Impressing employers is essential in any job, but it’s particularly important for administrative assistants, who 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 practice:
Writing a Résumé
Once you’ve completed administrative assistant training, the first step to finding a job is putting together a résumé. Write 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 want and listing the skills you have that are most important to that job. Don’t go into detail; just list your main selling points and worry about fleshing them out later on.
- 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.
- Skills– Prioritize office administration and computer skills, providing each detail of your experience in bullet points. Include any other information that may be relevant to working as an administrative assistant, especially proficiency in other languages.
- Experience– Listing all the jobs you’ve had isn’t necessarily the best practice, especially if you’ve had a lot of them. 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.
Insights into Interviews
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, and if possible, figure out what that company’s specific weaknesses are and how you might fix them.
- Listing Your Weaknesses– 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.
- Listing 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.
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. To make the best impression, be sure to:
- Arrive On Time– Arriving late wastes your interviewers’ time, but arriving too early makes you look impatient. For best results, get there between 5 and 10 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 think you’re smarter or better than them.
Though knowing how to apply 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 Southern Careers Institute today.