What Are Necessary Secretary Skills?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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Modern secretaries are often the glue that hold an office or organization together by making sure staffers and customers are in the right place at the right time and have the appropriate documents and information needed. Secretary skills range from booking appointments and setting up meeting rooms to preparing legal documents. The type and size of company a secretary works at will often dictate what skills are required; however, there are some basic secretary skills all secretaries should master, including typing, scheduling and phone skills.

Top-notch communication skills are critical for secretaries. It is important for secretaries to be able to clearly communicate and share information with customers and colleagues in a variety of ways, including on the phone, in written documents and through presentations. Secretaries often orchestrate the day's events for a boss or department, including scheduling meetings and providing required documents to those attending the meetings. Creative problem-solving skills are also critical, as secretaries face a variety of tasks every day.


In addition to common office tasks, secretary skills should also include event planning. Large meetings are often held at off-site locations, such as at a conference center or hotel meeting room. In addition to booking a meeting space and providing directions for all parties to get there, a secretary is often tasked with arranging overnight accommodations, car rentals and airport shuttles for attendees. Ordering snacks, meals and beverages for guests throughout the course of the meeting also often falls to a secretary, as does ensuring the room is set up correctly and offers appropriate technological hookups.

The ability to use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling is critical for preparing documents, presentations and correspondence. Secretary skills should also include being able to effectively proofread work in order to create error-free documents. Some specialty positions, such as legal and medical secretaries, also need to have a thorough understanding of terms used in those professions. The ability to create a variety of visual graphics for online use, handouts and group presentations is another skill typically required of secretaries.

Mastering technology is required for nearly all secretary positions. Secretary skills should include advanced email abilities, including working with attachments, flyers and photos created with a variety of software programs. Many secretaries operate on the go, so mastering the latest wireless communication skills is a must. Documents and photos often need to be edited and shared, so the ability to work with a variety of computer programs is essential.


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Post 3

@literally45-- Actually, in some offices, a secretary spends most of her time greeting customers and answering phones. Not every secretary is typing up documents and letters all day. Those tasks can be required of a secretary, but there are usually office assistants and volunteers who do those things.

Our secretary in our office mostly answers phones. She also orders supplies and organizes things like catering. We don't have her do research or type up letters. We have other people doing that. Of course, it's always good to develop one's skills but what is expected from a secretary really varies from one office to another.

Post 2

Technically, any one who is a high school graduate can apply to be a secretary. It's not necessary to have a university degree for this position but it is necessary to be capable and experienced. Someone who can't use the computer properly, who can't type, organize a schedule or work with a spreadsheet can't be a secretary.

Post 1

In addition to the skills that someone can learn to be a secretary, I also think that there are some characteristic traits that a secretary ought to have. For example, an ideal secretary should be friendly and positive. He or she should be able to work when things are stressful without getting upset or distraught. A secretary should be calm and should be able to think clearly and solve problems without panicking.

I'm not saying that an office environment is always tense or that there are always problems. But things do go wrong sometimes and people often depend on their secretary to assist them while solving problems with administrative tasks or organization related tasks.

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