Despite the fact that the administrative assistant jobs don't rank very high in our society today, this is type of employment where you can both you develop your professional skills as well as build a solid base for your further career. The problem is that landing this kind of job isn't easy. Demand for administrative assistants isn’t growing fast so one's resume must be perfect when submitted to the opening for this position in order to land the job. Before writing the resume though, you should understand the requirements as well as what the job entails - these things will serve as a guide as you approach the process.
Administrative Assistant Job Description and Position Requirements
People who work as administrative assistants make the world go round both for the company and their boss. They are responsible for multiple tasks in order to keep the office running smoothly (smoothly is an important adverb here). For the most part, this job is tightly connected with clerical duties although often goes beyond filing, data entry, phone calls, etc.
Here is the list of sample administrative assistant duties for 2018:
- Trusted with a $84,000 budget to manage all travel arrangements for executives going to business meetings and corporate events.
- Managed inventory control and office supplies saving $1,860 for the company through negotiating a new deal with the supplier.
- Initiated and implemented transition from paper to online invoicing.
- Trained new administrative assistants on office procedures.
- Reduced email back-and-fourth by 43% through establishing new communication and reporting procedure.
As you can see, the aforementioned administrative assistant job description is very specific. This is what employers expect when they review resumes of candidates for this job. Usually, people just copy-paste job descriptions from the internet because they are all identical (based on clerical duties). Instead, we recommend taking time to create your own list of duties for the titles held. The responsibilities and accomplishments given above are nothing but a spin-off of generic administrative assistant job descriptions in which you read things like "responsible for office supplies", "coordinated travel arrangements", "managed emails", etc. When you are looking for office assistant jobs, you have to communicate to prospective employers that you are capable of accomplishing things, as in the aforementioned list. The majority of companies looking for an administrative assistant, would be happy to hire a person who is able to save money for the company, improve efficiency, and resolve problems. By default the candidate for this position is expected to be a hardworking and flexible individual who can communicate well with others. Today administrative assistants sometimes maintain social media pages and add new content to the website of the company. So adding a technical set of skills can be a great plus.
Administrative Assistant Resume Writing Rules
Whether you are applying for customer service jobs, engineering or administrative assistant jobs, you need a resume. But if you want to be effective in your job search, you can't submit the same document for all jobs at a time. If you are looking for a job of a call center operator, you need to develop a customer service resume. Respectively, aiming for office assistant jobs means you have to come up with an effective administrative assistant resume that is focused on your planning, organization, and problem solving skills. Below is a set of resume writing rules related to the target position of administrative assistant:
1. Start with a summary section where you can list the skills and proficiencies relevant to the prospective employer (you obviously have to study the job ad carefully to know employer's needs and wants). Use short and simple sentences.
2. List your professional experience in a reverse-chronological order. No need to be creative with functional format (let alone combination format).
3. Focus on what you accomplished as opposed to listing your routine responsibilities. If possible, quantify your achievements (budgets you were trusted with, savings for the company, etc.). The list of duties/accomplishments for one job should be no longer than 6 statements. It is best to write them down in the form of a bullet list.
4. List your educational credentials after the work experience section. Don't list your high school achievements - those things are of no use at all. Start with your college. Also, you can add relevant certifications and trainings completed to this section.
5. Add a technical proficiency section if you have enough skills to make a section out of them (otherwise incorporate them into your summary). Sometimes, the role of an administrative assistant can get very technical. To have those skills then, especially those relevant to your prospective employer, is vitally important. Sometimes, employers also require a cover letter to be submitted along with a resume. We believe it is another opportunity to tell your career story as well as how you can help the company. In one of our next career advice blog post, we will share some advice on how to write an administrative assistant cover letter.