Administrative assistants do much more than take phone messages, organize files and schedule appointments. These hardworking professionals exist throughout nearly every industry to support the individuals in their organization and act as a liaison between employees and clients. There are several job skills that administrative assistants should master to be more successful.
Successful administrative assistants must use their time efficiently and effectively in order to complete all of their necessary assignments within the given time frames. Exceptional time management skills let administrative professionals meet deadlines, keep up with long-term due dates and manage daily distractions, including phone calls and emails.
Administrative assistants work with employees from within the corporation, while also serving as the first line of contact for partners, customers, clients and vendors. A good administrative assistant should communicate clearly and professionally, whether over the phone, through written communication, via email or in person.
It's important for an administrative professional to be organized in all aspects of her job. Administrative assistants must keep track of important company documents, schedule and confirm meetings for superiors, and respond to correspondence coming into the office. Keeping an organized workload lets a successful administrative assistant prioritize her duties and multitask to complete all of her work on time.
Administrative assistants must be on time for meetings and willing to come in early or stay late when the need arises. Because superiors are often out of the office, an administrative assistant should be able to complete her duties with little or no supervision. Administrative professionals may handle human resources paperwork, financial information or sensitive business documents, so it's vital that they maintain a high degree of confidentiality.
Administrative assistants must complete their everyday, routine office duties while still handling any urgent situations or needs that arise in the office. No two workdays are the same for administrative professionals, as last-minute requests and unexpected situations often occur. An exceptional administrative professional is flexible, handling these occurrences without letting them interfere with the other duties in her workday.
Many offices rely on administrative assistants to handle routine office procedures, such as refilling printer paper or replacing toner cartridges. Administrative professionals should also possess excellent typing skills and be well-versed in Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. It also helps to be familiar with Adobe Photoshop and accounting software, such as QuickBooks. Some administrative assistants even manage their organization's social media presence, including Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
Administrative assistants fill positions in a wide range of industries, so it's important to possess all the necessary job skills to be a well-rounded employee and succeed in your career. Honing these skills gives you the competitive edge when climbing the corporate ladder or looking for new and exciting job opportunities.
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