Anyone planning to work as an administrative professional knows they will need to obtain a certain set of skills. While many of these important administrative skills will be made known to you in job descriptions or even job interviews, it is always best to get a head start when trying to find a job.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of the most important administrative skills for any working professional to have. Whether you are majoring in business administration or simply pursuing a career as an administrative assistant, these skills will benefit you in all aspects of your life.
What Are Administrative Skills?
Administrative skills are the skills needed to manage or help manage a business. There is a wide range of skills that fall into this category, and each one is important for keeping a business running smoothly. These skills can be qualities about you as a person, such as naturally being a good communicator, or learned skills, such as understanding certain technologies.
While many administrative skills are useful to have in any job, not everyone needs to be able to list them on a resume. The reason most people need administrative skills is if they plan to apply for jobs working in positions such as office managers, or if they intend to run their own businesses in the future. For those who are not fond of the idea of being the boss, administrative skills may not seem as important. However, these skills may benefit you in other aspects of your life.
Top Skills for Administrative Professionals
Time Management Skills
Running any business is a lot of work. Administrative employees almost always have multiple things to do and there often seems like there is not enough time in the day to complete all of the required tasks. That is why having good time management skills is so important.
Administrative professionals need to schedule their time properly and accordingly to fit everything into their busy days. This means having a good understanding of not only how to schedule, but also how long tasks will take to complete and how to best prioritize to-do lists.
Another big component of a business is communicating. Administrative professionals are often tasked with communication between employees, employers, partners, and clients. This means having good interpersonal and communication skills is critical to being a good administrative employee.
A good portion of an administrative professional’s workday will be spent making and answering phone calls, leaving voicemails, sending emails and letters, and scheduling in-person meetings. Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is the key to success in this area of business.
Since administrative professionals are so busy, another vital skill to have is attention to detail. When making schedules, sending out messages, using company technology, and facing any sort of problem, being able to remain detail-oriented is a surefire way to avoid clerical errors on your end.
Sometimes it is okay for small details to be missed, but this can often lead to huge problems. Say you are in charge of scheduling important client meetings for your boss and you miss a few details surrounding the dates and times of these meetings. Suddenly, your boss has three meetings scheduled for the same time and the clients will be forced to reschedule. Being detail-oriented can prevent mistakes like this from ever happening.
Organizational skills will benefit you in any job, and also your personal life. Whether it be organizing a schedule, files, bills, or important papers, being organized is crucial to any administrative job.
Many administrative professionals work as office managers who must organize all of a business’s finances, client information, files, employee information, and many other documents. Even sorting through resumes and cover letters requires immense organizational skills in order to keep track of them and protect people’s information.
Working in any office space, you are bound to need some technical skills. Whether it be as simple as using Microsoft office or using more complex, job-specific software, it is important to at least have a basic understanding of the technology you will need to be using for your career in the administration field.
Most administrative employees will be put in charge of ordering supplies, creating invoices, maintaining office records, and using various software applications such as QuickBooks. By researching the positions you are applying for, you can determine exactly what technical skills you will need and benign practicing them.
Conclusion: Which Administrative Skills Do You Need?
It is hard to say which administrative skills one person needs, as all of them are great skills to have. By developing all of these skills, you are sure to impress potential employers and excel in any career you go into. If you intend to run your own business, you must possess as many administrative skills as possible to be successful.
If you are unsure of exactly what skills you will need for your dream job, doing a bit of research about the position can go a long way. By doing so, you can determine exactly what the job entails and if the necessary skills are not explicitly listed, it will be much easier to infer what employers are looking for.
In any case, listing as many administrative skills as possible on your resume can’t hurt. The more skilled you are, the higher your employability is. For the best chance at receiving any job position, use your judgment and decide which of these skills will impress your future employers the most.