An executive assistant is the right-hand person for some of the country’s most important executives and high-level administrators. They prepare, manage and distribute information to, with and between executive personnel. Any mistakes could seriously affect the success of the organization. We’ve created a guide below to help you create a great executive assistant resume. Let’s start by introducing you to the three types of standard resumes formats.
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Job Duties of an Executive Assistant
Executive assistants act as a link between senior executives and mid- and lower-level managers. They help plan and prioritize daily schedules and assist executives in getting timely follow-ups from the people they manage. They also manage the executive’s productivity, helping them and the company become more successful by systematically working together.
The list of roles and responsibilities include:
Communicating between senior executives and all other managers as well as any external contacts, public or private.
Scheduling appointments, organizing meetings, arranging conference calls, and preparing minutes or recording notes.
Preparing high-level reports and presentations.
Analyzing incoming reports and presenting them to the executive, frequently with properly written and oral summaries.
Making travel arrangements and identifying the best itineraries based on the specific needs of executives.
Managing confidential information.
Executive Assistants Median Salary
The median annual salary for all executive assistants working in the U.S. is $69,150, according to labor analysis company Salary.com. Interestingly, it is the second-highest paying job for people without a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. (The highest are police officers).
Top skills for Executive Assistant
As an Executive Assistant, you are the single point of contact for the executive. That means being the first person to deal with everything from innocuous or unnecessary outreach calls to dealing with influential people who need to communicate immediately with them. Shouldering such a big responsibility is not easy and not for everyone. But if you possess a particular set of skills, it can be handled with ease and even some elegance. To know your job responsibilities and determine whether you can do it well, we strongly recommend reviewing the job description thoroughly before applying for the job.
But what are the top skills you need for all Executive Assistant jobs? Check them out:
- Exceptional oral and written communication: Since you need to interact with all types of people frequently, but especially with those who expect excellence all the time, you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. The majority of your job involves jotting down and preparing notes, writing memos, and drafting letters, sometimes by hand. You need to have a high-grade command of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Dynamic: Multitasking at top speed is the order of the day in this job. If you don’t like to be in a position where people expect you to think and work quickly, don’t even bother applying.
- Composed professionalism: As an Executive Assistant, you will regularly interact with top officials and some lower-level colleagues. That’s why you need to greet everyone with respect and be able to keep your cool in all situations, dramatic or boring alike. Maintaining confidentiality and not engaging with gossip is also an essential part of being a professional EA.
- Ability to work under pressure: It is essential to keep pace with the executive. Yes, sometimes the job may become strenuous, but this is part of why this profession makes more money than other administrative jobs.
- Time management: You need to manage your time as well as the time of the executive. If you fall behind on your tasks, the whole company is likely to suffer.
Educational Requirements for Executive Assistants
EducationThough a high school diploma is enough for most companies, some ask for a bachelor’s degree in business administration.In-depth knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite is a must. A certified course in MS Office is preferred. Intermediate-level knowledge of Excel, Word and PowerPoint is the minimum expected for a position that is this critical to the management of a company or organization. Advanced knowledge of these tools (and data or evidence that supports that you know how to use them) is an added advantage.You should also be able to prepare excellent presentations.
CertificationsTaking a certified course on presentation skills is recommended. Certified courses in time management or business communication or courses specifically designed for Executive Assistant work such as the Advanced Certificate for Executive Assistants (ACEA) will help you upgrade your resume and, thereby, your candidacy.
Tech toolsFamiliarity with the latest software tools like e-calendars and e-schedulers (think of the web-based Calendly) is a must. How do you find out the latest tech tools that all the top EA’s are using? Easy. Read daily tech blogs and news sites like The Verge, Engadget or The Washington Post.
Executive Assistant Resume-writing Tips
As an Executive Assistant, your resume should be able to showcase your skills and experience in the best possible way. Here are some tips to transform your resume:
- Write crisp and to the point: Most companies reject resumes that are too lengthy. The interviewer simply does not have the time to read all of it. So we advise using bullet points with proper headlines for each topic. Do not beat around the bush.
- Create a powerful objective statement or professional summary: Experienced candidates should head up their resume by highlighting the best portions of their career. Try to figure out what makes you different from other candidates. Make sure you are 100% accurate in your declaration, and move on.
- Use relevant keywords: In most cases of candidate-resume review, the very first level of filtering out people is through the use of keywords, and a computer system usually does this. Try to use skill keywords like “time management,” “MS Office,” “advanced Excel,” and “communication,” all of which are likely to be in the job description and relevant and authentic to your work experience.
- Use skills as a marketing tool: Use soft and technical skills to show off what you can do. But be careful about careless keyword-stuffing. Take your time, think about which ones work best, and then write them compellingly. How do you do this?
- Take the job description seriously. Everyday tasks and expectations found on job listings are not suggestions.
- Showcase relevant internships or short-term/full-term courses that helped you gain your most essential skills.
- Briefly describe how your employer can benefit from the skills you have.
- Highlight all or any certifications or other achievements, especially using data or numbers. For example, did you help put together a presentation that led to a big sale for your boss? Add that.
Who is an Executive Assistant?
An Executive Assistant is an experienced professional who supports a company’s top officials. They assist the executive by collective feedback and reports from subordinates and follow up with them while adhering to a tight schedule. An EA is also the first contact for internal and external stakeholders, including individuals, highly powerful corporations, and everyone in between.
How do you become an executive assistant?
We recommend having a bachelor’s or associate degree in the company’s industry focus. An Executive Assistant also needs to possess excellent verbal and writing, efficient planning and organizational skills. Most companies look for experienced individuals for a critical job like Executive Assistant.
Is Executive Assistant a promising career?