How Do I Become a Clerical Assistant?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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If you want to become a clerical assistant, it's important to be well-organized and have a mature attitude. You may have to work within a highly structured professional office environment and even though yours would be an entry-level position, you'd be expected to follow rules such as being on time for shifts. Any previous office experience can be helpful if you want to became a clerical assistant. Good keyboarding, computer and communication skills are crucial. Delivering resumes to offices and letting people you know who work in an office environment that you are seeking assistant clerical work may help you find an opportunity in this field.

When a company is short-staffed due to several clerks being out sick or on vacation, it may need clerical assistants to help with an overflow of work. This work overflow often involves at least some basic tasks such as filing, data entry or organizing materials. Even a successful short-term assignment can be good experience to list on your resume if your plan is to become a clerical assistant. You should also develop your communication and computer skills. Earning a certificate in an office training course may make you stand out from other clerical assistant applicants.


Preparing a professional looking, but honest, resume with your objective as "clerical assistant" clearly included and making the rounds by speaking with receptionists in local offices may help you find a job. You can ask each receptionist for the name of the contact person in the human resources department and keep this information so you'll be able to periodically follow up to see if there are any openings. Being politely persistent when contacting human resources departments can pay off, as they may have received notice of overflow work needed in another corporate department. In many cases though, friends or relatives of permanent clerks may be called to fill in, so if you want to start to become a clerical assistant, it's best to ask people you know who work in an office building if they know of any openings.

When you are called in to interview for an assistant clerk position, dress appropriately, sit calmly and keep comfortable eye contact with the interviewer. If you're asked why you want to become a clerical assistant with the company, be prepared to explain your interests and skills in a few sentences. Avoid babbling, but rather take a minute to understand the question so you can give a clear, yet persuasive answer. Don't forget to have a few questions about the job or company of your own prepared as well as send a follow-up note or email after the interview.


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