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 abilities 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. It’s also a good idea to continuously practice these, as you never know when they might pop up in an interview question. Further, some interviews may even include an assessment where you’ll receive a score on your performance of these important office proficiencies.
What Are Clerical Skills?
Clerical skills are the abilities you use to ensure that an office is efficient and productive. They will relate to the administrative tasks that arise in office environments, such as scheduling meetings 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 with other staff. These abilities 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. If you are applying for one of these positions, listing your clerical skills on your resume is a good idea.
Employers value clerical proficiency because, without it, it’s very difficult for an office or department to function. Imagine how an office would work if the assistant wasn’t capable of answering the phones. How would a secretary one schedule meetings? Who would handle communications on behalf of the office manager?
Examples of Clerical Skills
- Data entry
- Verbal and written communication
- Attention to detail
- Computer and tech skills
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Organizational skills
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Collaboration and teamwork
“Clerical skills” is a broad term that is used to describe any ability or knowledge related to maintaining the efficiency of an office.
If you are applying for a job where such proficiencies are not required, listing “clerical skills” on your resume will suffice. On the other hand, if your job involves a large amount of clerical work, you should include a few specific examples of these abilities.
Here are a few you can list on your resume:
1. Data Entry
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 perhaps a set of forms whose inputs need to be copied into a database.
In these scenarios, you will need to exercise data entry know-how. This may involve using tools to insert data that only exists in a physical form into a computer.
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.
On the other hand, you may have to write professional correspondence such as emails to employees or memos. This will involve using written communication to produce a document that is both professional and free from any errors and typos.
3. Attention to Detail
Paying attention to detail is important in any clerical job. If you are an assistant, making one mistake in scheduling a meeting could result in your boss turning up late. That’s why compliance with prescribed policies and procedures is crucial.
On your resume, you may want to mention that you pay attention to detail. This will demonstrate that you care about the specifics and strive to do everything you can to yield a high quality of work.
4. Computer and Tech Skills
Do you know how to use a computer well? Can you type quickly? Technical and computer skills are both incredibly important to employers, no matter how obvious they may seem.
You have an understanding of how to enter data into a computer, as well as how to navigate different software. If you work in a clerical job, you may need experience creating presentations using PowerPoint or using a specific email client.
Often, employers will have you take a tech assessment as part of the interview procedure and score you on your abilities.
Clerical jobs often involve a high degree of filing work. For instance, suppose you are an executive assistant. You may have to reorganize an existing file system or ensure all executive correspondence are printed and stored in an archive.
Employers hiring for clerical positions will look for filling experience 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.
6. Time Management
The ability to manage time effectively is a crucial aspect of any job. It’s especially important for clerical workers, who often have to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. There are only so many hours in a day, so being able to manage those hours with careful planning is key your success.
7. Critical Thinking
Whether you’re working in a government position or for a private firm, the ability to think critically has many benefits for your individual performance. In many ways, the practice of critical thinking is more art than science. It’s all about finding new answers to difficult questions and problems.
8. Organizational Skills
Another ability that will make you a more attractive candidate has to do with organization. Staying organized is no easy task, so employers (and your colleagues) will appreciate your individual effort to keep track of important things. Organizational skills are key to any position.
This is another attribute of a great job candidate that makes an individual quite popular with her colleagues. The ability to find answers and solutions to problems creatively is a major benefit to any worker and department. Your colleagues and managers will appreciate your efforts to take charge of your situation and find answers to questions on your own when possible.
10. Bookkeeping and Accounting
While not all clerical positions will require knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting procedures, it’s worth it to get some training in this department. Being able to support with these abilities will be a major help to your team. Knowing your way around a spreadsheet can improve your stock (and salary!) with any company.
11. Collaboration and Teamwork
No matter where you work, odds are that someone is going to need help with something. That’s where a strong collaborative mindset comes in. Why not be the one who can be relied upon to offer quality support to your teammates. While this soft skill might not be reflected in your salary, it will earn you the respect and your office mates. So, just a tip: try to find ways to be of service to those around you.
comes in. Why not be the one who can be relied upon to offer quality support to your teammates. While this soft skill might not be reflected in your salary, it will earn you the respect and your office mates. So, just a tip: try to find ways to be of service to those around you.
How to List Clerical Skills on Your Resume
There are two places you can highlight clerical experience 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 abilities and experience you think qualify you for a particular position. This is where all the technical skills come in. For example, proficiency using Microsoft Office. You should also list all the soft skills you have.
Here is sample with clerical experience 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 abilities 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 a sample with a variety of clerical proficiencies listed as bullet points 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 manage
– 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
Don’t Forget Your Cover Letter
When it comes to listing clerical experience, your cover letter is a fantastic opportunity. If you were unable to include all the relevant clerical abilities on your resume, be sure to sneak them into your cover letter. Your cover letter is a great place to highlight soft skills like time management and critical thinking.
If you’re working in an office environment, it helps to have some clerical experience. If you are going to work in an administrative role, these tasks may take up a large percentage of your time.
By following the tips and advice in this article, you’ll have no trouble highlighting your clerical skills on your resume.
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