Nancy Moore found herself in an unfamiliar work situation last August. After 20 years in corporate sales at luxury hotels and resorts, she was first furloughed in March 2020 and then laid off five months later. Soon after, a cancer diagnosis put thoughts of a return to work on hold.
Thankfully, she said, a supportive fiance gave her the financial space to take care of her health and reevaluate her career.
While Moore was still in treatment, she considered her next career steps. She found work in a friend's insurance office doing administrative work on a part-time basis.
"I'm not interested in the insurance business, but maybe there will be aspects of the job itself that I'll like."
There are millions of job seekers like Moore, seeking to reinvent their careers post-pandemic. While administrative employment is projected to decline by 9% in the coming years, and COVID lockdowns that closed many offices have made matters worse, there's been an increase in work-from-home opportunities.
With around 56% of the labor force able to complete part or all of their job duties from home, this is an excellent opportunity for those with administrative or clerical experience, even if you've never worked directly in the field, to break into the industry and help businesses run more efficiently and effectively.
5 jobs in the administrative field women can get now
- Medical secretary. This administrative occupation is expected to grow to keep pace with the needs of health care providers. Medical secretaries handle administrative tasks related to billing and insurance processing of Medicare, patient paperwork, and other insurance claims.
- Office assistant. Automation can't compete with an administrative professional who knows how to utilize her soft skills. A good office assistant can adapt to new trends, ever-changing company processes, and client needs. People who can communicate effectively and courteously when interacting with customers and staff will always be in demand.
- Operations associate. This job applies to various industries, including retail, logistics, government, and education. The primary duties of an operations associate are performing administrative and clerical tasks like maintaining files, document control, POS operations, and updating databases to support the organization's daily operations. On-site training is usually offered for this position, but you can make your candidacy extra attractive by highlighting your interpersonal, organizational, and writing skills on your resume.
- Executive assistant. This role is responsible for standard administrative tasks like setting up conference calls, organizing meetings and preparing correspondence. With more experience, the position can expand to include high-level tasks like conducting research, analyzing statistical reports, responding to informational inquiries, and cataloging database information. These roles possess a median salary of $23 per hour (or approximately $47,840 annually).
- Office clerk. If you are diligent, reliable, and hard-working, then an office clerk role may be right for you. This role is available in various capacities in institutions like hospitals, schools, government, and finance. It also makes a great transfer point if you come from different jobs like cashier, call center representative, server, or billing and collections. This role can be learned on the job, and training typically lasts up to one month.
How to write an administration resume
There are three different formats you can consider when creating your resume:
Functional resume format: Best when you're new to the industry or have significant employment gaps
If you are new to administrative work or have a gap in your experience, the functional resume is the ideal choice. Make sure to highlight key transferable skills that will be relevant to the job, like any spreadsheet software you've used or experience with Microsoft and G-Suite programs. Soft skills are crucial in this field, so mention how detail-oriented you are, your communication skills, and any customer service experience you have.
Combination resume format: Perfect when you want to put equal emphasis on your skills and work experience
Combination resumes are ideal for candidates looking to draw attention to both career-relevant skills and work history. For administration roles, it's vital to show off a people-centric nature and proficient organizational skills.
Chronological resume format: Great when you can show solid career progression and clear achievements
The chronological resume is the best way to show the progression of your career arc. A history of achievement and career progression is how you can have recruiters and potential employers see your immediate qualifications. Experienced administrative professionals are highly sought after, so referencing specific programs you used and how you interacted positively with clients in your work history can help you land an interview.
How to explain career gaps on an administrative resume
The administrative sector has been hit hard thanks to both technological advances and office closures, but the plus side is that gaps in employment for this sector are easier to explain, and the rise of remote work will make flexible scheduling possible.
However, it is still essential for candidates to show how they filled the gaps in their resumes. It doesn't necessarily have to be freelance or gig work that filled your time; many things can contribute to your candidacy:
- Pursuing certification opportunities online such as:
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Microsoft Office Specialist
- Office Management Certification
- Show your essential and in-demand soft skills by citing any volunteering opportunities or relevant unpaid work on your resume.
- There are plenty of other ways to show administrative prowess by highlighting things like bookkeeping, typing skills, research abilities, and a high level of self-motivation.
Find an administrative job with a flexible schedule
While administrative work can be done from home, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a flexible schedule. You'll have to be able to sync up with co-workers across a range of timezones and anticipate common needs. That said, you should search popular job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed for positions with desirable schedules. You should also look at industry-exclusive job boards like Admin Careers, Admin Crossing, and iHireAdmin.
Administrative roles are positioned in the center of an organization, so make sure the job fits what you're looking for by asking important interview questions such as:
- What tools do you use to stay organized?
- What is the company culture like?
- How have you adjusted the office environment to accommodate a work-from-home schedule/ maintain work-life balance?
Use your interview to help determine if this is the best job for you and if you're a good fit for the employer. Even if you meet all the qualifications, you might not like the culture. Also, keep in mind that if you're missing a few skills you can still apply. Remember that for these roles, the key isn't necessarily how much technical experience you have — potential employers would rather see highly adaptable and friendly candidates on their admin teams.