Administrative assistants are an integral part of business operations. Without them, the workplace will be in chaos. And that is an understatement since they lay out the foundation of an organized and well-synchronized office. That’s why there is a steady demand for the profession. So if you are looking to pursue this career, you must familiarize yourself with the essential administrative assistant skills to land the job.
What are the administrative skills?
Administrative skills are those related to the efficient organization and management of the workplace. Administrative assistants have the reputation of simply having to answer calls, attending to office guests, and setting up meetings. However, the job is much more complicated than it’s thought to be.
Administrative assistants play the primary support role in the office. They maintain contact lists, communicate with important people, schedule meetings, and receive office guests. They work closely with office managers, executives, directors, and department heads. And what helps them ace their job is thorough administrative skills.
In addition, administrative skills are not exclusively required for admin assistants. All kinds of employees from various industries need to have strong administrative skills. These skills play a significant role in completing their respective tasks in the workplace.
The essential administrative assistant skills you need
Here are the must-have administrative skills that should shine through on your administrative assistant resume:
1. Adept in Technology
Almost the majority of your time as an administrative assistant will require you to use the computer in completing tasks. Some of the typical responsibilities include data entry, calendar management, meeting scheduling, and report creation. To complete such tasks, you must have strong knowledge in using various office software such as Microsoft Office (MS) Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and more.
In most cases, admin assistants must also use customer relationship management (CRM), virtual help desk, and more internal office software. Thus, you need to be adaptable in terms of the technological requirements of the job.
2. Written Communication
A huge chunk of the administrative assistant’s job is writing essential office documents. These include writing emails, memos, reports, letters, and even an executive’s speech. Thus, you must have strong written communication skills that will improve the quality of office correspondence.
With that said, you need to ensure error-free writing and a constant professional tone. This is a skill that you can display in your resume during the job application. After all, employers won’t take you seriously if you have grammar errors on your resume.
3. Verbal communication
Verbal communication skills are as crucial as having stellar written communication skills. Administrative assistants work with several people in the workplace while dealing with external parties like guests, from time to time. Thus, you need to know how to hold conversations effectively by listening actively and responding appropriately.
Some day-to-day tasks that will need outstanding verbal communication skills include attending to phone calls, participating in meetings, conversing with clients and guests, and relaying information to coworkers.
Outstanding organizational skills are the secret to nailing an administrative assistant’s job. The job requires you to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. You are tasked to organize the team schedules, events, and the internal filing system. When managed properly, you minimize the possibility of the workplace going into chaos. Some of these skills include planning, delegation, and office management.
5. Time management
It’s no news that administrative assistants deal with several duties across different departments before they can call it a day. To ensure everything is done before the day ends, they need proper time management. Having this skill allows them to allocate time for their respective tasks properly, completing them within the given timeframe.
A good admin assistant who practices time management is punctual, meets deadlines, knows priorities, plans tasks, and readjusts to-do list when unexpected issues arise.
6. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to gauge other people’s emotions and deal with them appropriately. You will have to work with several people in your typical work setting, which means you have to communicate with them regularly. You must demonstrate this together with your communication skills to help you deal with people from all positions effectively.
This is an essential skill as it makes you easier to work with, helps you manage other people’s emotions, makes stress manageable and resolves conflict quickly. Learn more about emotional intelligence here.
7. Attention to detail
Admin assistants can’t wing their jobs without being detail-oriented. The job requires this to deal with important documents, processes, and significant people in the business. Most tasks that require keen attention to detail include writing error-free documents, noticing missing requirements and signatures, completing tasks on time, ensuring accurate data entry, sending the right files to the right people, and many more.
When these tasks are not monitored with the utmost attention, the office operation is on the line. Remember, admin assistants are integral in the workplace; with their jobs done messily, the operations are at stake.
8. Office coordination
Administrative assistants guarantee smooth office operations by ensuring there are little to no interruptions in the workplace. They know how to utilize and maintain office equipment, place repair orders timely, and monitor supply inventory records (for sales). You, as the admin assistant, will be accountable for the coordination of such tasks. Having these checked regularly will ensure office efficiency since everything needed is intact and functional.
9. Strategic planning
Planning is an essential requirement in performing your task as an administrative assistant. This is beneficial in planning, scheduling, and making way for potential risks in the future. Some of the functions that include thorough planning skills include arranging employee and executive calendars and creating office procedural systems.
Some skills that will fall under strategic planning include event coordination, goal setting, appointment setting, meeting planning, action implementing, and monitoring.
Administrative assistants are often the go-to people for office staff and clients who need assistance in their queries. Also, they often face unexpected problems that cause disruptions in the office workflow. These matters require their utmost guidance and assistance. Thus, every admin assistant should be equipped with critical thinking skills to resolve a conflict.
Admin assistants who are great problem solvers collaborate with concerning workers to find the best resolution. They openly seek help and receive feedback before formulating the proper office resolutions. Know more about how you can improve your problem-solving skills here.
The most successful office admins are team players. They know their role is highly significant to the harmonious office operations. It is highly critical to understand the business objectives and everyone’s role in achieving them.
When you acknowledge this knowledge, you are bound to be more open to working with others. And there’s nothing more effective than a team that works toward the common goal. However, you should also mind that working independently is a must as well. Your own efforts collectively contribute to the team goal.
In your pursuit as an administrative assistant, these are the skills you need to instill first. Having a solid skillset will guarantee you a fatter chance to land a job in any industry you aspire to work in.
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