Posted by Michelle Johanson on Monday, March 3, 2014 - 00:00
A quick scan of job postings today shows that a lot of companies are looking for administrative assistants. That’s great news for you — the job seeker — but it also means that you must work to stand out in a sea of competitors. To have a chance at getting called in for an interview, you need to follow the right resume tips.
To land your next outstanding administrative assistant job, keep the following six resume tips in mind:
1. Start off strong
Which skills and personality traits make you indispensable in your role? That's the bottom line every hiring manager is wondering when he or she picks up a resume. Include a short summary at the top of your resume. For instance, “Experienced administrative assistant who has earned the Certified Administrative Professional designation. Driven team member with strong Microsoft Office, organizational, leadership and communication skills.”
2. Show how you've added value
Companies look for support staff who take initiative and have made a quantifiable impact with their companies. Perhaps you trained your entire accounting department on a new phone system, allowing them to hit the ground running, answering and transferring calls and responding to voice mails. Or maybe you led the administrative charge during a new law firm launch. Noting these accomplishments will make an impression far more than the basic work history offered on a typical administrative assistant resume.
Pro tip: If you make it to the job interview, provide quantifiable facts to the hiring manager about what you have to offer based on proven results as well as your future potential.
3. Use keywords from the job description
Many companies use software that screens resumes for key words and phrases. Try to use language from the job posting — if it accurately reflects your background. For instance, if an employer is looking for someone who can handle multiple phone lines, you’d want to use the phrase “multiple phone lines” in your document rather than stating you “answered phone calls.”
4. Highlight your technology skills
Hiring managers want to have a good sense of a candidate’s technology skills, since these skills are so essential to administrative assistant roles. Consider including a special section listing all of the applications you are proficient with or have mastery in.
5. Tailor your administrative assistant resume to each job
What do you have to offer that fits the company’s unique requirements? Don’t send out the same resume to every job you apply to. Customize your resume and cover letter to zero in on what’s needed for each job. For example, highlight your PowerPoint expertise if you’ll be supporting executives who regularly give presentations, while showcasing your online research or social media skills for a job requesting that experience.
6. Ensure your resume is free of errors
Keep in mind, though, that all of the resume tips we’ve shared are useless if you turn in a resume with typos, formatting issues or grammatical errors. Accuracy is a key job skill for administrative assistants and if you can’t get it right on your resume, you’re sending a red flag to potential employers. Take time to review, and review again. Also ask friends or a trusted colleague to review your resume to make sure it’s spot on.
More resources for crafting a winning administrative assistant resume
- 10 Steps to Becoming an Indispensable Administrative Professional
- 25 Questions to Expect When Interviewing for Administrative Jobs
- 3 Shocking Stats About Training For Administrative Professionals
- 3 Essential Administrative Assistant Resume Tips From a Recruiter