Getting a Job in Safety – Resume Template

Getting a Job in Safety – Resume Template

by the late George Robotham

The resume is one of the most important documents in your life and really deserves a lot of work to get it right. A lot of people have a very casual approach to their resume.

I do a bit of work helping people prepare their resumes. When I help people with the preparation of their resume I typically spend at least one hour discussing various issues with them first. It never ceases to amaze me how poorly prepared the existing resumes are.

Be careful of the resume writers who will charge you a lot to prepare a very smooth resume with little input from yourself. Some of these people are excellent wordsmiths but there is such a thing as being too smooth! The resume must be a true reflection of your training, experience and personality.

The slick resume may get you an interview but an experienced recruiter will quickly reveal the resume is not a true reflection of your abilities

The following resume template is an extract from a detailed resume handout I give to people.

Resume Template – Aim is to make pig poo look like strawberry jam – Hint – A work relevant graphic helps you stand out from the crowd

Major tip

Recruitment & selection uses “Past behaviour predicts future behaviour” The idea is to give plenty of examples of where in the past you have successfully done the sort of things that you will be required to do in the new job. Say what you did, how you did it and what were the results.

Full name (“Failure is not an option”)-Hint-A work relevant motto helps to make you stand out from the crowd

Personal / Contact Details

Name, address including post code, date of birth, place of birth, home number, work number (If appropriate), mobile number, e-mail address, languages spoken at home (If applicable), passport details (Where applicable)

Career objective-Do not be too specific as you may miss out on a job that does not fit the bill exactly. You may wish to include short & long term objectives.

Professional profile

Background / Overview of employment and a couple of really significant achievements you are proud of, quantify achievements

Leadership / Management style if appropriate

Details of jobs and achievements, if have gaps in employment listing years and not months and years helps to hide it.

List all the jobs you have had in the last 10 years describing in some detail what you did and very importantly what your achievements were. If you are just starting out in employment list your achievements from school, part-time work (Amazing how good a job at McDonalds looks if you work on it), volunteer work, other organisations you are associated with.


Core professional strengths / Competency summary-Could be some of the following plus others

School /OP / university attended and what level, results, only mention if good

Technical skills

Current certificates-Where & when obtained eg. Blue card for working with children

Workplace health & safety, inductions, White card for construction work, First-aid certificate

Leadership-The number one job of a leader is to transmit and embed high value standards

Achieving excellence

Working independently



Interpersonal skills–If mention nothing else always mention these 2

Computer skills-Mainly Word &Excel, maybe Access & Power-Point-Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Commitment to personal training & development, always say you are a life-long learner, the H.R. people will lap that up

Commitment to continuous improvement

Commitment to equity and anti-discrimination

Special skills

Personal attributes-Could be some of the following plus others








Always positive

Do not over do it or they will think you are playing with yourself

Qualifications / Certificates & licences, if applicable

Publications, if applicable

Conference presentations

Awards / Honours

Professional memberships, if applicable

Hobbies / Interests/Affiliations/Particular work relevant awards you have attained in your private life, (Do not forget positions of authority in sporting clubs, Scouts, Guides, Rotary, Lions etc.), Good opportunity to showcase your leadership potential

Referees -Preferably previous Supervisors / Managers ( Never rely on a referee, always have them checked out beforehand)

Summary / What you bring to the role

If you think appropriate you could make a concise statement on why you should get the job.

Selection criteria

The traditional wisdom is to tailor your resume to each role you are applying for, an alternate approach is to have a generic resume and be very specific in your response to selection criteria.

Government jobs and some in the private sector will be very specific with their selection criteria. You can buy books on responding to selection criteria, I recommend you get one, it is quite an art.

I have always had difficulty responding well to selection criteria for government jobs. They use long complicated sentences and combine a lot into each criteria, typically they ask for 5 or 6 criteria. It is a challenge to respond to detailed selection particularly as often you have to limit your response to 2 pages. The problem with a lot of advertised government jobs is they already have someone acting in the role and that person will be hard to beat.

There may be value in getting help from a wordsmith if you really want the job. The chances are whatever they come up with for one job will be pretty usable for other jobs as the selection criteria do not vary much.

The selection criteria for government jobs are often difficult to respond to, my only advice is to read the selection criteria very closely and identify the essential elements.

When you write your response to selection criteria give specific examples of how in the past, you have met the selection criteria.

An approach you could consider is to do your best to respond to the selection criteria and then give it to a professional resume writer to polish it up. In theory that should reduce the time they spend on it and the costs.

What employers want

For a safety job there is a pretty good chance they will be seeking some of the following-

Safety experience

Training experience

Auditing experience

Safety and training qualifications

Interpersonal skills

Communications skills

Accident investigation experience

Some jobs will ask for the following-

Computer skills

Leadership experience

Team experience

Customer service skills

Coaching / mentoring experience

Problem solving skills

Project management experience

Safety culture development experience

Contractor management experience.


There is a lot you can do to improve your resume yourself without getting professional help. Lots of guidance on Google.

If you get professional help you have to be an active participant in the process.


George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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