Administrative assistant jobs exist in almost every industry. They don't require years of specialized training, and they can offer opportunities for advancement.
If you're highly organized and have basic computer skills, an administrative assistant role might be perfect for you.
There are fewer administrative assistant jobs than there used to be. So, to get started on this career path — or to find new opportunities — you need a competitive resume that stands out in a crowd.
In this article, we will discuss the skills an administrative assistant needs and how to write the ideal resume to land an administrative assistant job in 2021.
Administrative assistants handle a wide variety of organizational and clerical tasks in an office.
Many administrative assistant jobs are entry-level, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Administrative assistants work behind the scenes to keep businesses running smoothly.
Administrative assistants work in many types of organizations, including enterprises, legal offices, clinics and hospitals, schools, government agencies, and more. The average salary for an administrative assistant in the U.S. is $40,000.
The responsibilities of an administrative assistant are diverse. On the same day, they might greet visitors at the office, take notes on an important meeting, plan a business trip for the CEO, and order new office supplies.
Every administrative assistant job is a bit different, but they all require a mix of organizational, technical, and interpersonal skills.
Since being an administrative assistant requires you to do a variety of tasks throughout your day, you should also be great at multitasking and time management.
You don’t need to be a tech genius to be an administrative assistant, but you should be competent with a computer. You’ll probably use it for everything from managing expenses to typing notes and emails.
Valuable technical skills include:
As an administrative assistant, you’re often the first point of contact for people who call or visit the office. Your job will also involve providing support for people within your organization. To do those things well, you need excellent interpersonal skills.
Administrative assistant work that requires excellent communication may include:
You usually need a high school diploma or GED to be an administrative assistant.
While no further education is necessary, there are training or degree programs that can give you a competitive edge.
Follow these five tips to craft a resume that stands out from the crowd. 1. #### Customize your resume Every administrative assistant job is a little different.
Read the job description carefully to find out which specific skills you need for the job you’re applying for and emphasize those on your resume. 2. #### Include your most relevant experience
Your professional resume doesn’t have to include everything you’ve ever done. Most should only be one page long, two at most.
Choose the work experience that’s most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’ve already had two administrative assistant jobs, you probably don’t need to include an earlier position in food service.
And when you write bullet points about your experience in each position, choose the tasks that relate most closely to the ones in the job ad. 3. #### Use keywords Did you know that 75% of resumes are never seen by a real person? Most get filtered out by applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are software programs that screen resumes and choose which ones to send to the human recruiter or hiring manager.
Check the job listing for important keywords. For example, if the job ad says you need to be “proficient in Microsoft Office,” put the phrase “proficient in Microsoft Office” in your resume skills section.
Keywords help get your resume past the ATS and can impress human recruiters. 4. #### Proofread everything As an administrative assistant, you need to have excellent attention to detail. You can prove you are capable of this by eliminating any typos from your resume and cover letter.
Don’t get too creative with your resume format or font choice. Fancy formats can make your resume harder to read and draw attention away from your skills and experience.
Let’s take a look at three sample administrative assistant resumes and what makes them great.
100 Jobcase Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Highly organized entry-level administrative assistant with strong interpersonal skills. Experienced at providing customer service and managing time with a heavy workload.
Eastman Electronics, 2018 – 2020, New York, NY
Customer Service Associate
2016 Diploma, Hillcrest High School, New York, NY
Why it’s great
This job seeker has no administrative assistant experience, but they still manage to emphasize relevant skills. In the resume summary and skills section, they talk about being organized, communicating well, and having important hard skills, like a fast typing speed.
In the experience section, they emphasize the parts of their customer service job that could help them as an administrative assistant, including answering the phone, assisting others, and entering information into a computer system.
If you have no previous work experience, you can add other types of experience to your resume. For example, maybe you’ve used your organizational skills as a volunteer or member of a club.
150 Jobcase St.
Houston, TX 77001
Administrative assistant experienced at scheduling travel, using CRM, and communicating with vendors. Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Imagine International, Inc., 2016 – 2021, Houston, TX
Davis Designs, 2014 – 2016, Houston, TX
2019 Certificate in Business Administration, Houston Community College
Why it’s great
This resume emphasizes a skillset and experience that would be valuable in other administrative assistant positions.
While the candidate has a wealth of experience, they chose just a few skills to emphasize in their resume summary. Ideally, these should be skills required by the new job and mentioned in the job posting.
333 Jobcase Place
St. Paul, MN 55116
Dependable administrative assistant with 10 years of experience in the medical field. Highly organized and adept at communicating with patients and teammates.
St. Paul Health Group, 2011 – 2021, St. Paul, MN
Why it’s great
According to a survey of employers, the top three most important soft skills for medical administrative assistants are professionalism, dependability, and verbal communication. Their main responsibilities include answering calls, operating computer systems, and scheduling appointments.
This candidate emphasizes each of these qualities, as well as their years of experience in the medical field.
While administrative assistants can move between industries, the job will be a bit different in each type of organization. If you have specialized experience in the field you’re applying to, you should make sure to mention it.
There are opportunities for administrative assistants in most industries. If you have the organizational, technical, and interpersonal skills the role requires, you’re just one perfect resume away from landing a great job.
Use the examples we’ve shown you as inspiration for creating a resume that wows recruiters and hiring managers.
For more job search tips and career advice, visit the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center.