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clerical skills

Must-Have Clerical Skills for Every Office Worker

Clerical skills are crucial to almost any job imaginable. This set of skills are not limited to workers that hold clerical duties under their job description. It’s a universal skill that allows office workers to perform tasks efficiently and expediently. If you are applying for an office position, it’s important to possess clerical skills that will come in handy in completing the job responsibilities.

What are clerical skills?

Clerical skills refer to the set of abilities that help the office run smoothly. Some of these skills include phone communication, data entry, filing, calendar management, and more. These are the highly sought-after secretarial tasks that most hiring managers look for an office worker.

If you are eyeing a position in the office, one of your best assets is your proven expertise in your clerical skills. You will need to know how to highlight them in your resume and your interview to land the job.

The difference between clerical roles and administrative roles

The two roles hold a similar set of tasks, but there is a stark difference that separates the one from the other.

Clerical roles are mostly entry-level jobs that require minimal educational background and ample training in performing clerical duties. Some everyday tasks include making and answering calls, greeting customers, filing documents, and sorting mails.

On the other hand, administrative roles require a more advanced educational background and experience in the field. They also do similar tasks as the office clerks. However, they may work on more complex and advanced functions in the office. Their roles hold a higher level of responsibility.

While clerical jobs are primarily for entry-level employees, the skills themselves are crucial for any position. It comprises the fundamental duties that any worker needs to accomplish regardless of their role when they work in an office setting. That’s why having clerical skills in addition to your exiting niche skills is essential in your career.

The essential clerical skills to have in the workplace

Here are the essential skills you need in fulfilling clerical duties in the workplace:

1. Communication skills

Working in the office implies that you have many people to interact with. Be it coworkers, clients, and guests—you’ll communicate with them through various platforms like email, phone, or in-person. This is why it is crucial to have stellar verbal and written communication skills for those who have clerical duties in the office.

Verbal communication skills are essential in communicating over the phone and liaising tasks between departments. Stellar written communication skills come in handy when writing emails, creating documents, presentations, and more. To instill the effective communication skills you need in these jobs, here’s an online class to help you out.

2. Attention to detail

Clerical duties require the utmost attention to detail since any errors can sabotage efficiency. Detail orientation is essential to many tasks that include managing email, tracking appointments, and preparing office documents. Missing any tiny bit of detail, like grammatical errors or rescheduling a meeting will harm the operations and credibility of the ones involved. 

Here are the clerical duties that require keen attention to detail:

  • Active listening
  • Risk management
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving
  • File management
  • Appointment setting
  • Travel arrangements
  • Time management
  • Data entry
  • Record keeping

3. Computer skills

Clerical tasks require the use of computers, which means you should perform tasks efficiently using the computer. You will be using various productivity tools like MS Office software and Google Workspace. The use of these two standard office software is pretty common in any office. Thus, being adept at them is an advantage to your credentials.

Some of the critical tasks that require computer skills include the following:

  • Data entry
  • Presentation creation
  • Document creation
  • Spreadsheet creation
  • Project management software navigation
  • Other necessary internal software

4. Organization

Impeccable organizational skills are highly valuable in completing clerical duties. Being organized helps workers become efficient and productive in their tasks. Organizational skills are helpful in record-keeping, filing documents, appointment scheduling, storage management, and more. The skills also allow you to manage confidential documents that need utter safe and secure management.

Being organized also allows one to remember important reminders. Whether deadlines, meetings, or tasks, organized workers seamlessly remember these responsibilities. 

clerical skills

5. Numeracy

Mathematical skills are also relevant when performing clerical tasks. That is because some duties may require handling accounting software for data entry and bookkeeping management. You may also need to be adept in the different formulas in MS Excel and Google Sheets.

Here are the clerical duties that include numeracy:

  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Calculations
  • Data analytics
  • Budgeting
  • Spreadsheets
  • Estimation

6. Critical thinking

Critical thinking skills are crucial when working in the office. Problems are common, and you never predict when they’ll arise. But having the critical mind to face these and provide logical resolutions is an essential requirement to the job. Strong critical skills allow one to tackle issues with logical reasoning. Employers especially look for this skill in their clerical workers. 

Here are some abilities that show critical thinking skills in doing clerical tasks:

  • Problem identification
  • Creative thinking
  • Conflict management
  • Problem resolution
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Inquisitiveness

7. Customer service

Most likely, clerks will deal with customers and clients daily. Thus, they need to learn the proper ways to hold conversations and provide them the service they need. Clerical workers are usually the first point of contact of customers, clients, guests, and even business partners. This makes you inclined to learn at least how to properly handle their inquiries and needs with such politeness. Thus, customer service skills are important 

8. Time management

Clerical workers typically work an 8-hour duty. Within this timeframe, they are usually swamped with tasks that need the proper time management to complete. When office workers know how to divide their time properly, they can complete deliverables within deadlines. You may master proper time management with this comprehensive online course, Time Management: Prioritization and Productivity.

Here are some of the clerical tasks that will test your time management skills:

  • Multi-tasking
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Planning
  • Sticking to a schedule

These are the most relevant clerical skills that give you an advantage in applying for an office position. Possessing these skills and knowing how to highlight them in your resume and interview will surely amp up your chance of landing the job.

Ready to brush up on your clerical skills? Click here to get started.

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