You’re looking at a job description and you think to yourself, “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!”. Then you realize that the position is looking for clerical skills, which you don’t currently mention in your resume. What should you do? How should you showcase these skills on your resume?
In this guide, we’re going to discuss what clerical skills are, why they are important, and how to list them on your resume. We’ll also give you two examples that you can use as a guide the next time you’re revamping your resume.
What Are Clerical Skills?
Clerical skills are skills you use to ensure that an office is efficient and productive. The clerical skills you exercise on the job will be related to the administrative tasks that arise in office environments, such as scheduling meetings and calls, and sorting files.
Clerical skills are invaluable for anyone who works in an office. Even if you are a senior employee, you’ll still need to be able to file documents away and communicate over the phone with other members of staff. These skills are especially valuable if you are going to be working in an administrative role.
Administrative assistants, office clerks, typists, archivists, and other clerical workers use office skills on a daily basis. As a result, if you are applying for one of these positions, listing your clerical skills on your resume is a good way to position yourself as the right candidate for a job.
Employers value clerical skills because, without them, it’s very difficult for an office to function. Imagine how an office would work if the assistant wasn’t capable of answering the phones. How would meetings be scheduled? Who would handle communications on behalf of the office manager?
What Are Some Examples of Clerical Skills?
“Clerical skills” is a broad term that is used to describe any skill related to maintaining the efficiency of an office.
If you are applying for a job where clerical skills are not necessarily required but are a bonus, then listing “clerical skills” on your resume will be fine. On the other hand, if your job involves a large amount of clerical work, you should include a few specific examples of clerical skills with which you have experience.
Here are a few you can list on your resume:
#1: Data Entry Skills
If you are working in a clerical position, you may have to spend a lot of time entering data into computers. For instance, you may be given a list of client records that need to be moved over to a computer, or a set of forms whose inputs need to be copied into a database.
In these scenarios, you will need to exercise data entry skills. This may involve using tools such as Microsoft Office and G Suite in order to insert data into a computer that only exists in a physical form.
In an office, you’ll spend a lot of time communicating with others. There are two main types of communication that you’ll use: oral and written.
For instance, in your day-to-day work, you may be expected to talk with clients over the phone or participate in videoconferences. In these situations, you should be able to share information effectively and check in to ensure that everyone is on the same page about the information you have communicated.
On the other hand, you may have to write professional correspondence such as emails to employees or memos. This will involve using written communication skills so that you produce a document that is both professional and free from any errors and typos.
#3: Attention to Detail
Paying attention to detail is an important skill in any clerical job. If you are an assistant, for instance, making one mistake in scheduling a meeting could result in your boss turning up late, or a meeting is arranged in a room that has already been booked.
On your resume, you may want to mention that you pay attention to detail. This will demonstrate to an employer that you care about the specifics, and strive to do everything you can to yield a high quality of work.
#4: Computer Skills
Do you know how to use a computer well? Can you type quickly? These skills are both incredibly important to employers, no matter how obvious they may seem.
Not only should you have an understanding of how to enter data into a computer, but you should also be good at navigating a wide range of software. For instance, if you work in a clerical job, you may need to have experience creating presentations using PowerPoint, or in using a specific email client such as Outlook or Gmail.
Clerical jobs often involve a high degree of filing work. For instance, suppose you are an executive assistant. You may be tasked with reorganizing an existing file system or be responsible for ensuring that all executive correspondence—memos, emails, and so on—are printed and stored in an archive room.
Employers hiring for clerical positions will look for filling skills for a few reasons. First, categorizing files is an important part of many workplaces. Second, being able to file effectively demonstrates that you are organized and are able to think logically. These are two soft skills that many employers care about.
How to List Clerical Skills on Your Resume
There are two places you can highlight clerical skills on your resume—in the skills section or in the work experience section.
The skills section of your resume is where you’ll highlight all the specific skills you think qualify you for a particular position. This is where all the technical skills come in. An example of technical skills is having experience using Microsoft Office. You should also list all of the soft skills you have, such as your clerical skills.
Here is an example of clerical skills being highlighted in a skills section on a resume:
Administrative clerk skills: Experience using the Microsoft Office suite, experience using Salesforce, attention to detail, ability to file, data entry skills, problem-solving.
You can also list your clerical skills in the work experience section of your resume. In this section, you should list all of your professional experience, alongside the main goals you accomplished in those respective positions. Here is an example of clerical skills listed in the work experience section of a resume:
J Peterson Agriculture
May 2014 – June 2019
- Filed executive correspondence and other important company documents on behalf of the office manager
- Composed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents based on information provided by the office manager
- Recorded the minutes of meeting and distributed agendas to attendees at meetings
- Helped transcribe an archive of old physical documents into digital form
If you’re working in an office environment, you’ll have to exercise some clerical skills. If you are going to work in an administrative role, these tasks—such as categorizing files and typing documents—may take up a large percentage of your time.
By following the advice in this article, you’ll have no trouble highlighting your clerical skills on your resume. It may just be that your clerical skills are what convinces an employer to reach out to you and schedule an interview!