Becoming a administrative assistant is a path that requires a particular set of skills. In this article, we’re exploring undeniable administrative assistant skills, as well as efforts to hone them. We also focus on how to craft a winning resume so that employers will be amazed by your accomplishments.
Who Is an Administrative Assistant?
So, what do administrative assistants do? They work in practically every field, performing clerical duties. Assistants manage information within the office. This includes answering emails and phone calls, dealing with business correspondence, and greeting guests.
Bookkeeping, scheduling, and storing files are also among their responsibilities. Such specialists often engage in recording meetings (which they may organize too) and reporting expenses to office managers.
Administrative Assistant Technical Skills
Administrative assistant technical skills are necessary to perform a huge number of tasks. They have to be savvy at
- Microsoft Office tools, including Microsoft Access;
- Google Spreadsheets, Slides, Docs, Calendar, Drive;
- Software for creating graphics (Canva, Photoshop);
- Programs dealing with printers, scanners, projectors, and so on;
The reason for such a long list of hard skills for administrative assistant relates to the automation of all processes. Therefore, these professionals never stop learning to be ready for what the future has in store.
Soft Skills for Administrative Assistant
A successful administrative assistant certainly has the following soft skills on the resume:
- verbal communication to be in touch with customers, employees, and employers;
- great writing skills to proofread and handle documentation and emails;
- time management and planning to make appointments;
- problem-solving to address clients and stаff’s needs;
- flexibility, multitasking, and stress management;
- being proactive and goal-oriented.
Essential Skills to Become an Administrative Assistant
When speaking about important skills for administrative assistants, tech-savviness is no less important than personal traits. Let’s figure out how top resume skills can be upgraded thanks to specialized programs.
- Budget documents and expenditures support: Scoro, Centage, Float.
- Handling accounting data: Expensify, SurePayroll, Sage Accounting.
- Completing data entry tasks: Infinity, Foxtrot RPA, Typeform.
- Proficiency in email engines and newsletter: Constant Contact, ConvertKit, SendinBlue.
- Managing databases: MySQL, DevOps, TeamDesk.
- Creating presentations for meetings of various departments: Visme, Haiku Deck, Pitcherific.
All recruiters will be impressed when they see that you possess the mentioned skills and have experience in dealing with such tools. In the meantime, let’s study other essential skills.
It’s hard to imagine the list of skills for a administrative assistant without emotional intelligence. It relates to the following aspects.
1) Friendly atmosphere in the office
Any employer wants employees to respect each other and avoid conflicts. And if you are trying to create comfortable conditions for everyone, then you will surely land a job;
The modern market is developing rapidly. To keep up with the competition, companies change as well. An assistant with high emotional intelligence adapts to such transformations quicker.
By recognizing the emotions of others, we respond to them in an appropriate way. The assistant who shows understanding to the client and finds a way out is truly valuable.
Skills required for administrative assistant also include attention to detail. This quality is simply irreplaceable in all aspects of assistants’ work as they need to
- process documents carefully with no mistakes;
- follow instructions carefully;
- monitor their own efficiency;
- easily detect inaccuracies in reports, budgets, etc.;
- find key points in a large amount of data.
Now, let’s continue the list of key skills that make the assistant’s job easier.
How to organize loads of tasks, each of which is urgent? How to separate the main from the secondary? And finally: how to manage everything but avoid burnout at the same time?
It’s no surprise that recruiters and hiring managers pay attention to whether an applicant shows up for an interview on time. After all, if candidates cannot organize their schedule, they are unlikely to cope with the volume of job duties. Thus, if time management is missing, then other administrative assistant skills just lose their importance.
The work of an assistant involves interactions with clients, colleagues, and company management. Of course, the process will be productive if you maintain a good relationship with them. The ethics of digital communication is also important: from business correspondence by email or in work chats to the relevance of any message and the right tone of voice.
Proactivity is often described as a personality trait rather than a skill. However, it is definitely something that you can develop over time. This means you can help identify potential problems and prevent their escalation. With proactivity in your administrative assistant skill set, you have
- the ability to set goals and achieve them;
- responsible approach;
- using creative thinking and imagination to find non-standard solutions.
How to Improve Administrative Assistant Skills
Once you discover which competencies are necessary, you may start wondering how to improve administrative assistant skills. The best way to do it in a short time is to get a course and take part in webinars and workshops. Remember - the road is made by walking. So, let it be full of joy, passion, and adventures.
No doubt, becoming a administrative assistant is a challenging goal, but all efforts are worth it. Upgraded expertise is the best investment in your future career, and so is a brilliant resume. In case you decide to enhance your CV, be sure to turn to our professional resume writing service so that you’ll be noticed by recruiters and employers.
Get a Degree Online
Today, sitting in front of a computer, you can not only learn how to paint or speak French but also get a diploma. There are many pluses.
- Such education is convenient and flexible - it can be combined with full-time work and family duties.
- You set the pace of learning, and this increases your academic performance.
- There’s no need to pay for housing, food, or transport. Besides, online programs are usually cheaper than full-time education.
- By developing your skills, you increase competitiveness in the labor market and expand your career opportunities.
An administrative assistant associate degree gives a chance to work in various spheres. Such specialists are needed in the educational, medical, legal, and governmental sectors. While studying, you’ll learn how to deal with office management, maintain data, and perform clerical tasks.
Follow Influencers in the Field
One of the most exciting ways to become a better employee is to read a helpful administrative assistant blog.
- Office Dynamics International. Its’ founder and CEO is Joan Burge, who is the administrative training industry’s pioneer. Best known as a professional speaker, consultant, and trainer, she shares knowledge and tips for assistants of all levels.
- Admin Pro Forum. Here, you’ll find plenty of materials on everything an administrative assistant may need: leadership, business etiquette, workplace communication, office administration, etc.
- The American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP). This platform provides webinars, training courses, and articles on skills and trends. There’s also a certificate program in case you wish to be a certified specialist.
- LinkedIn Learning. Entering “administrative assistance” in the search box, you get lots of courses on job interviews tips, administrative assistants’ career paths, etc.
- The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Are you looking for networking opportunities and educational materials? Great, as the site’s goal is to help employees learn and connect.
And here are Twitter accounts worth following.
1. The American Society of Administrative Professionals. ASAP’s content is entertaining yet helpful – they often organize webinars and contests.
2. Office Dynamics Intl. Here, administrative assistants are encouraged to concentrate on excellence, create, and train.
3. Bonnie Low-Kramen. On her account, the author of Be the Ultimate Assistant writes on a variety of topics, from career building to women’s empowerment.
4. Julie Perrine. Read this blog to be aware of the industry’s news, career planning, productivity, etc.
5. SkillPath Training. This account provides a piece of in-depth advice on plenty of themes, from management and dealing with the crisis to psychology, including body language.
Find Like-Minded People
Of course, reading appropriate materials is important for developing skills, but the best motivation will probably be the people with whom you share the same goal. By building a network, you find the main thing - allies. You can support each other during your studies, share difficulties, and give tips.
It is interesting to hone expertise in a group. For example, you can improve scientist skills such as logical and independent thinking or data analysis.
Also, practice arguing your position and correctly formulate your ideas. Such a mini-club for negotiations and quizzes will also upgrade your self-presentation skills. Conduct a “training” interview – imagine that you are going to employ one of your friends or vice versa.
Administrative Assistant in the Workplace
As it was mentioned earlier, administrative assistants find themselves in plenty of spheres. So, they may work at government agencies, hospitals, schools, medical and legal institutions, hotels, etc. Traditionally, such workplaces represent comfortable, cozy offices. However, many assistants prefer to work from home if they have a chance to do so.
Despite the industry where professionals work, administrative assistant job requirements are basically the same. They usually organize documentation, schedule appointments, manage correspondence, and prepare reports.
Ways of Showcasing Your Skills in a Resume
The “Skills” section in the CV shows the employers what exactly you can do now (i.e., what you learned during your studies or previous job). Be honest about your skills and be ready to provide examples of how you have used them during the job interview.
The format of the resume plays an important role.
- In a functional resume, your skills will be mentioned right after the personal info section. The most important thing here is to list as many of your relevant skills as possible and explain how you used them in your previous job.
- In a chronological resume, work experience comes to the fore, and skills are described after it.
- In a combined type, you mention your skills, and below them - the places of work where you received this experience.
Skills for Resume [Example]
You’re moving quickly towards having an administrative assistant resume. But first, let’s see what the most widespread mistakes are. Many applicants are not specific enough. They focus on quantity instead of quality and forget to mention the exact skill level. Thus, their skills look like this:
- Written communication;
- Schedule management;
- Time planning and prioritizing;
- Microsoft Office;
- Event management;
- Stress resistance.
Instead, focus on your main qualities and be accurate about how you master them:
- Event coordination (proficient);
- Verbal communication (excellent);
- Schedule management (proficient);
- Problem-solving (advanced);
- Reporting and documentation (advanced).
Skills for the Job Interview
Skills needed to be a administrative assistant are easily checked by the recruiter during the job interview. Even before you answer the first question, the interviewer can learn about you by analyzing your gestures and tone of voice. This will tell them whether you are open-minded and confident. Besides, the interview itself is a stressful situation, so they can also learn how you behave in such circumstances.
As you prepare for your interview, answer these basic questions – each of them showcases a specific skill.
- How can your work as an employee benefit our company? (confirms your proactive attitude and determination)
- Have you ever had any failures? If yes, what are they? (willingness to admit mistakes and weaknesses)
- Give an example of how you successfully resolved a conflict. (problem-solving)
- How do you stay organized when working on multiple projects? (prioritizing)
To pass an interview, you also need the skill of self-presentation, meaning the ability to speak confidently and clearly.
Sample for Administrative Assistant Resume Skills Section
Unfortunately, many candidates address administrative assistant requirements but still don’t receive invitations to interviews. Why? Companies often use ATS bots that scan resumes for keywords. As a result, the applicant tracking system must first find the appropriate words in the CV, and then a human recruiter will look at it. Therefore, carefully review the job description and include words from it in your resume.
Administrative Assistant Skills in a Resume Skills Section
Here’s another inspiring resume example on how to highlight administrative assistant skills.
- Sorting and Labeling (Excellent);
- Strategic Planning (Advanced);
- Technical Support (Advanced);
- Expense Reporting (Proficient);
- Spreadsheet Management (Proficient).
Skills on Work Experience Section
Describing the skills in the “Work Experience” section is essential, but how can one do this? Here’s a resume example.
THREE SEASONS COMPANY — Austin
2016 to Present
- Provided administrative support to the hotel group and four of its department directors.
- Answered calls and assisted employees and clients throughout the organization.
- Coordinated appointments and maintained busy calendars, meetings, and international travel (ensured all five symposiums annually).
- Used CRM analytics to check the productivity of revenues and marketing initiatives.
- Completed reports that were distributed to 150+ employees worldwide.
To Sum Up
If the work on administrative assistant skills seems to be hard, divide the process into steps. First, check which skills are irreplaceable for your resume, then define the level of your expertise and be ready to support it with examples from real experience. Of course, you can always turn to our writers to have a well-thought-out resume highlighting your strongest points. While you are honing administrative skills, our specialists can make your CV truly bot-beating.