Tips for screening applications

Screening is the process of reviewing applications and selecting the candidates who meet your criteria and choosing who you would like to interview.

When reviewing all the information the applicant has provided, including the resume and cover letter, it’s important to consider:

  • Younger or inexperienced applicants may lack work experience so focus on their skills and attributes learnt via real-life situations (at school, involvement in sporting clubs, etc.)
  • Don’t rule out someone whose experience is in a different occupation or who appears over-qualified. They may have a good reason for wanting the job and transferrable skills they can use in your industry.
  • Does the applicant meet your required minimum year level of secondary schooling?
  • Has the applicant completed a pre-apprenticeship (if preferred)?
  • If the applicant doesn’t meet your required education level is their work experience a good substitute for formal education/training?
  • The amount of time the applicant has spent in each of their previous jobs
  • Has the applicant demonstrated that they have developed skills in each job?
  • Has the applicant had extended periods without employment, and if so is there an explanation?
  • Has the applicant included a cover letter if you requested one?
  • Has the applicant completed an aptitude test if you requested them to?
  • Has the applicant responded to all relevant selection criteria?
  • Their overall test score – 81% to 100% is evaluated as ‘very strong knowledge’ and indicates a strong candidate.
  • If the candidate has received a low score they may still have they performed well in topics that are applicable to your vacancy e.g. good maths results are important for electrical apprentices.
  • Is it important for the applicant to live locally?
  • Are there alternative arrangements that can be made if the applicant does not have a licence?
  • Don’t rule out an applicant based on location alone if they otherwise meet the criteria – they may be willing to travel to get the job they want
  • General presentation and formatting
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Communication/writing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Overall first impression

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Australian Apprenticeship Support Network



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