STRATEGIES FOR TODAY'S
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT RESUME
By Ann Baehr, Best Resumes of New
Today's administrative assistant resume is a far cry
from yesterday's secretary resume.
Many woman that have held administrative assistant
positions in the 1960's will tell you that they typed up
letters, answered the telephone, scheduled their boss's
meetings and even got him coffee.
For the higher level executive secretaries, they did all
the above in addition to taking Meeting Minutes,
coordinating travel arrangements and transcribing
dictation. These secretaries typically were the right
hand assistant to one boss; usually the head of the
Today's administrative assistant does all of the above
and a lot more. This includes setting up
videoconferences, preparing complex documents such as
Excel-based Travel and Expense reports, MS Word mail
merges and PowerPoint slide show presentations.
Technology has changed everything. An administrative
assistant can easily research the cheapest airfares and
book flights and hotel rooms online. This is a huge
timesaver and eliminates the need for using those big
thick OAG Travel books or depending on a corporate
All of these conveniences make it easy to multitask even
more and to provide administrative support to as many as
ten or more managers in addition to the department head.
There are still the exclusive positions in which an
administrative assistant would report to only one
executive, but that is usually for the very high-ranking
executive who sits in the Executive Suite of a Fortune
500 Company and cannot share his or her secretary. This
is both for prestige and confidentiality reasons.
So how does today's administrative assistant reflect all
of these responsibilities in a resume? The best format
to use is the combination format to show how well
rounded he or she is. Imagine using a standard
The trick is to look at each sentence and determine what
category that would fall under. Examine all of the
positions and determine what the short list of
categories would be. Those categories will be listed as
sub-categories under each respective position.
These categories might be called, departmental support,
administrative assistance, document preparation, travel
arrangements, and event coordination.
Create a section that places the sub-category heading in
the left column and list the sentences alongside it to
show what was done under that category. Follow the same
formula throughout. If a category by a different name
needs to be used that cannot be used under the other
positions, that is fine.
In fact, if you choose to use sub-categories that all
vary in name, it will add even more interest. Try to get
keywords in there. For example, HR Assistance if you are
targeting an HR Assistant position.
Last but not least, include a Special Projects section.
You can list this section under each position or list it
separately as a Special Project Highlights section. Be
sure to list special projects from your entire career,
not just your last position.
Beyond the experience section, you need to include the
all-important Computer Skills section. Just as a hammer
is the carpenter's tool, the computer is the secretary's
tool. Be sure to list the current software programs you
know. You do not need to show that you can operate a fax
or copier machine. Some technologies are expected. But
you will need to show that you are proficient in the
software that the position requires, and can take
shorthand, if required.
Depending on the position, digital media such as
videoconferencing and scanning technology might be
required. If the position involves light bookkeeping, it
might be a good idea to include your knowledge of
accounting software. If you do not have experience in
the required programs, take a crash course. It will pay
off in the long run.
Whatever you do, be neat and consistent and keep the
employer's needs in mind. Carefully examine the job
requirements to get an idea of how the resume should be
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