Being an administrative assistant isn’t just about sitting and answering the telephone. There’s a lot more to it than that! We explore the top skills that a budding administrative assistant should exhibit to stand out.
Administrative assistants are the core foundation of a business operating effectively and efficiently. Communicating, managing and connecting all the routes and pathways in the business is their role so it isn’t just simply about “sitting around.”
They are responsible for organising many key areas in the business and keeping control of time management. Scheduling appointments, meetings, contact lists, invoices, talking to executives and communicating on behalf of the business are just a few of the many responsibilities an administrative assistant usually embraces.
We highlight the main skills you need to become a must-have candidate in this valuable field.
1. Proficiency in IT
Being competent with IT is paramount. Employers usually seek for a candidate who is skilled with using Microsoft programs: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. More than likely you will be using technology on a day to day basis to carry out most tasks for this role - for instance, emails, scheduling appointments and meeting and note taking. So, get ahead of other candidates by ensuring that you are up to scratch with your IT knowledge and skill, and shine.
2. Communication skills
Being confident with communicating professionally and effectively with staff and clients is another important key skill to possess. But not just this, you should also be an attentive listener, really taking in what needs to be done by who and when. You will usually be many people’s first point of contact so make yourself memorable by being polite and resourceful (even if the going gets tough). No doubt, there is a lot of responsibility and initiative that an administrative assistant must demonstrate so show that you are up for the challenge and you are the best person for the role.
3. Written skills
Is your spelling and grammar on point? Do you go over what you write with a fine-tooth comb? If the answer to these top questions is yes, then you are good to go with applying for this position. Employers want someone who can write a sound mistake-free document, which will successfully represent the company’s voice, as many eyes will be reading.
4. Organisational skills
Without a shadow of a doubt, you will need to show strong organisational skills. This will be demonstrated through practical application of work, such as organising the office space in a productive way so that paperwork is filed in an efficient order and is easily accessible. You will also need to remember where everything is too!
5. Time management skills
Completing tasks within a managed time frame is key to this role. Everything you carry out has to be done in a timely manner so that you don’t fall behind company targets, meetings, appointments and so on. Not only this but keeping track of communication with clients is also important too. Their opinion lies at the heart of businesses so letting a customer down because you simply forgot to call them back just doesn’t cut it.
Being an administrative assistant is much more to it than meet’s the eye. There are lots of budding candidates out there that will be fighting for this chance. Getting yourself well prepared and ready with the key skills mentioned above is the best way forward of attaining this position.