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Are you applying for Administrative Assistant (AA) positions? The core job responsibilities remain supporting executives and ensuring smooth office operations. However, the skillset needed to excel in this role has expanded.

This blog post covers the key skills that will set you apart in your job search. We will also provide resources for upgrading and certifying your office skills.

Mastering the Fundamentals: Organization

Organization is a bedrock skill for a successful administrative assistant. You’ll be the keeper of schedules, documents, and information flow. Here’s what you’ll need to shine:

  • Calendar Management: Proficiency in scheduling software like Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar. You’ll manage executive calendars and set up meetings.
  • Time Management: Juggling multiple tasks requires a knack for prioritizing and time management. You will need familiarity with time management principles to meet deadlines and handle unexpected requests.
  • Filing and Document Management: Attention to detail and efficient filing systems are crucial. You’ll maintain paper and electronic documents, ensuring easy retrieval and organization.

Get the Skills: LinkedIn Learning offers a free month of online learning when you sign up. You can post completed courses on your LinkedIn profile to highlight your skillset to potential employers.

Communication 101

Administrative assistants are often the first point of contact for the organization. Strong communication skills are key:

  • Written Communication: You’ll draft emails, letters, and reports. Clear, concise, and error-free writing is essential for professional communication.
  • Verbal Communication: Answering phones, greeting visitors, and interacting with colleagues requires excellent verbal communication skills. Active listening skills are also helpful.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Building rapport with colleagues, executives, and external contacts is crucial. You’ll need strong interpersonal skills to navigate diverse personalities and build positive working relationships.

Get the skills: Coursera, Udemy, and edX all have excellent business communications offerings. There are fees associated with the courses, but you can audit a class for free in most cases. If you want to make sure your emails and writing are error-free, check out the free version of Grammarly.

Keeping Up with Technology

Today’s administrative assistants need familiarity with key software programs:

  • Microsoft Office Suite: Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook is a baseline expectation.
  • Industry-Specific Software: Some positions might require knowledge of project management software, accounting software, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Get the skills: Microsoft has free training modules for their software. Google Workspace also offers free online training if your company uses Google products.

Bonus Skills: Standing Out from the Crowd

While the above skills are essential, certain additional skills can make you an even more compelling candidate:

  • Foreign Language Skills: Proficiency in a second language is a valuable asset in a globalized world. Need to brush up? Duolingo is a fun way to improve your language skills.
  • Project Management Skills: Experience with project management methods can help you handle complex tasks efficiently. The Project Management Institute has free courses you can explore.
  • Social Media Skills: Social media literacy can be a plus, especially for roles involving scheduling social media posts or managing online communities. Check out HubSpot Academy’s Content Marketing Course.
  • AI Skills: Having a basic knowledge of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications work can help you stand out. Free course to start with: Great Learning “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.”

Conclusion: Invest in Administrative Assistant Skills and Land Your Dream Job

Developing these skills equips you for a rewarding career as an administrative assistant. You can showcase your skills through volunteer work, internships, or online course certificates. Choose one of the linked resources above and get started adding to (or confirming) your skillset. Willingness to learn and a strong work ethic will make you an invaluable asset to any team.

Would you like a partner in your job search? Proper Solutions Staffing can provide resume, interview, and compensation support and connect you with local hiring managers. Send your resume to today to get started. See our available positions here.

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