This client applied for the role of Executive Assistant in a state (NSW) government agency and gained a job interview. A total of eight criteria requirement addressing; following are excerpts from four of the criteria.

Capacity to implement administration and procurement policies, procedures and instructions, document control and records management systems and processes.

Recently, the QQQ Group introduced a complete new electronic travel expense database. Along with this new system was a whole set of new processes with corresponding new policies and procedures. Once the system was implemented, I was responsible for ensuring our department followed the correct processes and procedures. In particular, one of the new procedures was to ensure that a travel diary was attached to the expenses incurred on each international duty travel trip. This was also a mandatory tax requirement. I followed through on these new processes and procedures by consistently monitoring and checking each of the expense reports and forwarding to my manager for approval. In this way, I effectively monitored the department to ensure correct processes were being followed as well as compliance with the new policies and procedures.

Demonstrated high level computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as other supporting systems such as HR, procurement and records management systems.

Throughout my work history I have utilised Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook); recruitment software (Taleo); Oracle-based applications (P2P and e-invoice); records management system (Recall); and various in-house databases – Risk and Issues, Operational, and Capital Expenditure. My proficiency in using these applications and systems is at an intermediate to advanced level. My specific skills in utilising these applications are as follows:
• Word to prepare Board Papers and steering committee packs (up to 50 pages in length). Documents incorporate tracked changes, table of contents, graphs and tables.
• Excel spreadsheets to enter and filter data and generate reports for Project Status Update meetings, travel expense reports, training needs analysis reports.
• Power Point to prepare presentations for offsite Business Planning day and Steering Committee meetings. Presentations encompassed up to 20 slides setting up specific master templates which incorporated background, and QQQ Group strategic flowcharts.
• I have strong working knowledge and understanding of the functionality of Taleo having spent three years in the Human Resources (HR) department within the QQQ Group. I was involved in the end-to-end process of recruitment activities using Taleo to process the hiring and tracking of applicants.
• I raise purchase orders for special projects which can be in excess of $150K using the procurement system (P2P) and process invoices through e-invoice.
• I understand the processes and procedures that tie in with accurate record management systems using Recall. I regularly perform an electronic archiving process with the company’s document management system provider to ensure accurate and consistent management of aircraft maintenance records.

Demonstrated problem solving, research and analytical skills and capacity to present information and data in a logical and coherent manner.

I recently investigated a problem regarding a dry cleaning expense for a staff member. Firstly, I realised that research was involved to determine the staff member’s entitlement in this regard. Therefore, I sourced and referenced the dry cleaning terms and conditions which were part of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) under the Award that was in question. Once I reviewed the documents in detail (sourcing the relevant section), I concluded that the claims were not justifiable. Immediately, I set up a face-to-face meeting with the staff member to address the problem. I reiterated the entitlements allowed under the Award in a step by step manner and printed out the information as proof of evidence. The staff member acknowledged the situation, understood the implications and knew that some of the monies claimed had to be reimbursed to the company. I ensured the case was documented and placed it on file. Furthermore, taking the initiative in having a face-to-face meeting prevented the problem from being escalated; the situation was resolved in a timely and diplomatic manner and saved time for all parties. Importantly, gaining the assurance in writing from the staff member that it would not happen again was a very successful outcome.

Good planning and organisational skills, with the ability to be flexible, meet deadlines within short time frames and to manage changing priorities.

On one project, I was responsible for coordinating all international and domestic travel requests for the technical experts for the cutover phase, a critical milestone of the project. On the other project, I was the focal point for coordinating the resources across the QQQ network for the Fly-in, Fly-out (FIFO) operations during the closure of the QQQ Heavy Maintenance Facility in Melbourne. Challenged by having to undertake the requisite tasks to provide high level support to two executive members plus working on two major projects concurrently, I methodically planned and prioritised tasks and designating deadlines using checklists. I created daily to-do lists and a wider-scoped action list which covered the entire timeline from start to finish for task completion for both projects as well as executive support responsibilities. As each listed task was completed, I marked off accordingly. The methodical and highly organised structure I followed in this regard was instrumental in ensuring stringent deadlines were met. Importantly, throughout the process I consistently kept my managers updated with the progress of my tasks and advised them on my list of priorities. This facilitated the management of their expectations and they were assured that tasks were being completed in accordance with stipulated timeframes.

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Annie Cerone