There will be over 3,000,000 of administrative assistant jobs in 2019. This means more than 3,000,000 opportunities to get valuable work experience and become one of the unacknowledged heroes of today’s business world. The truth of the matter is that administrative assistants are people who make the world go round for their companies whether the owners realize it or not. Although the job may not come with a lot of prestige, more and more people find satisfaction in it. More than that, the administrative support position provides an excellent exposure to various business processes which will likely facilitate one’s career development in the future. The key to landing a great job in this field is having a professional administrative assistant resume. Before we share some practical resume writing tips and our sample, we will provide basic career information that must shape the application process.
What Is an Administrative Assistant?
Despite various career opportunities for this type of job, many people still don’t understand the specific role of an administrative assistant. As the jobs market develops today, the question “What is an administrative assistant” is now wider than ever as it also includes office assistant, executive assistant, virtual administrative assistant, and administrative support specialist job titles. All of these roles assume various clerical duties, such as organizing files, preparing documents, scheduling appointments, managing travel arrangements, etc. The common stereotype, however, is that the job of an administrative assistant never goes beyond them.
Today businesses try to accommodate the latest technology trends and customer service innovations. Thus, this role can offer much more than just routine clerical duties. Some people working in this role today travel to remote worksites, plan office events, ensure quality customer service, resolve complex administrative issues, etc. Be it an office assistant or virtual administrative assistant position, one has to carefully study the job description before proceeding to the application.
Administrative Assistant Job Description
As we have mentioned before, the administrative assistant job description can vary depending on the company as well as the industry. This kind of job can be found in pretty much any business environment where a number of administrative processes are required to keep everything running smoothly. Below are sample duties that could be reorganized and adjusted to fit your role depending on your target job. The list starts with specific accomplishments and ends with generic duties.
Administrative Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
- Coordinate all travel arrangements for company managers, executives, and partners going to conferences and corporate events.
- Prepare itineraries and manage transportation arrangements.
- Train two administrative assistants on administrative processes and office operations.
- Organize transition from paper invoice to online invoicing.
- Save $2,000 a year in office supplies after re-negotiating with the current supplier.
- Identify process improvement opportunities and initiate the regular in-house newsletter, which helps to reduce email back-and-forth by 28%.
- Called vendors to track billing against the contracted budget.
- Schedule appointments, maintain calendar and prepare expense reports.
- Arrange conference facilities for meetings and seminars.
- Extract information from the forms and contracts; input relevant data into the company’s information system.
- Format visual presentations for meetings; edit draft correspondence prepared by staff.
- Create invoices; file documents to organize office environment.
- Resolve administrative problems and assist with HR functions.
- Establish payroll and maintained records.
- Create a filing system used throughout the department/company.
- Answer incoming telephone calls to provide requested information and necessary assistance.
- Handle incoming emails/mail.
- Maintain electronic databases.
Top Administrative Assistant Skills
Before we say anything about administrative assistant resume skills, we should mention that placing them at the end of the document in the form of a bulleted list may not be good enough to generate potential employers’ interest. More and more candidates choose to create a section where they list all of the skills that were not mentioned in the work experience or summary section. However, administrative assistant skills must be incorporated into work experience and accomplishments in order to attract employers’ attention. Otherwise, those skills will likely remain just empty words (at least in the eyes of HRs).
Here are some top skills that should help you become a top candidate for an administrative support role.
Emotional Intelligence. Understanding emotions in others and ourselves will significantly help administrative assistants be effective in their day-to-day activities. People who have the skill are easy to work with and reduces unnecessary pressure in the relationships.
Adept in Technology. Managing data, team calendars, reports, and other records efficiently is impossible without today’s technological advancements. When we say technology, we mean more than just Microsoft Office Suite. People who are responsible for efficient office operations have to know customer relationship management systems, virtual help desk, and even accounting software.
Time Management. Administrative assistants are primary points of contact for different teams as they serve as a resource for many. In order to be available for your manager/team, you need to plan tasks wisely as well as the time those tasks will take.
Anticipation. Employers are always looking for people who can identify the company's needs before they arise. This skill often draws the line between run-of-the-mill administrative assistants and great ones. Taking initiative to support the business processes instead of waiting for direction is gold.
Strategic Planning. This goes hand in hand with prioritizing skills but it is a little more than that. Those people who plan strategically not only prioritize tasks but also think two-three steps ahead. With the changing nature of the business environment, this skill remains one of the most needed for this type of job.
Creative & Problem Solving. The ability to improvise that goes together with problem-solving is extremely useful in the context of administrative support processes.
Other Important Administrative Assistant Resume Skills
- Proper Etiquette
- Reporting Skills
- Supply Management
- Inventory Control
- Verbal and Written Communication Skills
- Attention to Detail
- Office Administration
- Client Relations
- Business Correspondence
- Public Relations
- Presentation Skills
Administrative Assistant Resume Sample
Now that you know everything about what the job is all about and what skills are needed, it is time to share an administrative assistant resume sample. The imaginary job seeker has 7+ years of experience in administrative processes.
Feel free to check more expert resume tips and design ideas by watching this video. Alice of Venngage in simple terms explains how you can turn your run-of-the-mill resume into a powerful marketing document.
Administrative Assistant Jobs
As we have mentioned before, an administrative assistant has become a collective term that can mean anything from a secretary to an office assistant. Sometimes it all means the same thing, sometimes there are differences. Job seekers should pay a closer look at job descriptions before sending their applications.
Here is the list of resources where administrative assistant jobs can be found. If you click on the link, you will be redirected to the administrative assistant jobs available at the moment:
- Zip Recruiter
- Government Jobs
- Simply Hired
Before sending your resume to any of the opportunities, please tailor it to every job opening. Don’t make a mistake of developing a generic resume to send it out to as many employers as you possibly can. This “shortcut” will not help you at all.
10 Common Administrative Assistant Interview Questions
When you have done your homework and created a professional administrative assistant resume, you have to be ready for interviews. One of the indispensable parts of the interview preparation is anticipating interview questions and planning the answers. We can’t write optimal answers for every job seekers because they will differ depending on individual work experiences, skills, and personalities. What we can do is share the most common interview questions for an administrative assistant job.
1. How do you see contributing to our team in the role of an administrative assistant?
2. What are the most important skills for a great administrative assistant?
3. What do you think is the most difficult part of the job?
4. Please tell us more about the types of software you used.
5. Could you share the story of how you had to deal with someone you didn’t get along with?
6. Beyond routine clerical duties, how can an administrative assistant improve office operations efficiency?
7. Why should we select you over other candidates to be our administrative assistant?
8. What do you like the most about being an office assistant in our company?
9. What is your biggest strength that should help you perform well in this position?
10. How do you handle stress and avoid unnecessary pressure at work?
Obviously, there are way more administrative assistant interview questions that you can be asked during the meeting. However, the aforementioned list should help job seekers better understand what employers are after.
To write a winning administrative assistant resume, one needs to:
1. Understand the nature of an administrative assistant job as well as its job description.
2. Identify the top skills needed to get your target job.
3. Develop a professional resume that will highlight relevant skills and experiences.
4. Find your target job, adjust your resume and send your application.
5. Prepare for the interview by drafting answers to tough questions.