Becoming an administrative assistant requires talent in a variety of areas. Good typing and active listening skills along with the ability to take dictation and communicate effectively are integral to this position. The following are skills and traits vital to becoming an administrative assistant.
Ability to multitask. Administrative assistants are responsible for a wide variety of tasks, and the amount of work they have to do often exceeds what most people could accomplish in a reasonable time period. They have to learn to multitask, planning schedules while answering and redirecting phone calls, and setting up meetings while emailing an executive with requests.
Fast typing. A great deal of an administrative assistant’s job consists of clerical work, and being able to type quickly and efficiently is a valuable skill. Whether completing reports, composing emails and interoffice memos, or compiling and preparing research for an executive, fast typing allows the task to be done quickly so administrative assistants can handle other aspects of their position.
Ability to take dictation. Being able to type what an executive dictates is another important skill, and often a requirement for an administrative assistant. Executives frequently plan emails, reports, and notes out loud, and having someone else type the words enables them to focus on making them sound as natural and professional as possible. It also provides the executive with immediate feedback and the benefit of a second person’s opinion.
Pleasant disposition. One of the primary duties of an administrative assistant is answering phones and talking with customers, business representatives, and more. This means administrative assistants must always have a pleasant disposition, no matter who they are talking with. They often give clients and callers their first impression of the company, and by handling every phone call and interaction with grace and poise, they ensure people have a pleasant experience with the company.
High tolerance for stress. There is a huge amount of responsibility involved in being an administrative assistant, and some people are simply not cut out for the job. Effective administrative assistants are used to operating on a deadline and handling a large number of tasks at once, in addition to monitoring the progress of others and managing various schedules and appointments. There is an element of stress in any job, and aspiring administrative assistants must be strong and able to handle high anxiety levels.
Good communication skills. Not only do administrative assistants have to answer phone calls and act as a receptionist, but they must communicate effectively with a variety of different people. They often deal with executives, customers, and coworkers, and have to interact respectfully and appropriately with each group of people. They coordinate efforts within and between departments, answer queries for customers, and provide constant support for the executives. On many occasions they are asked to represent the interests of an executive or another party, and as such they must be authoritative, respectful, and completely aware of the plans and goals of their company.
For more information on what it takes to be an effective administrative assistant, contact Symphony Placements today.