If you’re looking for work as an administrative assistant, you need a resume that speaks to your ability to handle a range of office tasks, including your ability to take dictation, manage correspondence and answer phones. When it’s time to choose the best resume format for your background and work history, follow these great pointers and you’ll stand out among competitors.
Should I Use a Chronological or a Functional Resume as an Administrative Assistant?
Most people think a chronological resume is the only acceptable format. This format allows you to list your work experience in order of time, starting with your most recent position and going backwards. It’s the best resume format to use if you have worked most of your life as an administrative assistant or if you have extensive experience in related fields.
However, if you have gaps in your work history or a diverse skill set, a functional resume will be the best resume format. This format places your office experience at the top of your resume, regardless of when it was acquired, followed by less relevant experience later in the document. When potential employers take a quick look at your resume, the first thing they’ll see is a snapshot of your qualifications.
What Sections Should Be Included in an Administrative Assistant’s Resume?
The best resume format, whether functional or chronological, always starts with your contact information at the top of the page. This includes your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address.
Next comes your “Experience” section. This portion of your resume needs to be subdivided into “Office Experience” or “Administrative Assistant Experience” and “Other Experience” if you are using a functional resume. List each job by title, employer and dates worked followed by bullet points that outline your responsibilities at each position. Use phrases that start with action words, such as “answered telephones,” “handled email correspondence” or “greeted clients,” for each explanation.
After covering your experience, create an “Education” section. This is where you note any degrees or certifications you possess. If you are still in school, give the date you expect to graduate. Use this section to mention any particularly appropriate courses you have taken, such as transcription classes or work with various computer programs. Also, include your typing speed if it is relevant to job for which you are applying and if it has been certified by a credible source.
What Other Tips Can I Use to Make My Administrative Assistant Resume Shine?
If you have an extensive work history section, limit your resume to one page for every 10 years of experience. The ideal resume should not exceed two pages in total. Hold off on providing any information about references, salary requirements or hobbies; these topics are usually mentioned during the interview phase.
Take advantage of any volunteer experience you have that relates to administrative assistant work, such as working for your family business or answering phones for a charity fund drive. Since administrative assistant work covers such a broad spectrum of duties, think about the unique qualities you possess and include them in your resume. Keep in mind that you may have to write several different versions for different job applications.
More helpful resume advice can be found at LiveCareer. Here, you can learn more about the best resume format to use for your personal history and how to create a resume that stands out.