Top 15 Clerical Skills and Qualities to Make a Successful Career

By | October 13, 2023
Clerical Skills
By developing the right skills, you can significantly improve on the performance of your clerical duties.

Top 15 Clerical Skills and Qualities to Make a Successful Career

If you are in a clerical career, you will need to develop certain skills and qualities to become a high performer.

Becoming the best clerical staff in your department can help accelerate your career growth and make you attractive to employers.

This post helps you to identify the major skills to have to be a good clerical professional as you build your career to the top.

But first:

Who is a Clerical Worker?

A clerical worker carry out secretarial and other necessary tasks in an office, such as scheduling appointments, filing documents, and writing and sending out memos.

His/her duties also include sending emails, making faxes, and answering phone calls.

Those who aspire to go into clerical profession should acquire the right skills especially those involving the use of computers and office equipment so as to be effective on the job.

Now, here are important skills and qualities to develop to improve your performance on the job:

15 Clerical Skills and Qualities to be Effective on the Job

1. Communication Skills. Communication skills include verbal and written, and sharp listening abilities. Clerical workers can easily pass information with this skill set to colleagues, customers, management, etc.; and also speak clearly on phone, display polite attitude, and not leaving callers on hold for extended periods.

2. Computer Skills. Clerical professionals need strong computer skills in order to type quickly and accurately, and to typically handle some data entry tasks. They should be familiar with Excel and other data entry software, and Microsoft Office software, such as Word and PowerPoint. They also need to possess other additional computer skills such as the ability to design or edit web pages.

3. Organizational Skills. When clerical workers are organized, they can successfully handle, plan, and schedule tasks, coordinate the flow of paperwork around the office, contact the appropriate person for information, and keep the office running smoothly all through the day.

4. Attention to Detail. Clerical work involves paying attention to the day-to-day details of an office. The clerical professional needs to focus on tracking appointments, bookkeeping and accounting, fixing mistakes in forms, correcting filings, updating extension lists, answering and keeping track of emails, and more, which are vital for them to be successful in their role.

5. Public Interaction. Clerical workers need to have the ability to interact with the public as some positions require regular face-to-face conversations with customers, like in the customer service department. Other positions demand constant phone usage which requires an apparent loud voice. The ability to deal well with people is an important skill usually required for employment in certain clerical fields.

6. Dependability. To be a dependable clerical specialist does not happen overnight: it requires patience and dedication. You must have acquired enough experience before people can rely on you and give you difficult tasks to handle. When you are dependable, you will always finish projects on time before deadline, because missing a deadline can mean losing a client.

7. Interpersonal Skills. If you have interpersonal skills, you will demonstrate empathy with customers and genuinely want to assist them resolve their anxieties. The skills also involve having the ability to maintain good relationships with customers or employees at all levels of the company. You can easily connect with colleagues and clients in a productive way, ask the right questions at the right time, smile as necessary as you can, and use your skills to dominate the work force.

8. Planning Skills. With the ability to plan your day, you can effectively use time and convince your employer that you really work with time to help you attain greater heights in your career. Plan your work daily, weekly, and monthly and you will have a record of what you have been working on, and also have a clear estimate of your overall progress.

9. Problem-solving Skills. You will need to have the ability to solve problems that are bound to show up in the course of carrying out your clerical functions. Issues might arise with customers or between colleagues that may require having certain degree of problem solving skills to resolve.

10. Typing Skills. A clerical worker does not only need computer skills, but also the ability to type at a reasonable rate — around 60 words per minute with great accuracy. So you should try as much as you can to build your typing proficiency through practice. You can get a good software program for learning practically how to increase your typing speed and accuracy.

11. Data Entry Skills. Data entry, which involves filling out forms, managing mailing lists and documents, and performing other tasks, is one of the most essential clerical skills you need to have to be good on the job.

12. Accounting Skills. Clerical workers need a reasonable level of accounting skills as their career mostly demands on it. This will offer them the ability to calculate major accounting puzzles and find lasting solutions.

13. Language Skills. Senior clerical professionals are expected to be proficient in at least two languages. The ability to speak the Spanish language in some parts of the country is can even be a more valuable skill than English, while other languages may be more popular in other regions than English.

14. Multitasking. Clerical workers need to possess the ability to handle several tasks at the same time, such as managing relationships with both clients and colleagues, and dealing with multiple projects and deadlines. The ability to multitask will help you handle and complete various assignments within a short time.

15. Payroll. The ability to work with various payroll software and complete assigned duties with them speedily and accurately is a valuable skill to have as a clerical professional. With this skill, you can easily examine payroll-time card’s inconsistencies; calculate taxes, building cost analysis worksheets, etc.

Clerical Skills and Qualities for Resume

If you are writing a resume for a clerical job, you can make a compelling skills or core competence section by applying the clerical skills and qualities presented above.

Recruiters will more likely give your resume good attention because your skills reflect what they are looking for in the person they want to hire for the vacant clerical position.


If you are in the clerical occupation and desire to give the best service and be successful in your career, you can develop the skills and qualities provided in this post. They are proven to be able to help you perform excellently on the job

For employers looking to hire people for a clerical position, the skills highlighted in this article can also be included in the job requirements. This will enable them to attract the best suited persons for the job.