An administrative assistant can be a well defined job with very specific skills or require a jack of all office trades set of skills so to speak. Even when an employer's job posting is very specific, this is a position where there are often many skills and characteristic employers want to see in addition to what you might find in their job descriptions or advertisements.
Step One: Define the Skills They are Advertising
This step is one you should be performing for writing your entire resume. Make a list of the skills they have asked for in the job description. Use the same words to describe these skills on your resume. You will want to choose the most relevant two or three skills to describe in your resume objective, and determine which ones should be included in your work history.
Step Two: Look for Additional Skills They Want to See
There are a host of skills that employers find desirable for an administrative assistant.
Step Three: Build the Value of Your Skills with Accomplishment Statements
Resume Skills for an Administrative Assistant Resume
This is one of the most common skills requested for an administrative assistant resume position. If an employer has requested organizational skills they want a person who is knowledgeable about their systems of organization. When you can find out what these systems are and include any experience or knowledge of them on your resume you will have an edge.
If you are searching for work in the health industry for example, find out what software the office is using for medical billing, or if an attorney firm, what law practice management software they have implemented. Being familiar with any proprietary software can often get the attention of an employer (if you have stated the fact on your resume) and be the skill that tips the scales in your favor.
Research the company web site but do not stop there. I have recommended for years that candidates find out who had the position last and search for the person's resume on the web. If you can find a copy of that resume before and after the individual had the position you can often determine what skills got them an interview and some of the skills they might have used while they were there.
Calling the potential employer and asking questions about what systems they are using is also another way to get valuable information.
Attention to Details
For this job, the devil is in the details. Crossing T's and dotting I's is often critical for this position. This means that not only do you need statements that show achievements that support your attention to detail, you need to pay attention to the details of your resume. This means grammar, formatting, organization, correct use of words, capitalization and punctuation.
Your accomplishment statements can show how your attention to details benefited your previous employers.
By regularly checking computer backups determined that several databases were not included in weekly schedule, and made modifications just two weeks before a full system crash saving an estimated $325,000 in possible losses.
Found that over 200 clients were being under billed and corrected, recouping more than $18,000.
See the attention to detail list of words and phrases.
These are a collection of skills that include:
Answering Phones, Greeting Clients, and Responding to Email
Statements about demonstrating a professional attitude with customer skills and the ability to communicate effectively help here.
This includes typing and expertise with certain software, social networking, blogging, and Internet research skills. Knowing how to use MS Word, Excel,and Access proficiently is often expected for an administrative assistant. Include how fast you type in your additional skills section if your speed is respectable.
Scheduling Appointments and Making Reservations
Experience with Microsoft Outlook or scheduling software for event planning, booking flights, making reservations, arranging meetings and finding accommodations is helpful.
Basic Math Skills
Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing as well as being able to work with fractions and percentages is important for many administrative assistants. u
When employers look for team skills what do they really want?
- They typically are looking for someone who plays well with others.
- They want an employee with an optimistic attitude who can work productively with other employees and supervisors with a common goal.
- They want employees who will pull their own weight.
Frequently when an employer requests team skills for an administrative assistant position they have had a problem employee in this position previously. (This might not have been the last person in the position because sometimes HR is pulling a job description from a file that might have been written in the past and maybe not even by the current supervisor.)
When a company requests communication skills in an administrative assistant job advertisement, look for clues as to why and what type of communication skills they might be most interested in.
Does the position include heavy client contact?
If so will this contact be more likely to be in person, over the phone, or written communication? An administrative assistant for a lawyer or clerk for a judge might be limited to written communication and some phone use, while a working for a real estate broker would probably include all three kinds of communicating.
Choose the most likely types of communication skills the job will probably entail and include examples of this on your resume.