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Administrative professionals need very specific skills in order to succeed at their job. Whether you’re applying to be an office assistant, an executive assistant, or administrative support, you’ll be involved in employee management and support. That’s a lot of responsibility, and this is why administrative positions often have very specific skill requirements. Here’s what you need to know about administrative skills, including how to put your own skill set together, and how to fill out your CV and cover with these skills.
Administrative skills help you manage an office more effectively. In an administrative job, you need a wide variety of skills, including everything from customer service to knowledge of specific software to organizing meetings and travel. If your job search is covering jobs that feature administrative tasks, you’ll want to include administrative skills in your CV so the hiring manager knows you’ll be able to perform these tasks.
While different administrative roles will need different skills, there are typically a core set of important administrative skills that anyone applying for an administrative job should have. These are a few of the most prominent skills you might want to include:
Remember that different administrative jobs will have different skills they consider important or critical. Some jobs may require that you know how to work with spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, while some may put more emphasis on QuickBooks knowledge. Whether you’re an administrative assistant or you’re planning to work in project management, check the job description to learn more about the skills they’re expecting you to have.
To describe your administrative skills effectively, you first need to know what skills the company is working for. Look at keywords the hiring manager has used in the job description to describe the requirements for the job. These are the skills you’re going to want to showcase in your application if you want to get the job.
Next, list up to 10 skills. The exact number you’ll want to put in your CV varies; a functional CV will typically include more, while a chronological CV will typically use fewer. Choose skills that are in the job description but that you can also showcase in your work history and achievements.
Lastly, sprinkle proof of your administrative skills throughout your CV. You’ll want to highlight how you’ve used these skills to benefit companies you’ve worked for in the past. For example, look at how you might create bullet points to describe past experiences in a way that bolsters your administrative skills:
These bullet points show that you were given responsibilities and that you used those responsibilities to benefit the company. They’ll allow you to stand out against a sea of job seekers who don’t have the same ability to showcase their administrative skills.
Many administrative skills are soft skills. However, you also need to know how to manage many kinds of office equipment, including computers and computer software, to succeed as an administrative expert. It’s best to lean heavily on soft skills when listing your administrative skills, but you should also incorporate some hard skills if you want to showcase that you already know how to do a lot of the things that office managers regularly do in their day-to-day work.
Different industries will have different preferred administrative skills. The best way to determine which ones are best for your organization will always be to check the job description and to look at CV examples for your specific job and industry. Because these skills vary so dramatically, you should personalize each CV to the new job you’re seeking for the best results.
The rule of thumb is to list administrative skills you’re very good at and come up with achievements to back them up. Look at the specific responsibilities you had in previous jobs, including specific achievements that were beneficial for the company. How would you describe the skills you incorporated into your work? What skills did you receive awards for? These are the skills you should be listing.
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