When you're pursuing administrative assistant jobs, it's crucial to stand out from the applicant crowd. The following steps may help you rise to the top by going beyond the basics of crafting a killer cover letter and resume:
1. Keep an eye on jobs in hot industries
If you don't know what type of business you'd like to work for, start your job hunt by searching for openings in industries where administrative assistants are in demand. Right now, those include healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, financial services and technology. From there, narrow your search by location, size of company and core responsibilities.
2. Beef up your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn has become a go-to resource for employers wanting to vet job candidates. Make sure you stand out positively by taking the following steps to quickly build an all-star profile:
- Include a photo so hiring managers know who to expect. The photo should portray you at your professional best, even if it's a selfie.
- Come up with a headline that creatively expresses your expertise and embodies your personality.
- Craft a profile that highlights your key strengths and contains important keywords hiring managers may be searching for.
- Show a diverse range of contacts beyond family and friends.
- Include personalized recommendations from former managers and coworkers.
- Demonstrate your involvement in online groups.
And don't forget to make your profile public so hiring managers can find you.
3. Demonstrate how valuable you are
A Robert Half survey revealed that nearly all (94 percent) senior managers interviewed said their administrative professional is important to their success at work. When applying and interviewing for administrative assistant jobs, be sure to highlight specific ways in which you've made your managers' jobs easier and helped contribute to their accomplishments.
4. Take stock of your soft skills
All variety of soft skills, ranging from a good attitude and time management prowess to communication know-how and organizational abilities, are especially important in administrative assistant jobs. Make sure these attributes are highlighted in your cover letter, and be prepared to talk about them during the interview process.
5. Show your firm grasp on the latest technology
In another OfficeTeam survey, 48 percent of senior managers interviewed said new technology has had the greatest impact on administrative assistant jobs in the past year. That means you need to not only demonstrate your must-have software skills but also communicate that you're willing and able to keep up with changing technologies. Be sure to list specific versions of each software program you've used, and note your level of expertise with each one.
6. Tailor your application to individual job postings
Your resume and cover letter should highlight skills you possess that match the descriptions of the administrative assistant jobs for which you're applying. For example, if a position involves travel planning or processing expense reports, be sure to tweak your cover letter and resume to include your experience handling those types of tasks. And, where appropriate, try to use the same phrasing as the job description. Doing so will help your application make it through the initial automated screening process and, hopefully, to the top of the pile.
7. Know what you're worth — and be prepared to talk about it
Although it was taboo in the past, a survey from Robert Half suggests employers are more open to discussing salary earlier in the hiring process. This means that the hiring manager may bring up salary in the first or second interview, so you should be prepared to talk numbers early on. Use the Robert Half Salary Guide to help determine the salary range that's appropriate for your skill set and experience level in your area.