Must-Have Secretary Skills to Jump-Start Your Career
A secretary is a profession with many processes to take care of and many responsibilities to manage. However, becoming a secretary can jump-start one’s career, as secretary skills are paramount for any manager that aspires for accomplishments. Rather than special training, this job needs personal qualities and soft skills, which, combined with practice, make one ready for anything. So here is how to craft a winning resume for this position.
What Does a Secretary Do?
This profession is familiar to nearly everyone, but what do secretarys do exactly?
It is an administrative job that challenges a person to manage another person, a team, or a network keeping them organized and productive. In fact, it is a position that ensures that people, teams, and processes under their administration work like clockwork.
A secretary is the eyes and ears of the people who need extra ones since they may be consumed by other tasks. Precisely because of such nature of the profession, a skillset expected from a good secretary must be multifaceted.
Your skills will be administrative in nature. They will include responsibilities like managing one’s schedule, sending reminders about their appointments, and filling in the company’s documentation. Optionally, check an example of a cover letter for a job of a secretary to understand the scope of this work.
Secretary Technical Skills
The work of a secretary is a combination of hard and soft skills. Secretary technical skills are needed to keep the affairs orderly and use the non-technical skills more effectively. Here are the core skills you should develop:
- basic computer skills;
- text editor skills;
- writing skills for business correspondence with partners and customers;
- working with spreadsheets;
- understanding and operating task managers for employees;
- working with the calendar and email applications suits for organization and time management;
- managing different business and interpersonal communication channels.
Secretary Non-Technical Skills
Naturally, a significantly bigger emphasis among recruiters goes on the non-technical skills of a secretary. They are necessary to build strong work relationships. Here is the list of the most relevant ones:
- business communication;
- crisis communication;
- interpersonal communication;
- problem-solving and adjustability to changes;
- time management;
- multitasking for managing several processes in the team at once;
- presentation and public speaking for keeping and expanding the network;
- networking, both as a representative of a company and a stand-alone professional;
- attention to detail;
- stress resistance in high-pressure situations
Top Skills to Get a Job as a Secretary
The top skills needed to be a secretary are the intersection of the two lists we mentioned above. They combine the soft skills manifested via the command of technical skills. Here are some examples of the secretary skills in question.
- Creative problem-solving - the ability to find and use the right software or approach to solve the occurring problem in the most efficient way.
- No-code software solutions - the familiarity with workflow managers that automate routine processes and free the hands of the whole team.
- Digitized time management for meetings and appointments.
What skills does a secretary need? Organizational abilities will be at the top of the list. A secretary plays an important role in making all processes in the team or project run smoothly. This skill means that the secretary knows how to handle difficult situations and find the most efficient solutions.
Furthermore, a highly organized secretary ensures all the working energy of the team goes in the right direction and keeps all the files, documents, and forms in the right order.
Communication is another must among secretarial skills. In fact, communication is one of the secretary’s direct duties. Business communication means that a person has to find the right approach to everyone, whether clients or employees, regardless of their personal attitudes or interests. Thus, the key to developing this skill is practice. Keep in mind that the aim of such communication is establishing trust and respect rather than friendship.
By the way, an introverted personality does not mean you cannot be a good communicator. Conversely, you can make communications effective and straight to the point.
A secretary must be able to use desktops, laptops, and mobile devices efficiently. Routine duties of a secretary include note-taking and appointing meetings. Hence, one should be able to do that with ease. It will be a huge plus if you are familiar with task management software and workflow automation platforms. These are crucial skills for a secretary as they simplify their own work and allow others to see their contribution to certain projects.
As clear as the secretarial duties may seem, they are still not protocolized. It means that a person will face many unpredictable situations in their practice. For example, one of the team members can forget something important, or the delivery of something crucial is late, and it becomes a problem for the organization. Such situations demand applying some problem-solving strategies and will later look as solid secretary skills for resume.
The key to keeping this skill intact is adjustability. Looking for solutions, always keep in mind that the result matters more than details that may go wrong.
The task of a secretary is to ensure that the projects within their responsibility are finished on time. For that reason, the skills for a secretary unavoidably include time management. A good secretary can distribute and plan assignments for all teams to avoid overload and fit within the time limit that the organization has.
Clearly, the best way to develop this skill is planning. Some calculations in time may be misleading, and different members of the team may need a different amount of time to do their work. However, an experienced secretary senses their team, which allows them to be a better planner.
How to Improve Secretary Skills
In fact, every person has their own understanding of what it takes to get into this profession. But how to improve skills of secretary? Naturally, the more you practice, the more professional you get. Hence, it is best to find a job in the field that interests you and gain experience in clerical duties firsthand right in the fast-paced environment of a real workplace.
If you are a newbie, it is not easy to get a job as you need to go through ATS. Yet, you can increase your chances of landing an interview if you craft a bot-beating resume.
Not sure how to create a winning job application that will not only beat bots but also impress hiring managers? Skillhub experts are always here for you. Let us do the job for you to schedule the job interview as soon as possible.
Education or Training Requirements
To enter the position with confidence, you may seek professional secretary education. Here are examples of courses you may be interested in.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA). It is a 12-month course that shows the ins and outs of managing projects and businesses. Of course, this one is not only for secretary work, but such a position is a great opportunity to gain experience and start an amazing career.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) is another great course for gaining the essential management education and preparing for quick results in your job search.
- Leadership and Management Courses at Coursera. The variety of online courses will give you the basic knowledge of processes and the must-have skills for working as a secretary.
How to Showcase Your Skills
As well as having the right skills for the job, you need to highlight your secretary qualifications on your resume. To impress the hiring manager, list the skills in detail and be ready to elaborate on them during the interview.
Keep in mind that the future employer looks for relevant skills, so list yours taking into account the requirements of the company you apply for. Show your essential information from the perspective of how it will help the company.
Secretary Skills in a Resume Skills Section
The secretary skills resume readers expect to see must demonstrate your professionalism. Do not hesitate to use field-specific vocabulary and go into detail about your background. For example, here is a list of hard skills list that will suffice:
- planning in calendars of different formats;
- proficient MS Office Suite user;
- familiarity with Anaqua;
- business communication in verbal and written form.
Tip: check the list of secretary job requirements in a particular opening and present the skills on your resume accordingly. In this case, the employer will see your motivation and view your skills from the right perspective.
How to Present Secretary Skills in the Work Experience Section
When working on the experience section of the resume, relate it to the responsibilities you had and the duties you performed. For example:
- Planned the board head meetings
- Completed reports on meetings and developed typing skills via note-taking
- Run the business correspondence of the office
- Communicated with potential and current clients
Tip: relate the secretary resume skills you gained previously to the job description of the desired position.
When working on a resume, make sure it fits the secretary requirements of the position you want to apply for. To get more interviews with recruiters, try to engage the reader and draw a vivid picture of yourself as a professional. Mention the skills to be a secretary in relation to the experiences you gained at previous jobs.
If you want to build an outstanding ATS resume, you can always get help from Skillhub professionals who will highlight all your qualifications and engage the hiring manager.