Your Keys to Selection Criteria

Mystified by public sector application requirements?

Need help writing pitches and selection criteria responses? has been created to give you the keys to:

  • Unravel the mysteries of applying for public sector jobs.
  • Unlock your talent so you can confidently present a convincing case.
  • Explain your value and strengths.
  • Write well-structured, experience-based pitches.

Applicants,  career development practitioners, managers and selection panels will find free articles addressing current issues. You’ll find information about books and audio products, and coaching.

This material is provided by Dr Ann Villiers, Mental Nutritionist and author of national best-seller How to write and talk to selection criteria, the most authoritative resource on selection criteria, now in its seventh edition, with proven results over more than a decade.

These services and free resources direct you to good practice in recruiting and selecting staff, and give you the tools and techniques for increasing your chances of job success in the public service.

New Release 2021:

Revised and updated edition of How to apply for APS Graduate Programs, 2021

Revised and updated, this new edition, based on 2021 information, explains, informs, and illustrates graduate program changes: the shift to program streams, the shift to mainly online recruitment processes, and the shift away from selection criteria to pitches and statements.  This brochure gives further information.

Seventh Edition of How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria, 2021

Revised and updated, this current digital edition (PDF) prepares a public sector applicant to handle two significant changes in job application processes.

The first is the shift to primarily asking for pitches and statements of claims. This shift means applicants accustomed to writing responses to selection criteria or capabilities must learn a new way of writing. A job application is now more a marketing exercise, explaining how what you have to offer will make a difference in a particular role and organisation.

Role descriptions are not always entirely clear about what applicants are expected to write in applications. This edition provides detailed guidance on what information to look for and how to prepare an application.

The second change relates to shifts in employee skill demands and working arrangements. Public sector employees are increasingly needing skills and knowledge relating to digital literacy, risk management, leadership capabilities, social interaction and cross-boundary collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on Australia’s economy and workforce, changing how people work.

Based on a sense making framework called Mental Nutrition, and a career management perspective, this edition shows you how to write evidence-based, results-focused, job-matched resumes, pitches, statements of claims, and selection criteria and capability-based responses, plus how to present a convincing case at a job interview.

People interested in working in the public sector can potentially fall into many traps. This ebook provides know-how on how to avoid these traps. The focus is on:

  • explaining how to manage your career by gaining some self-knowledge and keeping records.
  • understanding public sector selection processes.
  • knowing how to conduct contextual analyses of public sector roles.
  • knowing how to structure an application and choose relevant content.
  • knowing how to write clearly and succinctly to meet page and word limits.
  • understanding results and value.
  • knowing how to tailor a resume to a role.
  • knowing how to strategically prepare for an interview.

Contextual analysis continues to be the basis of a strong application with particular attention to four work characteristics: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The seventh edition helps you understand the nature of complexity and how it applies to judging seniority level, leadership and example choice.

234 pages. Available in PDF format. Still only $25.00.

 What’s new?

  • Updated explanation of the range of terminology used in job descriptions.
  • What you need to know about work health and safety responsibilities, including mental health.
  • The scope of risk management and the need to identify potential risks.
  • The need to consider ethical issues and challenges to professionalism.
  • Writing tips from the new Australian Government Style Manual.
  • How to edit applications to meet page and word limits.
  • The range of short form applications and how to prepare your response.
  • Examples of short form, selection criteria and capability-based applications.
  • Tips on preparing for online interviews.

Still covered are chapters on:

  • Being skilled in contextual analysis so you can make a case for ‘Why you’?
  • How to read a job description accurately so you don’t miss vital details.
  • What to consider when preparing responses on strategic thinking, policy work, leadership, management, and conflict.

 Tools include 120 informal role terms and 550 action verbs to use in applications.

 Read the Table of Contents to see the breadth of this new edition.

This brochure lists Mental Nutrition products.

 How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria Fifth Edn. received Highly Commended in the Non-Fiction section of the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards.

“Judges’ comments: The book is a slick, highly readable, professionally designed and competently edited guide to the complicated process of applying for public sector jobs. If there is a better, more helpful, tool around for first time and seasoned applicants, the judges were not aware of it.”

How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria, Fourth edition, received Highly Commended, in the 2006 Non-Fiction section of the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards.

New Release 2020:

How to write about social skills in job applications
Selling your communication and relationship skills in selection criteria and pitch responses

This ebook provides help to job applicants with writing about their social skills in public sector job applications, both short form applications, such as pitches and statements of claim, and selection criteria responses.

From this ebook you can learn:

  • what 34 social skills mean so you write about the correct behaviours
  • how to prepare a short form application
  • how to respond to 8 popular social skills

And much more. For content information read How to write about social skillsBrochure

2019 Release :

Free ebook Grandparents’ guide to career learning for kids. This resource provides information, ideas and resources to guide grandparents on how they influence kids’ career choices. You can read the contents and introduction here.

Grandparents involved in book clubs, U3A groups, discussion groups, can explore how they influence kids’ career choices using these discussion notes/questions.

Research to Discover, Think, Explore: Shining a light on occupational inter-relationships

Abstract: Four Canberra-based projects were examined to explore the significance of interpersonal skills in technical occupations. The importance of interpersonal skills and demands for teamwork, cooperation and collaboration during projects was confirmed. The implications of skill terminology, career practitioner advice, occupational information, and gendered career choices are explored. The research points to the need to shift thinking about skill distinctions to give greater recognition to interpersonal skills in technical occupations. Read the report here.

This brochure lists Mental Nutrition products.


e-Career Awards 2008, and 2009-10

Promoting career information excellence on organisations’ websites

Read the awards reports analysing government Career Websites