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STRATEGIES FOR TODAY'S ADMINISTRATIVE
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 department.
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
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 travel agency.
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 chronological format.
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
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
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
For more resume
career information, visit