Do you have "administrative skills" written on your resume? What exactly does that phrase encompass? If you had to specifically list out those skills, could you?
If not, consider developing your administrative skills for a successful career. Despite appearances, the definition of administrative skills does not pigeonhole these skills to just secretaries and assistants. Anyone from any department can benefit from good administrative skills.
Administrative Management Skills Meaning
The administrative skills definition stems from the work commonly performed by administrators and administrative assistants. These employees must offer excellent customer service but be just as adept at communicating with coworkers. They must have timekeeping and scheduling skills, not be afraid to pick up the phone or send an email and may have to multitask.
Being Able to Communicate
The top administrative skill anyone can possess is undoubtedly communication. Being able to clearly and precisely communicate with your manager, other employees, and customers end up saving a lot of time and avoid confusion.
For best results, you need to be confident and adaptable in a variety of situations. You need to be pleasant and friendly, but firm when warranted. You need to have no qualms about picking up the phone to relay an important message, but your writing skills need to be top-notch for professional email communication as well.
Organizing Records and Documents
Have you ever watched your coworkers fumble to find an important document from three weeks ago? Did you know exactly where it was? If so, you may already possess excellent organizational and record-keeping skills.
With cloud computing being all the rage these days, it's important to know how to name and file electronic documents. But you may also need the somewhat old-fashioned skill of paper filing as well.
And let's not forget filing emails and taking notes during important phone calls. A paper trail is always useful, but not if it is poorly organized.
Understanding Time Management
When do you need to send a follow-up email? When was that conference call? Do you have time right now to sit in on that meeting? Have you focused too much on a single task today? Will you be able to meet that deadline? Are you going to clock out on time today or accidentally accrue over time?
All of these stem back to time management. You need to be able to manage your own time, and if you do work as an administrative assistant, then you also need to know how to best schedule calls and meetings for your boss. This skill can affect your productivity, so it's always a great one to develop.
Observation and Anticipating Needs
You shouldn't have to worry about what everyone else around you is doing. But if you notice that someone needs help or that the conference room is not set up when you arrive early to a meeting or that the bathroom is about to run out of soap and no one seems to have noticed, you should do something about it.
Anticipating needs based on observation shows that you're hyper-aware of what's going on and are willing to pitch in to make each day run smoothly. It's a great skill for managers to possess, and you might be considered for promotion just by demonstrating this skill.
Importance of Multitasking
Finally, multitasking remains an important administrative skill that allows you to do your job even when the day gets insanely busy. Have you ever seen a secretary process a payment for a client at the front desk while also talking to a concerned customer on the phone? This kind of multitasking keeps both parties satisfied, but it requires intense focus that not everyone has.
Of course, if you can focus on one thing at a time, you should. But when in a pinch, multitasking is a great talent to have.
Cathy Habas specializes in marketing, customer experiences, and behind-the-scenes management. Cathy has contributed to sites like Business and Finance, Business 2 Community, and Inside Small Business. She served as the managing editor for a small content marketing agency before continuing with her writing career.