This particular client used my services previously and was successful in gaining an interview for an APS EL2 Senior Manager role (view blog posted on 2nd June 2010). Two weeks later, she commissioned my services again to address selection criteria (totalling seven, each with a 500 maximum word limit) for the role of Business and Investment Officer within a state (NSW) government department; once again, she was successful in gaining an interview. Furthermore, she was offered one of these roles and accepted. Following are excerpts from two of the criteria.

Proven ability to perform advanced and complex analytical and interpretive procedures including statistical analysis and presentation.

When I was previously seconded as a Senior Credit Manager within the asset management department of the ABC for a 12 month period, the organisation was in the process of reviewing their entire lending portfolio throughout the state of Queensland. Consequently, a significant number of files were referred to me for further investigation. I was required to extensively review complex information and data including company and industry benchmarks; financial performance; financial ratio analysis (for example, return on assets, interest coverage, current ratio, solvency ratios); and cash flow analysis. This review was undertaken by carefully scrutinising and referencing the organisation’s lending criteria and associated policies. Once the analysis and review of each file was undertaken, I then prepared a written report outlining necessary recommendations for senior management concerning the ongoing management of the lending portfolio. My recommendations included any one of the following: to return the file to the respective business manager; to continue managing and monitoring the file for a specified period of time; or to engage external consultants to undertake further extensive reviews. I conducted and completed up to 150 reviews during this 12 month period.

Sound management skills and high level problem solving skills.

My sound management skills were demonstrated in 2003 when DEF bought out GHI. Over the course of one weekend, DEF implemented an entire new accounting system; changed the internal communications systems (intranet and mail); and revised and implemented internal policy and procedures. As a Senior Manager, upon entering the workplace on the Monday morning, I strategically implemented a plan (to take effect immediately), and facilitated and conducted staff training sessions on systems and procedural changes. A key hurdle to overcome was that prior to the change, all staff utilised laptops. However, DEF’s manner of conducting business was that all non-management staff should only use desktops. This resulted in a significant reduction in staff morale due to their perceived difference in the manner in which DEF treated staff at lower levels. To rectify this major concern, I examined and analysed the cost difference between desktops and laptops; found in favour of continuation of laptop use by all staff and presented my findings to the DEF’s executives. This resulted in maintaining the same workplace practices as was prior to the takeover. Subsequently, staff felt relieved and morale increased. The takeover also resulted in an element of ‘grief’ for the senior partners as the DEF working culture was significantly different from that of GHI. I worked closely with the partners in order to counsel and advise them as to how best to adapt to the changing work environment. My continual guidance and support to partners and staff at all levels throughout the change contributed to a shift in transition to a healthier culture and an understanding of the new work processes. This was an ongoing process that took six to 12 months to complete.

Demonstrated ability to work independently or as part of a team, and consistently deliver quality outputs within strict time constraints:

I have consistently delivered on intended results, in particular, those requiring outputs within strict timeframes. When previously employed with XYZ, senior management advised that it was a near impossible task to conduct due diligence and to transfer assets within a 12 month period. As part of a project management team, I was instrumental in working collaboratively to establish due diligence processes. This involved identifying assets and obligations rights to be transferred to the new water entities. Throughout this period, I supervised and managed several staff members to assist me during the process. The initial hurdle to overcome was the transfer of local government assets owned by council who were affected by the upcoming local council amalgamations. When this was successfully undertaken, then other councils would follow suit. Positive outcomes were achieved in shorter than expected time frames. Other major hurdles arose throughout the process. Firstly, the TTT Commission had not determined whether wastewater assets would be transferred. Secondly, the Commission had produced a final transfer asset list at the very last minute with very strict deadlines; all transfers required completion prior to 30 June 2008 for accounting purposes. By working diligently with the management team, and effectively prioritising and delegating urgent and important task work to subordinates, successful outcomes were achieved overall. Progressive steps were undertaken throughout the due diligence process enabling completion within the 12 month time frame, and all designated councils transferred assets within required deadlines. Overall, the Deputy Director was very satisfied with the outcome.

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Annie Cerone