5 Basic Skills Every Administrative Assistant Needs Before Applying for the Position

Administrative Assistant

The crucial role that administrative staff play in business organization are easy to overlook. The skills that administrative workers possess are essential to ensuring the smooth running of processes without which companies would quickly fall apart.

Since no administration job is the same, administrative staff work need to possess a wide range of skills and abilities which allow them to be flexible when it comes to carrying out their responsibilities.

If you are considering a job in administration, the following skills are ones which recruitment departments will need to you to demonstrate as a prerequisite to hiring you.

Communication Skills

Communication is one of the principal skills possessed by high-quality administrative professionals. The job requires communication across all mediums; you will need to be able to convey your opinions succinctly in face-to-face meetings, have an excellent telephone manner, and to follow formal email-writing conventions. These are essential skills for dealing with employees, suppliers and clients successfully, and are likely to be listed on the job description for any Administrative Assistant position.

Microsoft Office

Every administrative department today will use Microsoft Office as its main software package. It is a good idea to brush up on your skills in programs like Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook as most Administrative Assistant positions will require you to be proficient in their use. For those that want to fine-tune their IT skills, there are some fantastic options for online Office courses on sites such as Udemy.

Working Autonomously

Administrative roles that provide critical business support naturally necessitate from you a certain willingness to take the initiative. There will be plenty of occasions when you are required to solve problems on your own without the help and advice of your superiors. As a result, the capacity for working autonomously is highly regarded by human resource departments when they are recruiting administrative staff.


Being highly organized is a characteristic that sought-after by managers across the board. No more is this true than for employees in administrative positions. As an Administrative Assistant, a large part of your role will be based on managing paperwork and databases, both of which are tasks that require you to use your organizational skills to systematize parts of your daily tasks in order to help you manage your workload efficiently.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Another important key skill to learn is how to manage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Used by administrative departments in every type of business, ERP allows for the efficient management of all the business processes that take place within an organization. The software acts as a central storage module that keeps track of and merges the work processes of the different areas of the company, including finances, payroll and human resources, so that it is all accessible in one place.

If you master the five skills highlighted above, you will have a good chance of being hired for most administrative jobs. If you feel that you could do with improving in these areas, you should get started today if you want to gain a head start over the competition.