Essential Executive Assistant Skills Employers Look For

Being an executive assistant means having extraordinary problem-solving, organization, and communication skills. Ready for the challenge? Then, develop a strong skill set that will lead you to accomplishments in the executive field. 

Whether you’re only planning to become an executive assistant or thinking about career advancement, this article is for you and this executive assistant sample is also for you. Find out what executive assistant skills can make you successful and how to highlight them to craft a winning resume. 

What Is Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant helps a top executive handle or supervise office tasks like scheduling, project management, event planning, etc. It’s a professional problem-solver who performs supporting and strategic roles, contributing to the success of a company. 

What do executive assistants do? They have diverse duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Train and supervise staff;
  • Conduct research;
  • Prepare reports to improve company policy;
  • Manage calendar;
  • Offer strategic counsel on opportunities;
  • Process information and meeting requests;
  • Manage client relations and internal communications.
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Executive Assistant Technical Skills

To pass resume-scanning software, every qualified candidate needs to have basic hard skills. Here are executive assistant technical skills that are essential to tackle daily tasks:

  • Analyze and interpret data;
  • Manage executive operations;
  • Communicate information between departments;
  • Use effective written communication;
  • Manage task lists;
  • Use a database management service;
  • File documents;
  • Use spreadsheets and word processing;
  • Handle complex schedules;
  • Utilize basic research skills;
  • Have higher-level computer skills;
  • Keep client and contact information;
  • Use tools for data visualization;
  • Manage digital calendars.

Executive Assistant Non-Technical Skills

Your performance at work largely depends on soft skills as well. We’ve compiled a list of non-technical skills needed for executive assistant to complete administrative tasks and help a company to succeed:

  • Ability to be a trusted confidant for your employer;
  • Active listening;
  • Adaptability to change;
  • Decision-making;
  • Effective verbal and non-verbal communication;
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Empathy;
  • Networking;
  • Openness to continual learning;
  • Organization;
  • Prioritization;
  • Project management;
  • Resourcefulness;
  • Strategic multitasking;
  • Stress management;
  • Time management.

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Top Skills Every Executive Assistant Needs to Succeed

When looking through applications, recruiters focus on qualifications. A perfect candidate for the job should have the skills to optimize their work and make it productive and time-efficient. In most cases, it entails the use of digital solutions. As recruiting firms report, the top skills for executive assistant are associated with technology competence. For example:

  • Note-taking apps;
  • Calendar tools;
  • Communication tools;
  • Organizational and productivity solutions.

You should also continue to grow your soft skills to meet executive assistant job requirements.

Time-Management Skills

Managing the schedule of their boss is a primary responsibility of an executive assistant. To do it well, you need to learn how to manage your own time. It makes the job less stressful and increases the efficiency of your work. 

The time-management skills of executive assistant include many different abilities and roles. You need to learn how to plan and schedule events like meetings and conferences. Besides, it’s crucial to set goals and delegate tasks to complete your assignments in time.

Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is a useful skill in all occupations, but for executive assistants, it’s paramount. They have to work in a stressful environment and deal with issues that often arise unexpectedly. Higher-level problem-solving enables them to tackle these situations and come up with a solution to any problem. 

What are the skills required for executive assistant to be a professional problem-solver? You need to be good at analysis and be able to anticipate the outcome of any work or communication scenario.

Communication Skills

A large part of the duties of executive assistants involves communication. They interact with staff, answer phone calls from clients, and respond to emails daily. Thus, effective communication skills are crucial skills for executive assistant success.

They can be useful in many, if not all, situations in the workplace. As executive assistants organize communication among their boss, clients, and other employees, the success of a company might often depend on the level of their communication skills.

Administrative Skills

Executive assistants have to handle a lot of administrative tasks like filing documents and answering phone calls. They need to know how to work with data entry, handle business correspondence, and plan meetings. 

Administrative skills lead the list of skills for a executive assistant. They allow you to stay organized and keep your workplace in order. Administrative skills are closely connected with the responsibility to complete tasks on time and attention to detail. It allows you to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and be productive.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are among the key skills for executive assistant because they communicate with staff and clients every day. They need to know how to interpret the behavior of other people accurately and avoid misunderstandings. 

Interpersonal skills are crucial for successful teamwork as they help find common ground with others and get your message across. Besides, a high level of emotional intelligence can facilitate interaction as it allows you to understand what other people feel as well as to manage your own emotions.

How to Improve Executive Assistant Skills

Wondering how to improve executive assistant skills? There’s no better way to do it than to practice in the actual workplace environment. You’ll understand the responsibilities and learn how to work with any client. 

However, it might be challenging to land an interview in the first place. Most companies use an ATS system to process applications. To get through it, ask writers on SkillHub to write a bot-beating resume according to your instructions!

Follow Influencers in the Field

Find out more about executive assistant requirements and job responsibilities on:

  • Office Dynamics is a blog for executive assistants of all levels. 
  • Learn everything about technology tools for executive assistants on Workplace Insight Blog.
  • Get job advice and tips on organizational culture and best practices from Great Place to Work.

Get inspired by the following business experts on Twitter:

  • Learn from Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins), renowned business strategist and NYT best-selling author.
  • Get tips on employee relations, executive assistant qualifications, and leadership from Sharlyn Lauby (@sharlyn_lauby).
  • Follow Lucy Brazier (@lucybrazier) to find out about executive support and development methods.

How to Showcase Your Skills

The job market gets rather tough. It might be challenging to make a hiring manager notice your resume among hundreds of other applications. Try to understand what your potential employer is looking for in terms of skills and executive assistant education and write a specific resume skill section. 

Don’t forget that your resume is likely to be processed by an applicant tracking system. You need to optimize it for ATS bots to make sure you’ll pass the initial scanning process.

Executive Assistant Skills in a Resume Skills Section

The executive assistant skill set is a combination of hard and soft skills. A qualified candidate for the role is good at organization and has higher-level people skills. To show your potential employer that you’re perfect for the job, you need to highlight your key skills and qualifications in your resume. Here are key skills for executive assistant that will make you more employable:

  • Administration
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration
  • Decision-making
  • Empathy
  • Managing executive operations
  • Multitasking
  • Networking
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Note-taking
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Process management
  • Professional discretion
  • Scheduling
  • Written communication

Executive Assistant Skills to Show Your Work Experience

Use specific skills to highlight your experience and aptitude for the executive assistant job requirements. Show the hiring manager your best abilities so that they will immediately see that you’re a professional. Include these skills in your executive assistant job description resume:

  • Conducted research.
  • Managed client relations.
  • Developed a filing system.
  • Addressed information requests.
  • Used technology tools for administrative tasks.
  • Prepared statistical reports.
  • Analyzed data.

To Sum Up

If you’re dreaming about becoming an executive problem-solver, be ready to work on your skills and improve your expertise continuously. To provide administrative and strategic support, you’ll need to have higher-level problem-solving, communication, and time-management skills and experiences. Also, you can read the executive assistant job description for a better understanding of the subject. Make sure you showcase your talents to engage recruiters and show that you’re a qualified candidate.

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