Kinds of Administrative Assistants
The term "administrative assistant" can be a formal title, or it can be a general description of an employee's function in an office. Depending on the kind of work a person does, there are many variations of job descriptions that fall under this role:
- Employees with the title of Administrative Assistant generally provide support to specific departments or teams in a company (such as Human Resources, Accounting, Development, Sales and Marketing or Information Technology). In small companies, a single "admin" can potentially provide support for everyone in the office.
- Secretaries or Executive Assistants provide support to individual (usually high-ranking) company executives or small groups of executives. Their responsibilities often include handling more private or sensitive corporate and personal information than other employees.
- The main job of a Receptionist is to answer the telephone and take messages for an office or a department, and also to greet visitors to the office.
- Project Assistants provide support to specific projects in a company (e.g. activities that have a defined goal and end-point).
- Personal Assistants provide support for a specific individual, and their responsibilities often include taking care of non-office related tasks, such as running personal errands.
- Clerks often provide office support that is confined to one or two specific tasks, such as filing or data entry.
- Accounting Assistants provide support to a company's finance, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments. Employees in these positions tend to have more specialized knowledge of accounting and finance.
- Production Assistants provide support for people and groups in film and television production.
Duties of Administrative Assistants
Administrative Assistants perform many basic functions in offices, including:
- Assisting with all aspects of administrative management, directory maintenance, logistics, equipment inventory and storage
- Managing inventory of assets and supplies, monitoring critical level of stocks, sourcing for suppliers and submitting invoices
- Coordinating between departments and operating units in resolving day-to-day administrative and operational problems
- Scheduling and coordinating meetings, interviews, events and other similar activities
- Sending out and receiving mail and packages
- Preparing business correspondence (often using word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation computer software)
- Sending faxes
- Managing Files
- Research and the identification of key data sources
- Ordering and receiving food deliveries
- Performing multifaceted general office support
- Preparing meeting minutes, meeting notes and internal support materials.
- Sending and receiving forms for the company
- All Day-to-day operation matters
Employers look for workers with knowledge, combination of skills, personal traits, and attitudes. They include:
- Strong work ethic
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
- Technical skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Customer focus
- Teamwork and collaboration skills
- National Career Service Job Profile: Administrative Assistant
- Yahoo! Voices: Administrative Assistant Duties
- Career Builder: The Good, Bad, and Strange of Being an Administrative Professional
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
- The Administrative Professional Fulton-Calkins Rankin Shumack