Administrative assistants play a major role in the day-to-day operations of any business. Great administrative assistants come with a variety of technical and interpersonal skills, making them indispensable to their employers. The job market for these admin positions has never been more competitive; make sure you stand out from the crowd by emphasizing the following crucial traits.
An excellent administrative assistant can think on her feet and adapt to multiple situations at the drop of a dime. It is important to remain calm and professional in a variety of settings, whether it's fielding phone calls and visitors or coordinating meetings and projects. Going above and beyond basic clerical duties is crucial.
Effective communication, both written and verbal, is a hallmark of a great administrative assistant. In most cases, the admin is the chief representative of the company and serves as both a first impression and a liaison for clients, vendors and other outsiders. Great communication is a two-way street; the admin must be able to convey and relay important information while also having excellent listening skills. The ability to both give and receive important and sometimes sensitive information is essential.
If you're naturally an organized person, you've already got a competitive edge as an administrative assistant. Admins are constantly multi-tasking and juggling multiple responsibilities, often for multiple people. Staying organized and on top of tasks is essential to a smooth work flow. Organization is about more than a neat work space — being able to effectively manage your time is also important. This skill requires a delicate balance of planning and prioritizing, along with room for some very necessary flexibility.
Administrative assistants must know how to do more than just file, fax and copy. Today's admins must stay on top of technology trends and be well-versed in the latest software to remain competitive and valuable to their companies. You may find yourself updating the company's website or social media pages or troubleshooting common hardware of software problems. By having the necessary technical skills, you reduce downtime waiting for the IT department and prove yourself an invaluable asset.
Administrative assistants are often privy to confidential and highly sensitive information. It is important to remain discreet throughout all aspects of your job, as you are being trusted to be a confidant and gatekeeper. Classified information might make it way to your desk, but it shouldn't make its way past it.
In most companies, the administrative assistant is the backbone of the office. As many companies look to decrease their staff while increasing their bottom line, competition for available administrative assistant positions is at an all-time high. Emphasize these core skills to maintain a competitive edge during the job search and even after you've secured a position.
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