ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS, SECRETARIES, AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS LEARN A NUMBER OF SKILLS THAT ARE EASILY TRANSFERABLE TO MANY ROLES. NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF CAREER YOU WANT TO PURSUE, THE FOLLOWING SIX SKILLS WILL HELP YOU SUCCEED.
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Don’t underplay your administrative skills when you go for your next job interview. Regardless of your intended career path, any prospective employer will see your administrative skills as desirable assets.
Efficient typing skills
All types of administrative professionals will spend much of their time typing at their keyboards. Whether they’ve taken professional typing courses or not, they’ll likely find their speed and accuracy improving over time. With computers found in almost every workplace, typing skills have become more important in every industry.
Computer programmers, medical transcriptionists, and stenographers rely heavily on typing skills, but you’ll find any prospective employer will assume you have the proper typing skills. The faster you can accurately type, the more productive you will be in most workplaces.
Strong software competency skills
When administrative workers perform their jobs today, they are typically using a computer to do so. As a result, administrative employees typically have good software competency skills.
Administrative assistants and secretaries spend much time using office productivity programs including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and other programs in the Microsoft Office suite. Administrative managers use these programs and project management tools that include Microsoft Project and SharePoint.
Many of these programs are in use in areas outside of the administrative world. Even if former administrative professionals seek roles in industries where these programs aren’t used, their experience using them is beneficial. The more familiar you are using any type of computer programs, the easier it is to familiarize yourself with new programs.
Organizational and time management skills
Making and managing appointments is another vital skill for many administrative professionals. From the administrative assistants managing patient bookings at a busy doctor’s office to the personal secretaries organizing the appointments of executives, administrative professionals must make sure time gets used efficiently and appointments never overlap.
Making and maintaining appointments requires a variety of skills that are transferable to many professions. Note your appointment-keeping experience and a prospective employer becomes aware of your organizational skills and ability to demonstrate effective time management skills.
Well-developed filing skills
Another administrative talent that speaks to your ability to stay organized is your filing skills. Administrative professionals must file physical or electronic documents so that they and others can find them quickly.
An administrative professional’s filing skills will help the person perform the duties of any role. While administrative workers may not touch physical files, they’re likely have to save electronic files on network servers. When they do, they’ll rely on their filing skills they developed in the past.
Your filing skills tell any prospective employer that you’re efficient. It communicates that you won’t waste time on the job and will be an asset to any team.
Excellent interpersonal skills
Administrative workers need strong interpersonal skills because they deal with employees from almost every department of a company. The interpersonal skills administrative workers need that are transferable to other roles include:
- Speaking and listening skills
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Negotiation skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to make decisions about the best courses of action
Administrative employees will find that they develop their interpersonal skills the longer they work in the field. Interpersonal skills can also be improved during leisure time through playing team sports and participating in social organizations. People also build their interpersonal skills through time spent with their family members and friends.
Superior attention to detail
Administrative workers need to notice the details. If a document is missing a signature, for example, lengthy delays may severely impact a business. If an email with a spelling error gets transmitted, it can make a business seem unprofessional.
It’s not only the small details that matter to administrative professionals, but it’s also the larger ones. Administrative managers must monitor many tasks while understanding how they fit into a larger project.
No matter what role you pursue, details matter. This attention to detail makes the extra care you’re used to taking as an administrative professional a valuable asset to any company.