Thursday, September 12, 2013

Administrative Assistants | Develop These Skills to Be Competitive

Communication
Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

Canadian admin assistants must have transferable skills to be competitive in the job markets. Transferable skills help administrative assistants get the jobs they want and get promotions within the company they work for. Transferable skills include computers kills, written and verbal communications, and reading skills.

When you apply for administrative assistant positions, you will find that there are many others that are there to apply for the job. The competition is thick. If you want to stand out from the competition, here are a few skills that you can strengthen:

Leadership Skills

Learn how to think strategically and negotiate by joining organizations and associations. When you volunteer and learn to lead groups within those organizations you will develop leadership skills that can make you stand out. It will also increase your chances of getting a promotion to a higher paid position if you have proven leadership skills.

Keep Informed

No matter what kind of company you work for (or want to work for) make it your priority to stay informed about industry news. You should know about the latest advances in technology and know what is happening in your field. You should also be aware of company specific information. Advances that are being made in the company, the many roles that people play, and the main decision makers are some of the information you can watch for. This will allow you to make an intellectual contribution to conversations. When those in a higher position see that you make an effort to keep informed it will increase your chances of being considered for a promotion.

Keep Computer Skills Updated

Administrative assistants are constantly working with computers so if you are up-to-date with your computers skills you will be on top of your game all the time. You may use things like PowerPoint, Excel, and Word most often but that does not mean that you can’t learn other skills, too. CSS, Java, HTML and other computer skills can add to your base of skill sets and make you a more valuable employee.

Communication Skills

People who have good communication skills are always valuable but you can’t just say that you have these skills. You must prove it! How are you going to prove it if you have never had a job that allows you to use them? Join an organization like Toast Masters or volunteer for your favorite charity. This will give you many opportunities to develop both your written and verbal communications skills. Administrative assistants especially need to have these skills so look for opportunities to make them strong and then show them off at the office. When people come into the office or phone in, your face is the first one they see and your voice is the first one they hear. People know the difference between a person that just greets and answers phones and a trained professional that takes pride in communicating well.

Build Up Transferable Skills

There are many more skills that can benefit you as you look for a job as an administrative assistant or work your way up within a company but these transferrable skills can make a big difference in your success. Continue to work on your skills and develop them even after you have the job you want because you never know when the opportunity to move up in your career will come around.

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