How Do I Become An Administrative Assistant?

Julie Shenkman
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Becoming an administrative assistant can be a daunting task to some, but even professionals with basic computing skills can succeed with a little time and extra training. To become an administrative assistant, professionals typically need basic education, on-the-job or short-term training and related experience or skills. They may also benefit from extra certification or training.

An administrative assistant performs many duties that are crucial to an efficient and effective workplace. Professionals who are looking for an administrative assistant position typically need at least a high school diploma in order to be considered by employers. Community colleges and technical schools can offer additional computing, English and office skills training so that potential admin assistants can list relevant skills on their resumes.

For entry-level positions, many companies don’t require relevant experience, though any extra skills gained from extra classes help. Administrative assistants who need to specialize in medical or legal data may require extra training in order to get familiar with medical and legal software used by hospitals and law firms. While some companies will train administrative assistants on the job, many prefer to see these skills already listed on a resume. Professionals should consider taking a few extra courses or signing up for training classes before applying.

Although optional, certification and licenses do show a high level of competency and dedication to employers. Administrative assistants can receive the Certified Administrative Professional certification, which requires professionals to have two to four years’ experience and pass an exam. Administrative assistants in fields such as law can earn several different certifications, including the Accredited Legal Professional designation.

Professionals looking for administrative assistant positions should practice developing three very important skills.

The first is technological knowledge. More often than not, administrative assistants are given tasks that require the use of cutting-edge technology. While basic computing skills are generally required, administrative assistants can give themselves a boost by becoming familiar with trending technology. The second is flexibility and innovation. Getting a job done can be tough, but admin assistants who think outside of the box may find that problems are resolved more quickly and with less fuss. The final skill is integrity. Administrative assistants often deal with private or personal information that requires the utmost in confidentiality. Work on becoming trustworthy in order to stand out to employers.

Administrative assistants play an important role in an efficient business place. Professionals looking for open roles should consider extra training and certification to stand out, but even basic knowledge will help in looking for positions. Applicants should develop technological skills, flexibility and innovation, and integrity in order to perform their best. Administrative assistants with relevant experience and skills may benefit more than professionals who apply with only minimal knowledge or experience.


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