Top 10 Resume Stuff Ups

Top 10 Resume Stuff Ups When Applying for a Safety Role

Guest post by George Robotham from

As the result of some Linkedin OHS forum posts where I advised the availability of a resume template and some advice on job interviews (Available on request to a number of people have sent me their resumes and asked for advice on improving. Based on what I have seen recently I give the following advice-

  1. Keep the bloody thing succinct and easy to read, one bloke sent me 25 pages, no bastard is going to read that, I am thinking 5 pages max. Put the most important stuff in the first 2 pages, often that is all that will be read.
  2. Put your career objective in early but do not be too specific as you may miss out on the job that does not fit the bill exactly
  3. Instead of putting in wishy washy achievements in each job think of 2-3 gutsy achievements you are really proud of and put them in early
  4. Ask yourself if experience more than 10 years ago is really relevant
  5. Keep what you say really tight, do not ramble on.
  6. Realise your broader management skills such as communication and interpersonal skills are just as important as your OHS technical skills
  7. Watch out for motherhood statements. The employer does not want you to tell them how incredibly clever you are, they want solid examples of where you have successfully done the job.
  8. Putting in the responsibilities / accountabilities in your various jobs is a good approach.
  9. Too much fancy graphics can work against you
  10. Get someone with a background in recruitment to review your resume
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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