Administrative Skills For Your Resume (With Examples)
Updated 20 March 2023
If you're searching for work in administration, learning a variety of skills helps you prepare for the role's specific duties. These include both hard skills specific to the role and soft skills transferable to an administrative position. Knowing how to highlight your skills to a hiring manager could improve your chances of succeeding with your application. In this article, we clarify what an administrative skills resume is, provide a list of administrative skills and detail how to improve them, outline what these skills look like in the workplace and explain how to highlight them in your resume, cover letter and interview.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
What is an administrative skills resume?
An administrative skills resume includes your specific qualities to show a hiring manager you're a suitable candidate for an administration position. These skills typically involve managing documents and information for a business, communicating with customers, colleagues and vendors and managing customer accounts. List these skills on your resume, reference them in your professional summary and describe how you use them in your work experience section.
Examples of administrative skills
The following are some examples of administrative skills to include on your resume:
Administrative work typically involves using a computer to upload customer information, answer emails, cross-reference information, make bookings and lodge receipts. Understanding how to use basic computer programs, such as email and spreadsheets, and having advanced typing skills can allow you to perform administration tasks efficiently.
Actively listening can be a helpful trait in administration because you often receive and relay messages frequently and make appointments for customers, colleagues and collaborators. Listening, repeating the information to the customer or colleague, noting it correctly and logging it in the appropriate format, such as a calendar, are all examples of effective communication.
Administrative roles involve a variety of communication methods, including face-to-face conversation, email, telephone calls and written documents. Communication skills can allow the correct information to reach the right departments and individuals.
Being organised helps you monitor appointments and documents and allows you to process your work efficiently. Maintaining a clean workspace, email and calendar can assist your organisation. Create a simple filing system that you can navigate easily and that enables you to organise office supplies to remain aware of stock levels. Using calendars and diaries can allow you to plan schedules, while maintaining and updating the company's database can ensure you lodge all important documents and bookings correctly.
One of an administrator's primary duties is to answer phone calls and serve customers at the front desk. Customer service requires a wide variety of abilities, such as empathy, patience and positivity. These skills can help you respond to customer complaints, solve issues for customers, find customer information on the company database and ask security questions to verify a customer's identity.
Working in an administrative role frequently involves collaboration. When coordinating communication for a business, you typically work with different departments to achieve tasks and meet deadlines. Being part of a team requires patience, empathy, coordination and communication skills.
Administration typically involves working on multiple tasks simultaneously. You might respond to queries from customers and colleagues while ordering new stock, for example. Strong multitasking abilities allow you to delegate tasks to co-workers and group tasks together to improve efficiency.
Prioritising important tasks can allow you to achieve deadlines and appointments. For example, if the phone is ringing, a department manager is asking for their messages and a vendor requires a signature for goods received, you might prioritise the tasks in order of their speed and urgency.
You might first place the call on hold, quickly pass on the messages and then check the goods received. Managing your calendar, planning for the completion of tasks and clearly understanding timeline expectations all contribute to effective administration.
How to improve administration skills
The following are some ways to improve your administration skills:
1. Join a mentorship program
Many workplaces run their own mentorship programs, using senior individuals to develop new team members' abilities. Consider signing up for the workplace mentorship program, and if they don't offer one, seek a mentor externally. Mentors provide helpful knowledge and advice on how to enhance your administration skills.
2. Continue your development
Ask management about training programs to improve your administration skills. Employers often pay for training courses to develop your skills as an administrator because it's in their best interest to have the most capable people. Consider studying courses that apply to administration, such as a Certificate III in Business Administration.
3. Do volunteer work
Many types of volunteer positions are available in administration, such as working for a charity or a legal aid entity. Not-for-profit organisations have a variety of duties that may not be available in a typical administration position. Working in these areas helps develop a deeper skill set that can be applied to other positions.
Administration skills in the workplace
The following shows a variety of ways to practise your administration skills in the workplace:
Provide feedback. Communicating feedback to others when appropriate helps them develop their own administration skills and shows that you care about the business. It also indicates that you have a deep knowledge and understanding of administrative skills and encourage an environment of support.
Request feedback. Requesting feedback from your colleagues and management team can give you an objective insight into specific areas to develop that you might not have considered. It shows that you care about your work and that you're trying to improve, which highlights motivation, active listening and pride in your duties.
Speak with management. Speaking with management can help you become more aware of the workplace's goals, giving you objectives to work towards. Communicating with management can also show that you're passionate about the business and can show your dedication and loyalty.
Speak with your mentor. Mentors understand how to communicate with management and they're helpful resources if you don't have this experience. Speaking with your mentor can also help develop the strong inter-work relationships necessary when constantly communicating with customers and colleagues.
How to highlight administration skills
During the application process, your skill set is one of the most effective ways to show a hiring manager that you have the qualities to fulfil your administrative duties. Different stages of the hiring process require unique approaches to explaining your administrative skills. The following suggests how to highlight your administration skills in your resume, cover letter and job interview:
1. Administration skills for a resume
Your resume is a formal document, typically a single page, which highlights your skills working in administration. You submit it to a hiring manager either in person or through email as part of your application for an administrative position. On your resume, create a horizontal list of the soft and hard skills you possess relevant to working in an administrative position. You gain hard skills through experience working in a similar role, such as those using a specific data-logging program or working with different department heads.
Soft skills are life skills that are transferable to the position, such as multitasking or motivation. Before listing these skills, read through the job description and note any keywords the hiring manager uses to highlight the specific skills they're seeking in a candidate. For example, if they specifically require a candidate who has worked with a team to research more optimal processes in the workspace, mention this here.
2. Administration skills for a cover letter
Your cover letter is another single-page document you submit alongside your resume when applying for an administration position. This is a chance for you to expand upon the hard and soft skills on your resume. For example, if you note your multitasking skills on your resume, use an example that showcases this ability in a professional environment.
Explain how your skills helped to improve the processes in your workplace and your professional development. For example, if you received any commendations or awards or you've matured in your abilities and management has recognised it, mention this here.
3. Administration skills for a job interview
In your job interview, a hiring manager might ask you a variety of questions about your abilities working in administration. Typically, these questions either focus on your skills individually or require an explanation of how you use them to fulfil your duties. An effective way to answer questions during a job interview is through the situation, task, action and result (STAR) method.
The STAR method involves explaining the events that led up to the task you received, the actions you took to address it and the results of your action. For example, if you took part in a mentorship program, explain why you enrolled in this program, mention how you began applying the lessons you learned and clarify how the workplace benefitted from this.
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