6 Office Assistant Resume Skills (Ways To Improve Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Office assistants are typically skilled in communication, software and administrative duties for high-level employees such as managers and team leaders. An office assistant's resume may benefit from mentioning their experience with technology usage and managing appointments based on the availability of their seniors. Learning the skills contributing to an office assistant's resume can help you find a job as an assistant in an industry of your choice. In this article, we discuss common office assistant resume skills, show how to improve them and use them in the workplace and explain ways to highlight them in your job application.

What Are Office Assistant Resume Skills?

Office assistant resume skills are abilities such as verbal and written communication, problem-solving and overall resourcefulness, which candidates can add to their resume. Here are a few skills that office assistants may add to their resumes:

  • Organisational skills for managing billings, meeting minutes and calendars

  • Detail-oriented approach to input accurate and error-free information during data entry

  • Technological proficiency in using printers, scanners, multi-line phones and other office equipment

  • File management to get alerts in cases of restocking office inventory

  • Writing skills to create briefs and transfer written messages to your manager

  • Verbal skills to communicate schedule changes and reminders

  • Time management capabilities to shift and allocate appointments

  • Logical thinking to prioritise meetings based on your manager's briefing of project importance

Related: What Is An Administrative Assistant? (With Career Advice)

6 Common Examples Of Office Assistant Resume Skills

Here are six common skills office assistants can add to their resume:

1. Time management

Since office assistants may manage calendars for team meetings and client briefings, time management skills can help prioritise and allocate appointment slots. Considering the number of tasks assistants indulge in, the way they distribute time for different tasks is essential. For example, they may manage multi-line phones and transfer calls, double-check invoicing and legal paperwork, and help make travel or meal bookings. Also, reaching work early might give you more time to plan your schedule, confirm all meetings and prepare the necessary timetable for senior employees.

2. Quality communication

A common task of office assistants is to communicate with visitors, employees and prospective customers regularly. This can include communication through emails, phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Since assistants are mediators between higher authorities and clients or employees, their active listening and verbal communication skills are essential. While some tasks involve taking notes during meetings or sharing the meeting's minutes, others can include administrative duties such as sharing brochures, updating the team on holidays or resolving employee doubts on salaries and leaves. As an office assistant, you may also note and transfer important messages to your manager.

Related: Verbal Communication Examples In The Workplace (With Tips)

3. Attention to detail

As an assistant, many of your tasks can involve revising documentation regarding legal papers, expenses or purchase lists for office equipment. Whether it is data entry or an email broadcast to a department, carefully verifying the information can ensure you do a good job. If you incorrectly noted a number or are unsure of specific details, solving your doubts can let you make accurate notes. For example, suppose a vendor shares the billing details and statistics of your company's past orders. In that case, you might be responsible for confirming the information and presenting it to the logistics department.

4. Taking initiative

Office assistants assist multiple employees in administrative work such as printing digital files, readjusting appointments and creating pre-meeting briefs for preparation purposes. As employees might be busy and forget their administrative duties, assistants can be proactive in sending reminders. If you have additional skills such as performing sales calls, working on graphic design or managing hiring duties, you might be eligible to replace employees in their absence and participate in important office functions.

Related: What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

5. Multi-line phone management

As assistants handle multiple inbound calls and communicate with customers and vendors, multi-line phone skills can make their call management skills efficient. You can use customisable scripts for attending to frequent queries. Try creating a telephone book for extension numbers and contacts of people you do business with regularly. This skill can teach you to prioritise calls and collaborate with team members when troubleshooting a customer's problems.

6. People skills

Assistants often interact with many people, some of which are clients, employees, third-party vendors and general visitors. Making all your interactions a hospitable and result-centric experience can inspire them to stay connected and praise your effectiveness. Your tone of voice and composure when attending to requests or queries can show them your professionalism. Patience is another personality trait that helps assistants in managing delays and abrupt changes in their schedules. Try being an approachable assistant with a proactive process of prioritising and completing tasks quickly.

Related: How To Develop Effective People Management Skills

How To Improve Your Skills As An Office Assistant?

Here are some ways to improve your skills as an office assistant:

1. Practice time management

Start using a calendar with reminders of your duties at the workplace. Get accustomed to adding all your meetings, submissions and other deadlines in a digital format. It might help if you set audio notifications on your computer or change the notification settings on your mobile to vibrate during calendar alerts.

2. Improve your problem-solving approach

Office assistants who finish more work in a day might be familiar with effective problem-solving techniques. If there are similar problems, create a template explaining your usual method of resolving the issue. Besides improving your own responsiveness to resolving common problems, you can guide other employees to take care of such issues in your absence.

3. Get enough rest

Since this job might require communicating important information, writing administrative emails for different departments or organising internal events, staying mentally fresh can help. If your brain is well-rested, using logical reasoning in the workplace may become natural. Taking sufficient rest can improve your memory retention and also make you more alert as an assistant.

4. Become an active listener

Focusing on the briefs and being a detail-oriented listener can increase the chances of meeting the speaker's expectations. This may also prove your proficiency as a communicator. You can show consistently high performance if you maintain positive body language and listen carefully to note key pointers.

5. Take more responsibilities

Once you can effectively multitask and help other employees complete their daily duties, ask for more work. This may give you exposure to new teams and introduce you to technologies or other aspects of your company's industry. You might impress senior authorities with your willingness to get involved and learn about advanced functions in the organisation.

Related: Essential Email Etiquette Rules For Workplace

Office Assistant Skills In The Workplace

After you are confident in your office assistant skills, try using these methods to apply them at the workplace:

  • Verify all communication. Proofread all your emails, messages and presentations in advance to avoid errors during official meetings. Verifying the accuracy of your notes may convince employers of your experience and detail-oriented approach.

  • Stay organised. You can show your organisation skills at the workplace by maintaining a notebook for reminders, emergency contacts or a priority list of administrative tasks. Using calendars can inform managers of your availability to assist them in ongoing projects.

  • Respond to everyone. Developing a mindset where you reply to all queries without compromising another employee's request can make you a reliable assistant. If you are too busy, acknowledging the messages of your colleagues may help.

  • Give reminders. Support your team members by sending them reminders of upcoming appointments or project deadlines. Besides building a rapport, you might save the company's resources by preventing late submissions of paperwork or project submissions.

Related: What Is A Research Assistant? (With Skills And Salary)

How To Highlight Office Assistant Skills?

If you are applying for office assistant jobs, there are many ways to highlight your skills in your job application. These suggestions might increase your chances of convincing the employer of your skills as an assistant:

On your resume

Read through the job posting carefully and understand whether you are applying as an administrative or personal assistant. After studying for the position, you can focus your resume on skills which highlight your expertise with scheduling, attendance and similar software the company uses. For example, some job descriptions state your duty to monitor proprietary employee attendance systems.

In a cover letter

The cover letter can state which primary skills are relevant to the job's description. Briefly mention key skills and relate their value to your past responsibilities as an assistant. Elaborate on your work experience to convince the employer of your skill set. Write a detailed description explaining any relevant lessons from your past educational qualification and employment.

Related: What Is A Virtual Assistant? (Definition, Responsibilities And Skills)

During a job interview

Use the job interview to highlight your skills in technical and soft skill categories. Start by mentioning your software proficiency, whether for tracking emails, making travel bookings or categorising feedback based on the departments. Talking about technical skills can show your ability to complete an assistant's duties quicker through digital management.

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