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How to Build your Resume for an Administrative Career
Are you seeking to climb up the career path? Use our professionally designed templates and writing tips for these administrative resumes.
Career Track: Office Administration
Office administration plays a pivotal role in the effective running of any organization, and involves keeping stock of office supplies, coordinating departmental activities, and maintaining appropriate compliance to company policies. As per Robert Half, companies are now increasing salaries for administrative professionals to improve retention rate and encourage recruitment.
Office Assistant $37,130 Median salary
Resume Format: Functional
Present your educational qualifications in detail, as this is an entry-level job. List out any training that you have undertaken related to administrative work. Emphasize the skillsets you possess which would help in performing your duties efficiently, namely including the ability to communicate effectively, knowledge of basic computing skills and systematic documentation skills.
Summary statement tip: Since this position requires organizational skills, highlight any relevant experience you might have (if you’re short on professional experience, list any relevant voluntary work for non-profit organizations). Point out any vocational courses you’ve taken that have helped develop administration skills.
Skills to feature: Focus on skills such as good typing speed, proficient use of computing software, clerical skills and being well-versed in writing grammatically correct emails. It’s also beneficial to mention your people skills, like adaptability and good judgment.
Get to the next level: Fast track your career by acquiring some of the below skills, which will add more depth to your resume and give you an edge over other candidates.
- Soft skills such as verbal and written communication skills, and efficient organization.
- Technical skills such as financial records and documentation, and basic accounting.
- Office Assistant courses like office bookkeeping courses, business records management courses, or a diploma in office administration.
Office Administrator $42,385 Median Salary
Resume Format: Combination
Highlight essential related skills like communication, typing, equipment handling and flexibility — anything that helps you accomplish your work efficiently. List out previous jobs that emphasize your experience and skills acquired.
Summary statement tip: Focus on the relevant skills you possess that are necessary for this job, and the experience you have to efficiently conduct all tasks related to this job. Mentioning your educational credentials can be an added advantage. For example: “Knowledgeable office administrator adept in addressing the changing needs of an office and providing administrative and managerial support to various departments. Proficient in various filing systems, office equipment and software applications.”
Skills to feature: Emphasize your ability to handle correspondence to and from customers, partners and other employees, effective time management and good planning skills, your ability to coordinate with teams, your resourcefulness in getting tasks done, and how you are proactive in addressing office needs.
Get to the next level: To get ahead in your career as an administrative professional, look to gain more experience with the following sets of skills:
- Ability to supervise and monitor others
- Appropriate organizational skills such as project and team management or schedule and event coordination
- Good oral and written communication skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs
- Business-related database management
- Website and social media management
- Maintaining staff expenses, office supply requests and billing and purchases
- An office administration training course or certification
Business Administrator $44,545 Median Salary
Resume Format: Chronological
Stress work experience that proves your ability to adapt and complete tasks within stipulated time frames. Highlight your knack of managing a team and ensuring smooth operations in day-to-day operations.
Summary statement tip: Provide an example of how you used your knowledge and expertise to help a business complete a critical project. Draw attention to team-leading abilities and any major successes from previous organizations. Present an example of your role in daily activities while coordinating with other departments.
Skills to feature: As a business administrator, target key skills such as your ability to coordinate successfully with other departments that led to a positive impact on customers and shareholders, as well as your ability to multitask. Highlight planning and problem-solving skills you use to complete projects on time, and how you facilitate discussions to resolve conflicts.
Get to the next level: To move up in the organizational hierarchy, focus on the following skills:
- Coordinating with various internal departments and teams to ensure smooth functioning of the organization.
- Organizing training and development programs.
- Managing projects that had a positive impact on all stakeholders.
- Mediating on staff issues that facilitated smooth communication between employees.
Career Track: Office Assistant
Office assistants perform routine organizational and clerical tasks, with responsibilities such as managing files and documents, scheduling appointments, organizing meetings and supporting other departments in the smooth running of the day-to-day operations. A survey conducted by Quill notes that office and administrative assistants juggle many roles, including human resources, payroll, budgeting and even managing social media. In a survey of 1,500 office/administrative assistants, 16% claimed that their workloads have increased substantially, which shows how important administrative professionals are.
Receptionist $29,140 Median Salary
Resume Format: Functional
As this is an entry-level position, focus on your qualifications and relevant skills, such as records management, problem-solving abilities, or proficiency in MS Office and Google Sheets. Also, mention any relevant training programs you have undergone that have increased your skill level.
Summary statement tip: Highlight your ability to communicate fluently with customers, suppliers and employees and organize meetings, as well as time management and interpersonal skills. Emphasize technical skills such as managing presentations for meetings, proficiency with computers, familiarity with Microsoft Office and time management skills.
Skills to feature: Stress your enumerating skills, as well as your ability to handle tasks such as answering and directing calls to appropriate individuals, maintaining travel invoicing and expenses and managing contractors for office maintenance.
Get to the next level: To move up in your professional journey, demonstrate your ability to accept challenges and proactively avoid crisis situations.
- Gain experiences in using time-management and problem-solving skills that have a positive impact in day-to-day operations.
- Note specific skills you’ve acquired, such as proficiency with customer relationship management system and virtual help desks.
- Focus on personal attributes like being self-motivated, work ethic, positivity and empathy that help in your work.
Administrative Assistant $41,960 Median Salary
Resume Format: Combination
Elaborate on the key skills acquired through your experience such as communication, budgeting, scheduling and organizing, inventory allocation and document management. Emphasize your work experience, highlighting related skills that display your ability to take on more responsibilities.
Summary statement tip: Emphasize your experience in previous organizations. Any role that involved performing organizational tasks, coordination and customer support should be highlighted. Any relevant training in office management or certification programs in MS office courses should also be noted.
Skills to feature: List relevant skills you possess that can play an important role in your career as an administrative professional, such as time management, problem-solving abilities, an eye for detail, adaptability, technical skills like handling spreadsheets, word processors, emails and good interpersonal skills.
Get to the next level: To climb up the career ladder in an administrative profile, focus on attributes that highlight your ability to take on something more than routine responsibilities.
- Use your problem-solving abilities to maintain smooth functioning between different departments.
- Provide examples of activities where you stepped in for someone and avoided a crisis-like situation.
- Take training programs that add more depth to your administrative skills such as certification in Administrative Assisting, or professional certifications offered by IAAP and IVAA.
Executive Assistant$68,098 Median Salary
Resume Format: Chronological
Place special emphasis on your expertise and knowledge in the field, while also highlighting your overall experience. Highlight skills relevant to this job such as networking, analytical skills, discretion or strategic multitasking. Mention your educational qualifications, as well as other certifications and course details that are relevant to this profile.
Summary statement tip: Stress the positive impact you have made in business-related tasks for the team and your proactive approach in solving employee issues or customer complaints.
Skills to feature: Mention your work experience and the success you have achieved in your previous organizations. Also, stress your interdepartmental coordination abilities. Highlight your coordination and problem-solving abilities that helped resolve interdepartmental conflicts and allowed smoother communication.
Get to the next level: As you move up the career chain from executive assistant to project manager or HR manager, make sure to add the following to your resume:
- Logistical support that you provided for programs which resulted in profits for the organization.
- Examples where you led the team and collaborated with various other departments.
- Initiatives that resulted in improved customer service.
- Handling pressure situations and meeting deadlines with 100% success.
Recommended Administrative Resume templates
To build a resume that’s suitable for an administrative position, use these employer-ready templates.
This template organizes sections by using clear and distinct lines for each section heading. Your role and company name, along with your education qualifications, are highlighted in bold.
This uncomplicated design adds some flair with a sleek monogram for the applicant’s name, while also allowing employers to gauge your skills at a glance.
This template’s sleek red lines and dark bold headings give the design a unique, creative look.
Administrative Resume FAQs
1. How do you format your resume based on your career level?
A functional resume emphasizes relevant skills rather than work history. A chronological resume is ideal for those who have a consistent career path, as it focuses on a detailed work history section. A combination resume, as the name suggests, is a mix of the functional and chronological resumes, emphasizing both skills and relevant experiences.
2. What are the qualities and traits that employers look for in this field?
Key skills you should feature in your resume include organizational skills, time management skills, dependability, reliability, confidentiality and excellent customer service. Emphasize attributes that cannot be measured such as flexibility, problem-solving capabilities, out-of-the-box thinking, willingness to learn, attention to detail, patience, empathy, honesty, leadership ability and ability to work under stress. Also highlight interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate.
3. What other skills, certifications and training are beneficial for this job category?
You should be well-versed in basic computing and accounting practices — extra certifications you can pick up (such as certification in Microsoft Office Suite) come in handy here. Keep abreast of changes by completing training programs in areas such as being a certified administrative professional or collaborative problem-solving (CPS).