ALIA NGAC Decoding Selection Criteria recap!

Miss out on ALIA NGAC’s recent Decoding Selection Criteria Zoom Webinar?

On the 28th of November, ALIA NGAC had a Zoom webinar dedicated to answering selection criteria questions.

Panel guests included:

Majella Pugh, Manager of the Library Resource Service area at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Responsible for looking after; the library collections, budget, and QUT digital collections. Who started at the University of Melbourne in the Giblin Eunson Library as a Library Assistant.

Liz Wakley Hall, Associate Director for Engagement and Scholarly Communications at Flinders University. Liz started working at Flinders University as a graduate librarian.

Gareth Dixon, Manager, Libraries and Heritage at the City of Armadale in Perth. Who first started as a student Library Volunteer.

Stephen Harris, Librarian at Bundaberg Regional Libraries and ALIA Queensland State Manager. Stephen started volunteering with the conservation department at the State Library of Queensland and moved to a contract position at Griffith University.

Our last speaker was Jane Cowell, who started as a children’s library officer, now the CEO of Yarra Plenty Library in Melbourne.

Attendees answered questions on Mentimetree about studying, working in LIS and knowledge of Selection Criteria.

35% (Yes – LIS at Tafe)
24% (Yes – LIS at Uni)
3% (Yes – Not in a LIS course)
37% (No)

One question addressed attendees experience from studying, continuing professional development and events to address selection criteria.

31% (sometimes)
24% (always)
7% (never)

Questions and Answers to the panel:

Q1. How do you determine whether applicants responded to the selection criteria well/not?


Selection criteria are you pitching yourself as the product to the client.
Use the selection criteria and position description wording.
Research the job/role.

Applicants that have not responded to selection criteria well for the position:
When they do not add recent roles. Are not relatable to the organisation.
Do not submit applications addressing the selection criteria in their cover letter. Are not selected for the role as they did not do a spelling and grammar check.

Selection Criteria responded to well or not are determined by
how you answer – use empathetic language. Build a portfolio for selection criteria. Create a table and add examples from your personal, working and studying life – that may meet the selection criteria you have seen.
Have you filled in the application correctly?

Q1b: How do you do your research?

Google the organisation you are applying for, look into your network, and ask questions of people who work in similar roles or work in the place. What is the mindset of the organisation or vision/ values?

Have a look at any organisation’s strategic plans and vision statements.

Look at any information about the company and who works there on LinkedIn.

Q2. Recommendations for calling or emailing the Contact Person listed in the job ad?


Calling or emailing the contact person listed on the Position Description/job ad is a way to open the door and introduce yourself to the organisation. Providing you with an opportunity to ask questions about the position description, selection criteria, team and organisation.

Be ready with your questions if you have any cold-calling questions, as you will be talking to a member of the library team, who is happy to answer your questions.

Q3. Should you call to get feedback after an interview?

Call or email to get feedback after an interview.
The company is looking for somebody who meets its strategy and values. You did well but did not meet their strategy for where the company wanted to go. Feedback puts your name back on the list (talent pool) for jobs – you may be the next in line for the job.

Q4. Where do you put your selection criteria – In the Resume or Cover Letter?

Read the selection criteria requirements carefully, as this will tell you where to place your selection criteria. You will find this information in the selection criteria/position description.

Q4b”What can a person do if they don’t understand selection criteria well?


Call or email the person when you are confused or unsure about a selection criteria question. Have a pre-interview and ask them to rephrase the question you don’t understand.

Make contact to ask for clarifications on the role.

Q5.Do you have any recommendations for an applicant who feels they don’t meet all of the selection criteria?


If you can meet 60% of the application- apply for the job.
40% can be professional development at the organisation. Use your transferable and volunteer skills/ experience.

Use the six, sixty, six rule.
What do you see in six seconds on the first page?
What hooks you to the person?
Sixty minutes is engaging? Am I engaging these people?
Six hours – are there any errors?

50%enthusiasm and 50% skills. Read the selection criteria to someone and ask, do I meet the selection criteria? Say it with enthusiasm and passion.

Don’t be afraid to go for positions outside your comfort zone.

(Answer in the chat)

Volunteering is experience even if it’s not a library held position. It can be with a group at school or in the community – working with people, organising, being trustworthy person- all transferable skills.

Volunteering is great experience and a way for you to expand your network of referees.

Recommendations for writing transferable skills?

If you have completed an assignment while studying, don’t just say you have completed an assignment – say I have written a report.
You can say you have a transferable skill – this is how you have done it and would meet the library selection criteria.
Managing people as a volunteer – it’s your project.


Studying you have current knowledge.

If you have volunteer experience managing people you have transferable project management skills. If you have volunteered at a convention or event you have customer service experience.

It takes courage to put yourself out there. Take applying as a professional development opportunity.

Clare Thorpe from NGAC (liaison)
ALIA has opportunities to fill your skills gaps with professional development by volunteering with ALIA NGAC and ALIA SNGG to fill your transferable skills gaps.

Caitlin Wallace (ALIA SNGG Convenor) talked about ALIA SNGG and the ALIA SNGG Resume Review Service and how you can have your resume revieed by an established professional.

Explore the ALIA SNGG WordPress page for a link to the ALIASNGG: Resume Review Job Help Site. (A place to find selection criteria resources and request to have your resume reviewed). You can have your resume reviewed up to 3 times a year.

Caitlin spoke about students and new graduates joining the ALIA Students and New Graduates Group.

Joining ALIASNGG as a volunteer can be a way for students and graduates to make networks and have chances to learn new transferable skills in person or online. Skills include learning report writing, networking, social media skills with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress Blog skills, reference skills, web design and creative design.

Take a look at the ALIA SNGG WordPress page to Get Engaged with ALIA SNGG.

#ALIASNGG #ALIANGAC #selectioncriteria #volunteering #transferableskills


ALIA NGAC. “Decoding Selection Criteria.” [Webinar] Zoom, November 29.


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