Executive assistant jobs are well paid, office jobs that required a wide range of technical, business and communication skills. These skills are obtained through a combination of education and work experience. The role of an executive assistant is to provide administrative support to someone in a senior management or executive role.
The technical skills requires for executive assistant positions focus on the use of computer software. The candidate must have an expert level certification in office productivity software, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. They must be willing and able to quickly learn new technology and be able to support any software or hardware that is required by the executive. This includes mobile phones, personal information management units, such as a Blackberry® or other new technologies.
These types of skills are obtained through training courses and seminars that are made available when new software is adopted by the company. Online seminars and upgrade sessions are a great way to keep skills fresh. Executive assistant jobs often expand over time to provide greater level of support services. By expanding your skill set, you can become indispensable to your employer.
Business skills used in executive assistant jobs include negotiation, basic accounting, creation of financial reports and processing accounting transactions. They must also understand organizational structure and management, marketing and business strategy. To obtain these skills, candidates required the successful completion of two-years post secondary education and an associate degree in business, administration, or related field. These skills are all required to properly support a senior management in a large firm.
Communication skills are the most important skill required when applying for executive assistant positions. An executive assistant is often a primary communicator of the executives’ message, direction, and priories to other members of staff. Discretion and a clear understanding of roles and business protocol are necessary for success as an executive assistant.
Communication training is available from a wide range of post-secondary education institutions. In addition, evening courses, seminars and self-help books are all designed to improve these important skills. The ability to write and speak at the appropriate levels is critical to success in executive assistant jobs.
The ability to smooth over difficult situations and provide insight into the motivations of other people is a valuable skill for an executive assistant. Many executives rely on their assistants to keep them up to speed on the gossip in the institution, as well as the concerns of lower level staff. The ability to successfully balance conflicting priorities is one of the most important skills of an executive assistant.