Administrative Assistant Skills That Make You Stand Out

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Clients of Brelsford Personnel are always looking for the best administrative assistants. Our agency seeks out quality administrative talent to place with top East Texas employers. But what exactly does it mean to be the best? Take a look at these key skills to find out if you’re a good fit for one of our administrative assistant jobs.

Communication

Administrative assistants tend to be one of the first faces a client will see. All communication – whether it is on the phone, over email, or in person – should be clear, concise, and direct. Administrators rely on their assistants to communicate with company employees at every level, so a friendly and professional communication style can keep things running smoothly.

Another essential part of communication is body language. For example, maintaining an open stance by not crossing your arms demonstrates you are approachable. Keeping eye contact and wearing a friendly expression are also indispensable parts of this skill.

When you understand and manage your own emotions and positively influence those of others, you show strong emotional intelligence. Your strength enables quick decision-making and simplifies conflict resolution.

Effective Time Management

Would people who know you describe you as someone who sets goals, prioritizes, and plans ahead? Many recruiters are searching for a candidate with exceptional time-management skills. Time management is a vital attribute for any employee, but especially for administrative assistants.

The key is to start every day with a clear idea of what needs to be done. That means planning. Make a to-do list or outline a plan to make the most of your day. Anticipating solutions to common hiccups helps work move more efficiently. A good administrative assistant instinctively looks for problems and addresses them before they are noticed.

Strong candidates also have a laser-like focus. They know how to filter out distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. Their time management skills lead to higher productivity and job satisfaction. For more on time management, see our article 3 Time-Wasting Habits to Break Now.

Attention to Detail

Paying attention to the little things can mean the difference between an average employee and an amazing one. It’s the details that count. When you spot even the minor mistakes, your work is dependably accurate.

This skill requires good listening, meticulous observation, and exceptional patience. Even small mistakes can have major consequences, but detail-oriented administrative assistants thrive.

Confidentiality

Administrative assistants should handle all information with extreme confidentiality. One of the most important parts of your job is safeguarding the information you receive about clients, the company and other employees.

Sharing this information can lead to a loss of revenue. It can ruin relationships and cause big accounts to go to the competition. A confidentiality breach can turn into a media nightmare and ruin a company’s good name forever. If an administrative assistant leaks information their company doesn’t just lose business, they break trust.

Most companies have regulations explaining what you can and can’t discuss outside of work. These are often outlined in the employee handbook, so if you get the job make learning them a high priority. No matter where you apply for an administrative assistant job, recruiters are looking for employees that know how to be prudent with their words.

Organization

Organization and adaptability are must-have skills for administrative assistants. It’s not just about who has the cleanest desk or powers through a to-do list fastest. These are the skills you’ll need to promote a positive working environment:

  • Problem-solving – This goes back to effective communication. A strong administrative assistant can work with others to solve tough problems in an organized fashion.
  • Physical Work Space – Having stacks of loose papers or personal items piled all over your desk sends a bad message to an employer.
  • Professional attire — A person’s physical appearance indicates to employers the care and attention to detail with which they approach their work. Clean, professional clothing can go a long way.
  • Planning and Scheduling – Your ability to juggle deadlines and appointments makes you an asset. When you take the initiative to complete tasks, it shows employers that you’re looking out for their interests. In the long run, your organization signals you’re ready for more responsibility.
  • Prioritization – A strong administrative assistant knows the difference between a high-priority task and a low-priority task. He or she always responds accordingly.

For an administrative assistant, these traits are key ingredients of a productive and fulfilling job experience. When you apply and when you go through the interview process, employers are evaluating your organization skills. Once you get the job, you won’t last long if you don’t show adaptability and oversight.

Problem Solving

How do you respond to the unexpected? For administrative assistants, new situations arise quickly that may require rapid-fire decisions and clear knowledge of the workplace.

Sometimes events derail your day and ruin your plans. Getting off-track can be difficult, but the best administrative assistants know how to quickly alter course and minimize disruptions after new problems arise. Recruiters are searching for employees who can adapt to change quickly and efficiently.

Being adaptable makes the workplace more cohesive. It’s a must-have skill for your position, and one that will make you stand out as a driven and exemplary employee.

The Importance of Experience

Being an administrative assistant requires diverse talents, but your company needs those skills to run smoothly. If you are self-motivated and a team player who is comfortable using a phone or computer, this might be the job for you. Administrative assistant jobs may include responsibilities like handling phone calls, answering mail, managing filing systems, and maintaining office supply inventories. You’ll probably also be required to type, enter data, and manage schedules and appointments.

Always check the job posting to see what is the minimum amount of experience required. It’s also good to be upfront about proficiency in programs you will interface with like Word, Excel, and QuickBooks.

If this article describes you, you may be perfect for the job of administrative assistant. Feel free to check out our online job postings for your next career opportunity.

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