3 Things You’ll Need to Know When You Finish Administrative Assistant Training
Administrative assistants are among the most visible corporate figures. If they can’t impress potential employers, what chance do they have of winning over customers? To ensure success, supplement your administrative assistant training program with the knowledge you need to succeed in this field. Here’s what you need to know about finding a job as an administrative assistant.
1. You need a great résumé.
Once you’ve completed administrative assistant training, the first step to finding a job is putting together a compelling résumé. Include your name, address, and contact information at the top of the page before listing:
- Job Description– Begin with a brief paragraph describing the job you are seeking and list the skills you have that are most important to that job. List your main selling points and flesh them out later in the skills and experience section.
- Education– For each degree or certification, provide the school name and location, the year you received it, and a list of the courses you took that relate most directly. If you graduated with honors or received any awards worth mentioning, include that here as well.
- Skills– Prioritize office administration and computer skills, providing detail for each of your internships or positions in bullet points. Include any other information that may be relevant to working as an administrative assistant, especially proficiency in other languages, an ability to stay organized and multitask, and great communication skills.
- Experience– Listing all the jobs you’ve had isn’t necessarily the best practice, especially if you’ve had a lot of them that do not pertain to the job you are trying to get. Rather, pick two or three jobs that are most directly relevant to administrative assistance, such as working as a secretary or receptionist. Describe the basic duties of each job in a brief paragraph. If there are any specific experiences you think should stand out, list them below in bullet points.
2. You have to nail the interview.
Even the best resume can only get your foot in the door. Impressing employers in interviews is just as important as impressing them on paper, so prepare for each interview by:
- Researching The Company– Learn as much as you can about each company that gives you an interview. Your potential employer will be appreciative and hopefully impressed with your willingness to learn more about their company and their work.
- Knowing Your Weaknesses– This is a common question asked in most interviews. Employers value employees who are honest about their weaknesses, think about them regularly, and strive to improve. The more you’ve thought about ways to better yourself, the more employers will trust you to do so.
- Knowing Your Strengths– Résumés must be concise, meaning even the best one can’t fully communicate what you will add to the workplace. An interview allows you to fill in these gaps, explaining the full value of each of your strengths.
- Anticipating Questions– The better you’ve thought through your answers to common questions, the more confident and intelligent you will sound in the interview. Ask a friend or family member to practice with you so you can feel more confident in your answers.
3. Etiquette is everything.
Customer service is a major part of an administrative assistant’s job, and the way you interact with interviewers gives them a sense of how you will interact with customers, clients, and coworkers. To make the best impression, be sure to:
- Arrive On Time– Arriving late wastes the time of potential employers, but arriving too early makes you look impatient. Get there between 10 and 15 minutes before the interview.
- Phone Prudence– Keep your phone on vibrate or silent, and never check it during an interview.
- Don’t Patronize– Be mindful of the tone you use when explaining yourself and your résumé. Though it’s great to come across as knowledgeable, make sure you don’t give interviewers the impression that you love to talk about yourself too much.
Though knowing how to apply for a job is important, there’s no substitute for a quality administrative assistant training program, complete with classes in word processor use, customer service, typing, and other office skills. For more about a career in administrative assistance, contact the SCI today.
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