The Office Support market in Sydney is as competitive as ever. For every single application you submit, you will be competing against an average minimum of 90 other candidates. Only 1 in every 45 applicants will secure a face to face interview. Often, the hiring manager will take sub 10 seconds to peruse your resume!

This means you need to be loud, bold and proud, when it comes to expressing yourself on paper.

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Highlight your achievements

One of the great things about being an Assistant, is the fact you can see through many responsibilities end to end. You can produce tangible results; and outcomes are what speak volumes. Whether it be an event, a presentation, a business project or a complex itinerary – if your result was impressive, highlight it on your resume.

Example

Achievements

  • Successfully executed an AGM for 300 attendees, under budget and within deadlines in June of 2016.
  • Navigated an incredibly complex travel itinerary for the CEO’s quarterly investor meetings, inclusive of flights, hotels, transfers, visas and meeting documentation across India, London, Dubai and Argentina.

 

Use key words in examples

These days, your resume needs to appeal to three types of audiences.

The robot, the skim reader and the deliberator.

To do this, you need to highlight key words, in a pronounced way, with just enough evidence to back up your statements.

Assess the job advertisement you are applying for, and determine what the key things are that they are looking for. Do they mention PowerPoint five times? Do they talk about energy, enthusiasm and proactivity as key behavioural traits? Identify, then regurgitate.

Example

Advanced MS Excel skills have been highlighted as an essential requirement. *

Responsibilities

  • Manipulation of MS Excel reports to utilise the VLookup function;
  • Advanced use of pivot tables in MS Excel;
  • Cross-tabulation of data to display simple analysis of statistics in MS Excel.

 

Don’t assume

You may think that checking the AFR each morning; sending a commercial synopsis to colleagues is straightforward. You might feel the same way about the 11am coffee run, or the binding you do every Friday afternoon!

It is key to remember at all times that the Hiring Manager overseeing a vacancy, 9 times out of 10 has not worked in that specific role. They will be looking for evidence you have done all facets of what they need of the new hire, and if you leave a responsibility off your CV because you assume it goes without saying – you could be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to securing an interview.

Example

Daily summary of the Australian Financial Review.

  • Daily review of the AFR, making note of business mergers & acquisitions, IPO’s, political developments and general current affairs. Compilation of key talking points in bullet point format; focused on communicating to the company how we may be impacted. Daily email summary to staff.

 

Keep it simple

It is imperative to keep your resume simple, in both its layout and expression. Don’t overload on style or colour! You want it to communicate your personality, but not over-shadow your experience.

You also can never go wrong with bullet points, they’re easier to read and interpret. A huge paragraph can be cumbersome, and time consuming for a busy hiring manager.

The best font to use, in our opinion, is Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman. Put your titles in Bold, and we suggest using underlining and italics sparingly.

Explain your experience in chronological order, with the your current or most recent employment first, and then guide the reader through your experience as they read further down the page.

Example

Executive Assistant to CFO – Company ABC | Global Financial Services Firm | April 2014 – Present

  • Provided full administrative support to the Global Chief Financial Officer in the form of:
    • Complex domestic and international travel coordination;
    • Intricate diary management and re-prioritisation of appointments;
    • Commercial filtering and delegation of all emails and correspondence;
    • Extensive liaison with company directors, clients, suppliers and internal committees; and
    • Processing and management of all expenses for both the CFO and his team in line with business policy (up to $300,000 a month).

Once you’re happy with the final product, convert it to a PDF. A resume in PDF format looks much more polished, and is easier on the eyes, especially when the hiring manager is reading many.

 

Create a brand

Your personal brand will create an appetite to either meet with you or not. This is often defined by not only your opening statement, but also by your closing sentiments, which tend to be your extra-curricular activities.

  1. Your capability statement or executive summary is your opportunity to shape and define your experience, and what you want from your career moving forward. Use it wisely. Acknowledge any industry transitions, make comment on your tenure or experience, and specify the direction you now want to head.

Example

An accomplished and meticulous, career driven EA. Over ten years’ worth of experience supporting CEO’s within the financial services and legal industry sectors. Adaptable to change and capable of working calm under pressure. Seeking an opportunity to now align personal interests in real estate with a C ’level EA role within the property sector. Available to commence July 2017.

  1. It is important to highlight your extra-curricular activities. This illustrates that you have a work-life balance! These achievements could range from charity involvement to sporting achievements or to general weekend, or evening hobbies. Hiring managers are people too – and they want to know that if they bring you onboard into the business, you will have something in common outside of your ability to fulfil your role for the company.

Example

  • Ongoing Blood Donor at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service – Elizabeth Street location
  • Lead Organiser of the Biggest Game of Cricket – the largest annual fundraiser for the Ponting Foundation
  • Active member of the Surf Lifesaving Club in Bondi
  • Avid traveller with a particular interest in South-East Asia

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Assistant Sydney is a boutique recruitment firm that specialises purely in Office Support. Day in, day out, our expert team provide advice, guidance and strategy to our candidates to assist them in gaining the best results from their job search.

Please get in touch with one of our team members today, should you be looking for a new opportunity – or simply require an additional opinion on your resume.

We would love to help!

Kind regards,

Issy