Top 16 Administrative Assistant Skills to be best on the Job

By | August 27, 2023
administrative assistant skills and qualities
To be effective as an administrative assistant you need to develop top speed typing skills.

Top 16 Administrative Assistant Skills to be best on the Job

Administrative assistants need to possess the right skills, qualities, and education to be the best on the job as they can be.

You will need to show to employers at an interview that you have the skills to be effective as an administrative assistant if given the job.

Administrative assistants perform clerical duties in the office, such as typing documents and running errands for their bosses. (See detailed administrative assistant job description here.)

They work closely with executives and so must always be on top of their game in producing excellent service for their principals as most executives don’t have the patience for sloppy assistants.

To excel as an administrative assistant who always receive commendations from their bosses, here are top 16 skills to develop:

16 Administrative Assistant Skills and Qualities to be Effective on your Job 

1. Good Communication Skills. This is essential for a successful administrative assistant career. You are often the first person that clients, customers, and vendors contact. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both verbal and literary forms is necessarily required from every administrative assistant.

2. Technology Skills. It is important that administrative assistants learn how to use software programs such as spreadsheets, word processing, graphic presentation and databases tools. They are expected to use knowledge of the web to conduct research and process emails. Administrative assistants should also know how to typeset and format manuals, reports, newsletters, website content, and presentations.

3. Time Management Skills. Proper time management is a skill every administrative assistant needs. The administrative assistant should arrange tasks according to their order of importance so as to be able to pay attention to details. He/she needs to be accurate, efficient, and creative.

4. Customer-oriented Skills. A customer-oriented administrative assistant is one who stays in contact with clients on a daily basis. He/she knows how to keep clients happy and satisfied by discovering their needs and providing instant solutions. Clients keep coming back for more satisfying services.

5. Typing Skills. Every administrative assistant should learn how to type fast, with at least forty-five keystrokes per minute. With time, he/she ought to aim to improve to meet company demand of sixty keystrokes per minute. This is essential for anybody who wants to work with great efficiency.

6. Organizational and Detail-oriented Skills. Administrative assistants should learn how to organize files and documents, and keep them safe in detailed forms so they can refer to them whenever the need arises.

7. Dependability and Reliability. Administrative assistants are expected to develop the willingness to go beyond when emergency situations arise without any hesitation or complaints. Reliability of administrative assistants should be visible in the services they render.

8. Punctuality. Punctuality is necessary in every position. Your employers would like to see you come to work before them. It doesn’t show respect if your boss arrives earlier before you to the office because you are not punctual to work. This is capable of depriving you of your position.

9. Good Judgment. Administrative assistants should be able to make decisions on their own without contacting the manager. They are to use their common sense and knowledge to decide specific actions. Any decision that administrative assistants take should be acceptable to the company they work for.

10. Great Body Language. Body language can be important not only when you are present but even when you are on the phone with a client. You can smile, gesture, and even laugh over the phone when discussing with a customer. This can make a great impact on the customer service.

11. Team Work. A good administrative assistant should be part of an active and able team, willing to render support to colleagues and backing up the goals the team is struggling to achieve. A group is better than one-person worker because of their greater output.

12. Courage to Challenge Others. The administrative assistant needs the courage to speak up when things are not right, pointing out some job flaws and correcting the process. Although some would complain and others soliloquize, all these should not prevent you from taking the necessary actions that would not only help the job system to improve but make you build a good reputable career.

13. Attention to Details. Paying attention to details is as essential as daily intake of water, and it is a natural skill necessary for people who search for administrative assistant positions. Having a keen eye for detail can either be natural or something to work out and you would like to prove to your employer that you are competent enough to possess the important skills of an administrative assistant, including attention to details.

14. Problem Solving Skills. Sometimes in the job life of an administrative assistant, there arise complicated situations that require problem solving skills to tackle. The reason most people don’t have the ability to solve problems is because they don’t put serious thoughts into the solution. Therefore, as an administrative assistant, you need this skill set to be able to find solutions to some problems that may erupt in the office.

15. Competence. Being competent includes having knowledge of computer literacy, Excel, MS Word, Data management, outlook, grammar, and spelling. The administrative assistant should also know how to make budgets and collections, prepare reports, process accounts, schedule duties, and many more. You have to keep learning and acquiring more knowledge to always prove your competence at any time.

16. Confidentiality. All administrative documents and information ought to be kept secret and not be disclosed to an outside body. Again, an administrative assistant should stay away from gossiping with colleagues in the office. If your boss in the office finds out that you are a type that exposes secret information to strangers, you could lose your job as a result of this.

Administrative Assistant Skills for Resume

If you are making an administrative assistant resume, you can apply the above skills and qualities in completing the core competence section.

The core competence or skills section of your resume is where you state the skills and qualities you are coming with to succeed on the administrative assistant job.


If you are an administrative assistant who wants to be best on your job developing the above qualities is the way to go.

Also, an employer who needs the services of a good administrative assistant will be able to find such individual by making the above qualities the basic requirement applicants for the role should satisfy before they are considered for the job.

Did you find the administrative assistant skills and qualities above useful in improving your performance on your job? Please make a comment in the box below. You may also share more skills that you have found valuable in becoming a great administrative assistant.