Are you super organized, productive, and able to ward off crises before they come to a head? Is time management one of your greatest strengths? Do you consider yourself the go-to problem solver in groups and communities of which you are a member? Then a career as an administrative assistant could be for you. Often underappreciated, these professionals ensure that a business’s enterprises run smoothly.
So, how do you find that perfect administrative assistant job? The first step is crafting the perfect resume. We’ll show you how!
First, you’ll need to ensure that your resume stands out among those of other qualified candidates. Here are some tips to get you started.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have trouble reading serif fonts like Times New Roman and Cambria. Instead, use a sans-serif font like Calibri.
A clean, organized layout will enable the ATS to read and identify relevant information. It will also show the recruiter or hiring manager evidence of your organizational skills.
Including keywords that are relevant to the position will help the ATS identify your administrative assistant resume as a potential fit. There are many keywords you can include (they will vary according to the specific job), such as:
and many others.
Action verbs show that you do and have done things. They denote taking charge. Consider including action verbs such as:
And many others.
Your resume should note specific skills that are integral to your job as an administrative assistant. These include:
You will need to be well-versed in data entry, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, invoice processing, travel coordination, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other software related to running an office. Be sure to include specific programs and tools at which you’re adept.
Written and verbal communication are essential to your job. You will be answering phones, sending plenty of emails, writing and filing reports, and communicating in general with colleagues and clients.
As the backbone of your office, organization skills are essential to your job. You will be responsible for both creating systems for keeping track of data and materials as well ensuring that everything is running smoothly.
At a given time, you will be juggling many different demands—scheduling appointments, entering data, answering phones, and so on. You must have the ability to do all of these tasks and do them well.
Not only will you need to manage your own time, but you will likely be responsible for keeping schedules and calendars for colleagues in your office. Time management is an important skill for anyone, but for an administrative assistant, it is a must.
Depending on the nature of the job, you may be tasked with interacting with customers and clients regularly. That means you should be skilled and have a strong background in customer service.
Because administrative assistants work in a broad range of industries, some might require skills specific to that field. For example, an administrative assistant working in real estate would need to have a familiarity with property management software and might have a degree, certification, or license in real estate.
Looking for a template to help you create a winning administrative assistant resume? There are plenty available. Here are a few places to start:
• Job Hero
Be sure to check out our guide to the best resume templates as well.
The basic structure should be as follows:
This is an occasionally overlooked step but an important one. After all, this is how a prospective employer will contact you. You should definitely include your phone number and email address. It is not essential to include your mailing address, although some businesses may want to see that you’re local.
Near the top of your resume, briefly summarize your experience, qualifications, and accomplishments. See the samples below for examples of what you should include in this statement.
This is the nitty-gritty and bulk of your resume. You should provide a detailed rundown of your relevant experience, including where you’ve worked, how long you’ve worked there, and what you did. If you’re an entry-level candidate, don’t worry. You can include internship experience, part-time work, work-study, and even volunteer work.
Make sure you quantify your experience by incorporating specific examples of what you have achieved. Perhaps you streamlined a business’s operations, improved the onboarding process, trained the office staff on procedures, or cut paper waste by a certain percentage. These details will help you stand out.
Different employers will expect different levels of education for an administrative assistant job. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the baseline, but an associate’s degree can give you an edge in the hiring process. You can also look into shorter certification courses offered through community colleges and outside agencies to help you gain job-specific skills; this will also give you a leg up and potentially increase your starting salary.
Include relevant administrative skills (see above for the types of skills you should include). Again, be as specific as possible. Any awards or certifications you received can go into this section, too.
Rather than saying that you wrote emails and answered the phones, describe any specific procedures you implemented to streamline or improve office communication. Numbers, specific actions, and results will strengthen your candidacy for an administrative assistant role.
Organization is key to your job, and your resume should reflect that. Plus, a clean layout will help the recruiter or hiring manager (not to mention the ATS) spot your qualifications easily.
You may have once been an extra on the set of a popular TV show, but that’s not going to matter much to someone looking to hire an administrative assistant. Office, administrative, industry, and other experience that’s related to the job at hand is much more useful.
What does—and should—an administrative assistant look like? Check out these examples to give you a better picture of how you should craft yours.
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