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Administrative Assistant Resume: Writing Tips & Examples

School of Business May 17, 2019

Applying for administrative assistant positions and landing the job can be difficult, especially when going up against other qualified candidates. If there’s one thing you can do to get ahead of the competition, it’s preparing and writing an incredible resume and cover letter. In this article, we discuss tips on how to organize and write an administrative assistant resume. Everything from how the resume should be designed to what should and shouldn’t be included.

Article Content: 

  1. Everything you need to know to start writing an administrative assistant resume
  2. Resume for administrative assistant format
  3. Some important tips to remember when writing an administrative assistant resume
  4. Other Administrative Resumes
  5. Tips on writing an Office Assistant Resume

Before we get into admin assistant resumes, it’s important to know why resumes are a crucial aspect of the job search process. Both cover letters and resumes are important, but in this specific article, we’re covering administrative assistant resumes. If you’d like tips and tricks for writing an administrative assistant cover letter, read up on it here.

To start with the basics, a resume is a brief written summary of your past experience, education, employment history, and other information. The reason resumes are so crucial in the job application process is because it’s your way of marketing yourself. It’s more than just a PDF attached to an email or a piece of paper. It’s really your way to prove to the employer that you are best suited for the position. An employer should be able to look at your resume and be able to quickly and easily tell whether you will be an asset to their company or not. Now, of course, a resume is just in writing. The interview that comes after the resume and cover letter stage is important, but in most situations, a well written and organized resume is what will get you through the door.

Now that you understand the importance of a great resume, let’s talk about what an administrative assistant is.

An admin assistant is all moving parts of an office. They help with clerical tasks and often report to many different employees. Essentially, they are multi-taskers who keep the office running. They help with answering phones, emails, responding to customer questions and complaints, filling out spreadsheets, and much more.  Administrative assistants can work in many different settings: corporate settings, government agencies, legal offices, medical offices, hospitals, schools, you name it.

To be a successful admin assistant you should be extremely organized and competent. If you think this sounds like something you’d thrive in, this article is here to help you. Let’s dive right in to how to write an administrative assistant resume.

Everything you need to know to start writing an administrative assistant resume:

Design and Format

Different employers have different needs so there is no one sample administrative assistant resume. For each administrative assistant posting, you should write and personalize your admin resume to that specific job posting. For example, if prior education is at the top of the required section, it’s clear that the applicants’ education is important to that specific employer. If that’s the case, you should include the education section at the top of your resume. A great administrative assistant resume should be organized, clean, simple, and easy to scan. Employers typically look for white space, headings, and clean legible fonts. Your administration resume should exemplify your organizational skills.

The big question, how many pages should my administration assistant resume be? Ideally, hiring managers look for a clean one-pager. It’s also common that employers are looking for a PDF format. Be sure to read the job posting very carefully to see how they would like your resume and cover letter submitted. Some request through email or on a form directly through their hiring platform.

There are several types of resume formats. The most common ones are chronological, functional, combination and targeted. Administration assistant resumes should typically follow the reverse chronological order format. The reverse chronological resume means that your work history is the highlight. Meaning you list your most recent or current position first and work your way back to include previous jobs. This admin assistant resume format will help the employer see your career journey.

Resume for administrative assistant format:

  1. Contact Information

While this may seem obvious, sometimes it can be forgotten. Your contact information is crucial and should be the first thing employers see on an administrative assistant resume. Contact information should include:

o   Full name

o   Email

o   Phone number

o   Personal website/portfolio (if applicable)

  1. Resume Objective or Resume Summary

This is the introduction to your resume. It describes why you are the perfect candidate for this specific position. This can be short and sweet. Aim for a few sentences.

Resume summary: A resume summary is your “elevator pitch”. It highlights your career achievements and progress. This is typically used for a mid to senior applicant. Below is an administrative assistant resume summary example:

“Senior administrative assistant with 2+ years of experience and a degree in business. Managed emails and calls for of 3 corporate executives while performing general office administration duties. Wanting to execute appointment management, manage internal and external communication, and aid with bookkeeping while meeting deadlines at [company name]”

Resume objective: If you are an entry-level candidate, write a resume objective. It highlights your skills that will allow you to perform well in this position. It’s also an “elevator pitch”, but it should focus on why the employer would benefit by hiring you.

If you’re at entry-level, here is an administrative assistant resume objective sample:

“English degree with proven communication, data entry, and time-management skills. Seeking a position as an administrative assistant at [company name] to leverage organizational and research skills to support internal and external communication.”

  1. Work Experience

In this section, list your past job experience. Your current or most recent work should be at the top of the list, followed by previous positions. Only include relevant work experience in this section. Below, we go in to more detail on how you should highlight your past job experiences.

This is an important section of your resume as it shows your employer what you have done in the past. Your descriptions should reinforce experience. Here are some tips to remember when writing your admin assistant resume work experience:

  • Try not to include day-to-day tasks unless they are specifically listed in the job posting description.
  • Include actual numbers and figures. For example, “trusted with a $200,000 budget to coordinate all employee arrangements for corporate events” sounds much better than “responsible for coordinating arrangements.”
  • Explain a procedure or initiative you worked on that helped save time or money.
  • Read the job posting description and relate your past work to what they are looking for. For example, if they are looking for someone who can train staff and you have experience training staff, include a sentence about that.
  1. Education

This is where you include your highest degree of education. If you are entry-level candidate, include your high school and graduation date. For many administrative assistant jobs, you will need an undergraduate degree or diploma. Include the name and location of your school, your major, and the graduation date. It’s also recommended to include relevant courses.

  1. Skills

This section is for relevant skills. The more skills an applicant has, the less training they’ll need, therefore the faster they can be integrated into the role. Employers typically look for applicants with just the right amount of quality applicable skills.

So, what are those skills employers are looking for? Skills can be categorized as hard skills and soft skills.  Hard skills are acquired through formal education and training through college, apprenticeships, online courses, and internships. These are skills that are required for the job like, Microsoft Excel, Data Management, Billing, etc. They are typically listed in the job posting. Soft skills, which are equally as important, are personality traits and attributes that relate to your attitude and how you communicate with other people. For example, soft skills to include on an administration resume would be communication, leadership, problem –solving, and organization, to name a few.

Below, we’ll go through a few skills commonly required for an admin position.

Typical skills needed

Technical Skills (hard skills)

  • Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • Calendar and database management
  • Data entry
  • Accuracy
  • Inventory control
  • Supply management
  • Invoicing and billing
  • Use of office equipment (printer, copiers, fax machine)

Administrative Skills (a mix of hard and soft skills)

  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Multi-tasking
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Phone etiquette
  • Analysis

Personality (soft skills)  

  • Friendly
  • Positivity
  • Urgency
  • Curiosity
  • Sense of detail
  • Listening skills
  • Common sense
  • Flexibility

When thinking of how to include administrative assistant skills on your resume, you don’t have to copy and paste all your skills into one spot on your resume. Pick your best skills that are required of the job ad and match them to your previous jobs. Mention them in the bullet points you used to describe your administrative duties. And, if you can’t integrate your skills into your achievements, that’s okay. List the remaining relevant skills in the skills section of your admin assistant resume.

  1. Additional

All the above sections are typically always included. In this section, while not always necessary, you can include other information you think is relevant to include on your admin assistant resume.

Here are some ideas:

  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Volunteer experience
  • Hobbies and interests

Some important tips to remember when writing an administrative assistant resume

Use action words to catch the employers eye. Here are some sample administrative assistant resume action words:

  • Planned
  • Initiated
  • Executed
  • Generated
  • Created
  • Built
  • Guided
  • Assisted
  • Answered
  • Contributed
  • Decreased
  • Optimized
  • Maximized
  • Oversaw
  • Handled
  • Developed
  • Boosted
  • Cooperated
  • Simplified

Include information you know they’re looking for and tailor your resume to the job posting

To increase your job search success, tailor each resume to each job description. Employers that look at resumes could look at hundreds of resumes in one sitting. Because of this, they look for specific keywords to see if you’re the right candidate.

These keywords are sprinkled throughout the job posting. Don’t worry, they’re easy to spot! The keywords are usually listed under the “responsibilities” or “duties” section of a job ad. As it relates to your experience, try to include these keywords as much as you can in your admin assistant resume.

Use resume friendly fonts

Hiring managers typically take an initial scan, which is why your resume should be legible right away. Here are a few resume friendly fonts:

  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Helvetica
  • Georgia
  • Verdana
  • Garamond
  • Lato

Other Administrative Resumes:

For the below resumes, you can follow the same tips for administrative assistant resumes listed in this article. Below are more specific tips for writing executive assistant resumes and office assistant resumes.

Three tips for writing an Executive Assistant Resume

  1. Highlight your skills throughout

As an executive assistant, employers are looking for an applicant who can handle any situation. To do this, you should have a large diverse skillset. The clearer you can showcase your skills in an executive assistant resume, the better. To do this, display your skills not only in the “skills” section, but also in your objective, summary, and work experience. For a list of verbs, read here.

  1. Go deep into your professional experience

In an executive assistant resume, outline integral duties and achievements you completed at your previous workplaces. This will give the employer an idea of the scope of tasks you’re capable of. Also, try to backup your information with numbers and statistics. This will show the employer just how capable you are at your job.

  1. Use action verbs

Remember to use strong action verbs when describing your work experience. The action verbs are similar to the words listed above for admin assistant resumes.

Tips on writing an Office Assistant Resume

  1. Put emphasis on your relevant experience

The first thing an employer is looking for is to see if your previous work experience can be applied to the position they are hiring for. Put a strong emphasis on your experience and make sure it relates to that being described in the job posting.  

  1. Use numbers to describe

Use numbers to quantify your reliability, efficiency, and management skills. For example, list the number of employees you oversaw, or the amount of money you managed. Numbers helps hiring managers get a quick sense of your experience.

  1. Use action verbs

Remember to use strong action verbs when describing your work experience. The action verbs are similar to the words listed above for admin assistant resumes. For a list of verbs, read here.

Well, now you’re prepared to go ahead and get started on writing your admin assistant resume. Go ahead and use these resume tips to your advantage. If you’d like to further your career and skill set, check out Robertson’s School of Business and speak to a Student Admissions Advisor now.

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