Career summary

Details for Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants


Description

Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Tasks

  • Manage and maintain executives' schedules.
  • Make travel arrangements for executives.
  • Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements, and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.
  • Coordinate and direct office services, such as records, departmental finances, budget preparation, personnel issues, and housekeeping, to aid executives.
  • Answer phone calls and direct calls to appropriate parties or take messages.
  • Prepare responses to correspondence containing routine inquiries.
  • Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email.
  • Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.
  • Prepare agendas and make arrangements, such as coordinating catering for luncheons, for committee, board, and other meetings.
  • Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees, and boards of directors.
  • Perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining records management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.
  • File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports.
  • Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.
  • Provide clerical support to other departments.
  • Attend meetings to record minutes.
  • Process payroll information.
  • Interpret administrative and operating policies and procedures for employees.
  • Set up and oversee administrative policies and procedures for offices or organizations.
  • Meet with individuals, special interest groups, and others on behalf of executives, committees, and boards of directors.
  • Compile, transcribe, and distribute minutes of meetings.
  • Supervise and train other clerical staff and arrange for employee training by scheduling training or organizing training material.
  • Review operating practices and procedures to determine whether improvements can be made in areas such as workflow, reporting procedures, or expenditures.

Interests

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Related careers

  • Legal Secretaries
  • Library Technicians
  • Management Analysts
  • Municipal Clerks
  • Procurement Clerks
  • Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
  • Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive