An administrative assistant is a lifesaver for many businesses and employers, performing a variety of clerical duties that keep offices operating effectively. Employed throughout the private and public sectors, administrative assistants have strong organizational and administrative skills that allow them to coordinate and implement office procedures independently or as part of a team.
Depending on the sector, administrative assistants may be required to produce correspondence and documents, answer phones, maintain records, spreadsheets, databases, and office systems, use a range of content management systems and software packages such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, book rooms and conference facilities, attend meetings and take minutes, manage budgets, order office supplies, sort and distribute mail, and complete many other tasks. The role also requires versatility as administrative assistants often juggle numerous tasks at one time.
The role of administrative assistant varies greatly depending on the sector, the size of the employer, and the levels of responsibility. In general, an administrative assistant's main responsibility is to keep a business or office running smoothly so even simple tasks like printing photocopies can be important on a particular day. Strong organizational skills, the ability to multitask, and a helpful manner are needed in this field. Key desirable skills include:
- Strong administrative or clerical skills
- Positive, helpful manner when working with numerous employees who may need your services
- Highly organized with ability to multitask