Administrative assistants play an important role in every major company by doing the technical and managerial work that keeps the organization functioning daily.
But, to succeed in this fast-paced role, you’ll need a variety of specific hard and soft skills.
Below we’ve included a list of over ten excellent administrative assistant hard and soft skills that hiring managers will expect to see on your resume to know you’ve got what it takes to excel at the job.
Table of contents
- Administrative assistant hard skills
- Administrative assistant soft skills
- Administrative assistant skills on a resume
Administrative assistant hard skills
Administrative assistants need to have various hard skills to perform their jobs well.
For example, being proficient with Word processing programs like Google Docs and Microsoft Word for editing and proofreading documents, Microsoft Excel for data entry, and having experience with digital calendars for scheduling important meetings are all essential technical skills for admin assistants.
Customer service skills are also a huge part of being a great administrative assistant. Having good phone etiquette and negotiation skills helps you interact with vendors to buy office supplies at the best possible rates.
Here are 11 additional hard skills you should highlight on your administrative assistant resume:
- proficiency with email platforms (e.g., Gmail & iCloud Mail)
- knowledge of fax machines, projectors and scanners
- word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word & Google Docs)
- spreadsheet software data entry (e.g., Microsoft Excel)
- database management
- scheduling with digital calendars
- customer service
- phone etiquette (for answering phone calls)
- editing and proofreading
- inventory and supply management
Administrative assistant soft skills
Because of the number of people you’ll work with daily and your (sometimes hectic) daily schedule, soft skills are also vital to supporting your office’s staff and excelling as an administrative assistant.
Below we’ve listed seven additional administrative soft skills that will look great on your resume:
Time management is critical for an administrative assistant. You’ll need to prioritize your projects by both urgency and time duration to complete the dozens of tasks that are handed to you daily.
You’ll need to arrange your schedule to finish your tasks, but also put away time to handle unexpected work that may arise, such as additional phone calls, emails, and deliveries to the office.
Administrative assistants are also often responsible for managing the time of others through booking meetings, planning events, and managing calendars. Without great time management, you’ll likely quickly feel overwhelmed on the job.
Similar to time management, organizational skills go hand-in-hand with being an administrative assistant. Without superb organization, it’ll be difficult for you to manage your time and the physical and digital items needed to perform your job.
Administrative assistants will be in charge of organizing physical items like:
- office supplies
But, you’ll also likely have to manage digital items, such as:
Being organized will help save you time and help everyone at the company do their jobs efficiently.
Administrators want assistants to take informed, decisive action when issues arise, for which you’ll need great problem-solving skills to pull off.
Executives don’t want to spend their time answering endless questions from administrative assistants, and appreciate the ones who take the initiative and can act and make decisions independently.
If you develop strong problem-solving skills and learn to handle issues without involving your superiors or executives, you’ll prove your value on the job.
Attention to detail
As an administrative assistant, a big part of your job is to prevent certain problems before they happen, and the best way to do this is by having strong attention to detail.
Double-checking documents, bills, receipts, calendars, event details, mailing, email addresses, and other important information will save you time and trouble later on.
Paying close attention to detail also helps you demonstrate credibility. If you’re detail-oriented, your boss will trust you to handle your work and won’t need to keep a close eye on you.
Similarly, clients and business partners appreciate attention to detail because it reflects well on your entire company. When all the little processes are handled without hassle, your business will appear professional, well-organized, and focused on providing the best service possible.
It’s best to arrange your day to finish your tasks on time. But, when problems inevitably arise, and you’re required to handle unexpected work, you’ll need great adaptability to go with the flow and get everything done in an efficient and timely manner.
For example, if your company changes ownership or an administrator is replaced, you might need to adapt to new SOPs and other operations. Different people have different preferences when it comes to organization.
Administrative assistants also use technology every day, and because of its tendency to change rapidly, you’ll need great adaptability when learning how to use new software, programs, and devices.
Communication skills are very important for administrative assistants. Every day you’ll handle tons of work that requires both excellent written and oral communication.
Administrative assistants spend a considerable amount of their day writing emails, letters, memos, reports, and speaking to colleagues or customers.
To correctly navigate your way through this job, you’ll need superb writing skills to make very few, if any, grammatical errors. You also must be able to speak clearly, be direct and convincing while remaining polite and professional.
Administrative assistants are often the interface between high-level executives (C-suite staff or CEOs) and the people served by an organization, such as clients, customers, or patients.
This means that you’ll interact with a wide range of people every day, requiring that you have great interpersonal skills. In general, you’ll need to demonstrate you have the people skills necessary to understand and work with a variety of colleagues in different positions.
You can give examples of your interpersonal skills in your resume skills section. Explain them in-depth when writing your cover letter, and be prepared to discuss them with a hiring manager during your interview.
Administrative assistant skills on a resume
Finally, here’s an example of how your skills should look on your administrative assistant resume: