The Benefits of Administrative Assistant Skill Sets
The field of administrative assisting provides unique opportunities for growth, as well as increasing your chances of making a successful career change down the road. Whether you already have some experience in the field, or you want to start a career, the key to becoming a successful administrative assistant is to improve the skill sets that these positions require.
What Is an Administrative Assistant?
An administrative assistant wears many hats within an organization, and the responsibilities may differ greatly from one company to the next. Even with these differences, some key responsibilities apply across multiple industries:
- Secretarial Duties – These include typing, data entry, answering phones, greeting guests, and running errands.
- Collaboration with supervisors and other managers
- Ordering supplies and working with vendors
- Responding to correspondence and emails
- Handling day to day operations within the organization
There are varying levels of administrative assistants, from entry level to executive positions. Higher-level positions will require additional skills and add additional responsibilities depending on the company.
No matter what level of administrative assistant you currently work in, or where you hope to go, there are specific skill sets that will help you further your career. The great thing is, most of the following skills are also required for other positions, including supervisory and project management roles. This allows you to open doors within other careers, without necessarily requiring actual experience in those professions.
As with most other professions, improving communication skills will go a long way in helping you to further your career. The ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral formats is an important consideration for any employer, making you a valuable asset to the team.
Administrative assistants require keen time management skills to ensure that everything gets done. In addition to managing his or her own time, administrative assistants are often responsible for assisting supervisors and others’ time as well to ensure that projects and business requirements are handled and scheduled appropriately.
Administrative assistants are responsible for keeping offices and businesses running smoothly, and this requires organization. From answering phone calls, setting appointments, multitasking, and coordinating project outcomes, these skills can set you apart from other candidates for the same position.
Software and Technology Skills
Most of the duties carried out by an administrative assistant require expert knowledge of various office software and programs. This knowledge easily filters into other professions, as more and more organizations are changing their focuses to technology-based applications to increase productivity and security.
There are many advantages for those with administrative assistant skills. While on the job experience is important, there are other options that can help you land the job. Consider taking courses that focus on building these skills to earn certifications. If an employer can see that you have taken the time to learn or enhance your skills, he or she will be considerably more interested in hiring you for an open position. Additionally, this will also show self-motivation, which is another important trait in the job market.