Must-Have Clerical Skills to Get a Job Fast

Must-Have Clerical Skills to Get a Job Fast

A clerk’s job is a set of different responsibilities that involve not only paperwork but also communication at different levels. As we know, all duties require a certain level of expertise. Here, we’re considering personal qualities, as well clerical skills that are simply necessary to craft a winning resume. 

We also study how applicants can highlight clerical skills for resume in a way that will impress both recruiters and employers. Read on to describe your accomplishments in the best possible way.

What Are Clerical Skills?

Traditionally, clerks work in offices, banks, government agencies, service desks, etc. Such specialists are often called white collars. Their main job is related to paperwork and documentation. Thus, they engage in accounting, administrative, and business activities. The position they occupy leads to a wide variety of duties:

  • conducting general office tasks;
  • attending to correspondence;
  • filing;
  • keeping records and databases.

Many clerks are graduates of such faculties as banking and finance, business administration, economy, or accounting. 

Now, let’s move оn to the list of clerical skills for resume.

Basic Clerical Skills

Despite the rather big workload, the job of a clerk is attractive to many candidates, and here’s why:

  • it is stable and well-paid (provided that you can complete tasks correctly and on time, of course);
  • there are career opportunities and additional bonuses, especially in large companies.

To be truly successful, such a professional must be

  • hardworking to show high performance;
  • careful when drawing up documents and signing contracts;
  • proficient when it comes to business communication;
  • responsible and diligent;
  • advanced in foreign languages in case there’s multicultural interaction at work.

Understanding commercial secrecy can be another plus on the clerical skills list.

Clerical Office Skills

No doubt, it’s impossible to imagine a typical clerk skills checklist without dealing with records and data entry. Specialists make sure the files are easily accessible and up-to-date. Next comes email: incoming messages must be sorted, while outgoing ones must be carefully prepared. Phone calls are no less important: clerks reply to them or redirect to appropriate employees. 

Obviously, office skills relate to basic bookkeeping (issuing checks and invoices) and assisting in organizational procedures. Many clerks often make arrangements, do scheduling, and fix everything that happens at meetings and conferences.

What Do Employers Search For?

When career advice experts define clerical skills, they always mention

  • accuracy;
  • time management and prioritizing;
  • responsibility;
  • perseverance.

Let’s take a look at each of these skills. First, an accurate attitude to business documentation is a guarantee that no files will disappear. The right order in databases, invoices, and checks is the key to the normal functioning of any company. Therefore, the clerk will probably need such programs as MongoDB, Microsoft SQL Server, or Oracle Database to manage documents better.

As for wise planning, it is necessary for the clerk to remember all the tasks. Employers give such an employee various assignments without fear that they will forget to complete them. Useful tools such as Google Calendar, Toggl Plan, and Scoro make work faster and less stressful.

And the last thing is determination. With this soft skill, clerks can cope with a large volume of documentary work. Dealing with files can be a very monotonous experience, and only a focused person can manage it all. For enhanced concentration, turn to Brain.fm, Timely, or Pomodoro Timer.

Once you’ve mastered the skills mentioned above, you are one step closer to your dream job.

Verbal and Written Communication Skill

General clerical skills are strongly connected to how they communicate. Such professionals must adhere to the corporate business identity. Correctness, laconicism, and politeness are the basic principles they follow while having conversations. Openness is another quality that allows clerks to maintain good relationships with people from all over the world.

As for the written communication skills, they are easily tested by how the applicant’s resume is made. Recruiters pay attention to grammar and stylistic mistakes since the future employee will primarily work with documents and contracts. 

Detail-Oriented Skill

A clerk who is attentive to detail answers clients’ letters in an appropriate manner (with no grammatical errors for sure), keeps the calendar without errors, and notices mistakes in reports on time. In fact, putting this expertise on a clerical skills resume section, you describe yourself as someone who

  • is concentrated when working with loads of data;
  • follows instructions flawlessly;
  • checks documents with special care;
  • analyzes one’s own productivity;
  • easily detects inconsistencies in budgets, etc.

Computer Knowledge Skill

To complete clerical tasks, one must be familiar with office equipment (scanner, printer, fax, etc.) and basic programs for typing and data entry (the entire Microsoft Office package, especially Microsoft Excel). For making presentations, clerks use many tools, from Pitcherific and Canva to SlideCamp. The ability to design web pages is a great advantage as well. Here are other important abilities: 

  • database fluency;
  • data visualization;
  • calendars (Google, Outlook, etc.);
  • spreadsheets;
  • email communication.

Organizational Skill

Among the main job skills a clerk should have, employers mention organizational ones. They mean the following: 

  • balance of initiative and diligence;
  • flexibility and adaptability;
  • multitasking while managing projects;
  • willingness to learn and grow.

Basically, none of the clerk’s tasks can be accomplished without being organized. It’s crucial for

  • document management;
  • correspondence processing;
  • arranging meetings, events, and business trips for company employees (booking tickets, hotels, etc.).

Time Management Skill

Is there a way to keep up with everything and be prepared for unforeseen factors? Yes, and the answer is time management, which is a must on the clerical skills list. The main rule of a successful clerk is prioritization and effective planning. They help respond to the chaos in paper and e-documents, fatigue, and upcoming deadlines.


Career advice specialists even made an error prevention system for better time management:


  • checklists for typical situations when something goes wrong;
  • shared network storage space, i.e., cloud databases;
  • using the voice recorder when receiving assignments;
  • turning to document templates to ensure the high quality of all files.
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How to Improve Clerical Skills

So, you’ve learned what is clerical skills, and now let’s see how they can be enhanced. Both soft and hard skills need to be developed all the time. For example, if you want to be better at communication, try delivering presentations or lectures. Join a debating team or sign up for a negotiation course. Arrange discussions with friends or colleagues.

Hard skills can be honed through various professional courses.

All the time and effort spent is the best investment in your career. And once your qualification is upgraded, our professional resume writing service will emphasize it to make you noticed.

Online Degree Programs for Clerks

Fortunately, now you can hone your clerical and administrative skills from anywhere in the world. Master the university program while staying in your city, traveling, working full-time, or dealing with family duties.

The advantage of getting a degree online is the choice of an individual learning pace. Review lectures many times at a comfortable speed, without adjusting to the professor or classmates.

Choosing an office administration degree program, you will study office procedures, desktop publishing, spreadsheet use, and even web page design. Many schools offer degrees in legal office administration and medical office administration. There, you’ll focus on coding and billing, terminology, as well as basic file management and record for your career.

Clerical Professionals in the Workplace

Clerks work in a typical office environment in a variety of spheres. The career field might be medicine, finance, the governmental sector, and so on. Clerks provide effective functioning of an institution; that’s why their circle of responsibilities is so vast. There’s always room for growth. Clerks’ role is close to the one of a secretary, office manager, or administrative assistant.

The clerical job description includes such duties:

  • data entry;
  • completing bank transactions;
  • filing and sorting;
  • bookkeeping;
  • answering calls and emails;
  • arranging appointments;
  • running errands.

How to Showcase Your Skills

The right way of representing skills and accomplishments on a resume is a guarantee that you’ll reach your final goal (i.e., get a clerical job). Here’s a step-by-step guide to highlight the skills.

  1. Since ATS bots will scan your CV, it’s crucial to include some keywords in it. Mention industry terms and personal qualities from several clerical job descriptions. Research what companies are looking for and be sure you have it on your resume.
  2. Consider the difference between hard and soft skills. The former are teachable and mainly relate to technology and knowledge of programs. The latter are your personal traits, such as problem-solving or verbal communication. 
  3. Delete what’s irrelevant – better focus on quality instead of quantity.
  4. Make your resume laconic and easy-to-read. 
  5. Provide examples to prove your claim.

Skills for Resume [Example]

When describing basic skills, applicants often make two mistakes. First, they are not specific enough about their level of expertise. Second, they put too much on a skills section, which only confuses the recruiter. 

Here’s an example of a section that probably won’t work.

  • Shipping;
  • Friendliness;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Billing;
  • Customer relationship;
  • Time management;
  • Written communication.

Better divide soft and hard skills into two categories – this will make your work experience clearer.

Soft Skills

  • Verbal and written communication (expert);
  • Time management (advanced);
  • Organization (advanced);
  • Attention to detail (proficient);
  • Event planning (proficient).

Hard Skills

  • Data entry (advanced);
  • Scheduling (proficient) ;
  • Shipping (expert);
  • Billing (expert);
  • Customer relationship management (advanced).

Skills for the Job Interview

During the interview, the recruiter will check the skills for clerical work that you indicated on the resume. 

Thus, oral communication and self-presentation skills can be easily evaluated during the interview, so clear and correct speech is a must.

You will probably be asked a few questions about time management. For example, you might need to explain how you will manage several projects at the same time or how you will define a priority agenda in a particular case.

Your familiarity with technology is also examined during the interview. Many candidates are asked to pass a test. Try to search for it on the Internet to be ready for anything.

Sample for Clerical Resume Skills Section

It is the section of key skills that the recruiter analyzes after getting acquainted with the experience and education of the candidate. The most important thing is not to lie about your qualities because all the information provided is easy to verify during a future interview. 

It is also a mistake to believe that there is a universal example of a resume for all job positions. Thus, focus on relevant clerical requirements and duties. 

Another tip is to avoid clichés. The reason is simple - mentioning stress-tolerance or creativity among your skills, you won’t surprise anyone.

Clerical Skills in a Resume Skills Section

Once you start working on a resume, think through clerical job titles to find the one that suits you best:

  • office administrator;
  • office coordinator;
  • office manager;
  • data entry clerk;
  • front desk assistant.

As for the key skills for these positions, job seekers often mention

  • organizational and planning skills;
  • information management;
  • customer service;
  • event coordination;
  • VoIP phone systems;
  • Payroll software.

How to Put Clerical Skills on a Work Experience Section?

A resume is one of the most vital career resources; that’s why writing business requires so much effort. To make things easier for you, here are a couple of examples of how duties job description can be mentioned in the work experience section.

Office Administrator

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

April 2019 – July 2021

  • Prepared correspondence and documents;
  • Provided clerical support;
  • Processed mail;
  • Managed incoming calls;
  • Addressed requests for information;
  • Arranged meetings and appointments;
  • Maintained databases.

Receptionist

Atrium Medical Primary Care, New York

November 2016 – April 2019

  • Managed visitors;
  • Processed mail;
  • Handled incoming calls;
  • Addressed inquiries;
  • Prepared documents and correspondence;
  • Liaised with medical facilities.

To Sum Up 

There are many ways to enhance your skills before you apply to clerical job positions. In addition to taking courses or getting a degree online, think about collaborating with your friends. Another tip is to ask for feedback after interviews. This path suits those applicants who are open to criticism and are ready to identify their weaknesses.

Some try to find a mentor, and once they get professional help, they receive plenty of insights. The same is true when it comes to highlighting clerical skills for resume. With the assistance of our experienced writers, your expertise will surely catch the hiring manager’s attention. Good luck with getting your perfect job!

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