get a promotion as they experience various issues leading a team and making decisions. This is why executive career coaching has become such an important factor for companies and individuals alike. A coach can help you out learn more about your new post, its requirements, how to handle individuals, make tough decisions on a daily base and so much more. Like most other professions, executive coaching is constantly changing. Innovations are being introduced each and every year. That being said, here are some of the major trends that will affect career coaching for executives in 2019.

1) Increase of regulation

Nowadays, the coaching industry is pretty chaotic. Everyone can be a coach regardless of their knowledge or experience. The trend is pretty ridiculous but is also common for new professions. Having in mind that coaching is going nowhere in the near future, we can expect that it will become more regulated. This is especially true when it comes to executive coaching. The Importance of this profession cannot be overlooked; in the end, it affects some of the biggest companies on the market. This is why in near future we can expect more laws when it comes to executive career coaching, state and federal testing and licensing and so on.

2) Institutionalisation

Now, it is really hard to predict whether or not coaching will be taught in colleges. However, we can safely presume that it will be more featured within institutions and will become a part formal and informal education. Private schools may start teaching new coaches, providing licenses, and dealing with other things related to executive coaching. This isn’t particularly surprising if we presume an increase in regulation. Unlike some other newer professions, this one is likely to stay.

3) Greater acceptance

Like most new things, lots of executive and companies find it hard to accept executive coaching. For them, this is still a new thing that hasn’t been tested and might even produce negative results on company performance. However, as time goes by, it will become more obvious that the coached executives are able to provide better results for their organisations. Because of this, both executives who wish to propel their careers, as well as companies that wish to improve its internal processes, will start supporting career coaching for executives.

4) Becoming an integral part of companies

Major global companies have a constant fluctuation of employees. Lots of them will get promoted along the way so they need improvement. As a result, don’t be surprised if coaching departments become an integral part of companies. You will no longer have periodic seminars and training. Instead, they will become a constant part of the development process. This is especially true for executive training given its importance on the company. However, it probably won’t appear in all kinds of companies; just in bigger ones.

5) Industry-specific executive coaching

At this point in time, executive coaching is a general field meant to educate any type of company executive. No matter what kind of an industry you’re working in, you can be taught some basics. As the profession becomes more vigorous and companies try to get a competitive edge for their managers, we can expect that executive coaching will slowly start to branch out and specialize in specific areas and industries. So, in future, we might have car industry executive coaches, IT executive coaches, textile industry executive coaches and so on.

6) More nuances

Because of specialization, we can also expect to see more nuances. Executive coaching will become tailor-made for individuals and the processes, as well as methodology, may change in order to adjust for specific personal characters, industry requirements, teams that executives are leading and so on. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if team members become a part of the process given that the executive has to adjust to them. That being said, there might be more emphasis on communicational and interpersonal skill development.

7) Merging with other talent-specific services

Improving their employees’ skills has long been on the main focus of companies. Basically, by having a highly skilled workforce, you are more likely to succeed on the market. In that sense, it is really interesting to see where coaching will fit. As previously mentioned, there is a good chance that coaching departments will start opening up within big companies. However, there is also a possibility that this department will start merging with other departments such as HR to form new sections meant to internally develop the workforce. We might also see much more crossover in terms of knowledge and methodology.

8) Global experience

Companies are always trying to reinvent themselves. Whether we’re talking about traditional research and development or stealing other companies’ ideas, organisations are always trying to get an edge over their competition. The same way economy and other fields use case studies from various countries, executive coaching will become more reliant on global experience. It will no longer be enough to be coached by a popular local coach; instead, companies will try to find global experts who have a different point of view and different type of experience.

9) Digitalisation of executive coaching

For all of this to be possible, we will have to rely more on modern technology. Online coaching will become a much more common way of learning and will allow accumulation of previously mentioned global experience. We might also encounter lots of different tools for helping us simplify and automatize the whole process.

10) Better measurement of success

At this point in time, there are lots of people who are questioning the successfulness of executive coaching. This is mostly due to the fact that the results still cannot be properly measured and quantified. As a result, everyone can make their own judgment. As the profession goes forward, there will be more inclination for executive coaches to develop systems which will allow them to measure results. Everything will become quantifiable as a way of demonstrating success. But there is another reason to do this: executive coaches want to get paid according to their performance. If you have a measurement system in place, it will be much easier to judge a coach and pay accordingly.

11) Big coaching companies

Today, executive coaching is mostly done by individuals. However, this will likely change in the future. As companies start separating themselves from the pack, they will accumulate more revenue and likely start providing other services. As a result, big coaching companies will emerge. Some of them will also be interdisciplinarily allowing you to get all the training in one place. Because of that, there will also be more scrutiny and reviews will play a big part in how companies are performing.

12) Better diversification of services and prices

Although there are lots of executive coaching companies and professionals out there, it still seems that the market isn’t segregated enough. The prices are fairly similar (if we exclude some of the best experts) and sometimes, it seems that there is no difference where you will attend your training. In the future, as more companies and professionals start offering coaching services, we will see much better diversification of prices. According to our prediction, it will no longer be a service available to the upper management but instead, everyone will be able to afford it from their own budget. In that sense, even if you don’t have coaching available within your organisation, you will be able to get the service yourself and work on your skills.


We have only scratched the surface of executive career coaching. Like most other professions in their inception, this field is still not regulated properly. While there are some great experts out there, it is one of those services that you can primarily find online. But, going forward, this is probably going to change. Coaching, in general, has already had a profound impact on our society. It will likely continue in the future so we can expect a much better service, more flexible prices, as well as different approaches to the subject.