Polish your resume and make it shine for your next job opportunity!
Administrative Assistants ensure that the office or business runs smoothly by handling customer inquiries and supporting other administrative personnel. They are the glue that keeps everything together!
And like any good glue, you need to be strong and sturdy. So let’s toughen up that resume.
In this article, we’ll discuss
Administrative Assistant, Grey LLC
Office Assistant, Wallflower Wonders
The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset.
You have 3 main options for your resume:
Tip: only include jobs relevant to the position to which you’re applying, so leave out any former jobs that don’t fit. For example, include prior work experiences like Office Assistant, Executive Assistant, and Concierge.
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume.
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. For more details, check out our guide on How to Write Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order.
The best format for an Administrative Assistant is either the Reverse-Chronological resume format or the Functional Resume format.
The Reverse-Chronological format shows the trajectory of your career -- how you’ve grown professionally and expanded your work experience and knowledge base. For example, you could include that you worked as a cashier before moving up to receptionist and then finally your current position as an Administrative Assistant.
Tip: Review our guide on How to Show Your Job Promotions on a Resume to see how and where you should list your previous positions.
On the other hand, the Functional Resume format groups your skills by type. You’ll include sections like “administrative support” and “computer skills,” where you’ll list your talents below.
Tip: Instead of writing “proficient in scheduling,” make it more specific and quantifiable by adding details like “scheduled 30+ appointments a week, ensuring adequate time for preparation beforehand.”
A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.
While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to capture the hiring manager’s interest.
For an Administrative Assistant career, include the following points in your summary
Here is an example of a bad resume summary:
Experienced administrative assistant with excellent organizational abilities. Previously worked for a Fortune-500 company.
This is a bad resume summary because it is very vague -- there is absolutely no sense of who you are as an individual. It also reads as generic. As for the Fortune 500 company, that part is unnecessary, because the hiring manager will be wowed by the company when they see it on the resume a few lines below!
Here is an example of a good resume summary:
Organized administrative professional with 5 years of experience smoothly managing an office, handling confidential business information, and writing internal communications.
This is a good resume summary because it describes a bit about you -- you’re “organized” and a “professional” -- and it describes some of the duties you’ve performed.
The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (See: The Right Way to List Job Titles on a Resume), the name of the location at which you worked, and the length of time in which you worked.
It is important to use strong action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point. Try not to repeat or over-use the same verb -- there are plenty to pick from! These verbs will show the hiring manager that you are capable of performing concrete actions from “creating” to “evaluating” to providing.”
Consider incorporating the following verbs:
You should also quantify your resume whenever possible. This means adding a number -- such as a dollar amount or percentage -- to your accomplishments. Quantifying your resume gives the hiring manager a more concrete idea of your workplace performance. For example, say that you “trained 2 employees,” “improved customer satisfaction by 20% by sending weekly emails with business updates,” or “saved the business $30,000 by switching scheduling software.”
You don’t always need a hard number or percentage. You could also state that you “scheduled weekly meetings,” “wrote monthly emails” or “conducted annual financial reports.”
Tip: Another way to quantify your resume is by listing your accomplishments and awards.
For more information on how to format your work experience, check out our guide on How to Describe Work Experience.
Don’t have any work experience? We have a guide for Writing a Resume with No Work Experience!
Skills show the hiring manager what you can do for the company -- without taking up too much space in the “work experience” part of your resume.
There are two types of skills -- soft and hard. “Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable and are more indicative of your personality. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, and communication. In contrast, “hard” skills are those that are learned through formal education. Examples include computer technology, programming languages, and certifications.
Administrative Assistants need a solid combination of both soft and hard skills. Even if you have a hard skill that doesn’t quite fit, like photoshop, include it! This will set you apart from other applicants and once you’re hired you may be given new and exciting tasks, such as designing brochures.
Relevant Soft Skills
Relevant Hard Skills
If you want a more complete list of skills, read our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 with Examples for any Job.
Administrative Assistants usually do not require a college degree (though an Executive Assistant will need one). However, a high school diploma or GED is a must. Most people learn the necessary skills on the job, such as instructions on office procedures, proper phone etiquette, and the use of office equipment.
For those unfamiliar with computer programs, consider taking a course on typing or spreadsheet applications.
Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021.
Certifications show employers that you’re expanding on your skills and diversifying your experiences. Not only are you more knowledgeable, but you’re also more employable.
While certifications are not required to be an Administrative Assistant, they can set you apart from other applicants.
Certification programs include:
For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.
Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume!
Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates.
Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For an Administrative Assistant, try a Professional, Minimalist, or Elegant format, as these will reflect the austerity of the office environment. On the other hand, if you’re applying to work for a startup or artsy company, try out our Creative or Modern formats.
If you want to create your own template, read how with our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Resume Template in Microsoft Word.
We’ve done it! Almost.
Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume.
Here’s what you need to do:
Start from our resume example to save time.
Good luck with the interview that is sure to come your way!