Resume & Cover Letter Tips for Admin Assistants

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Seeking a position as an administrative assistant is becoming a smarter and smarter career option. This position can provide a way to break into a specific industry, from the performing arts, to tech, to marketing, to fashion design. Plus, admin jobs can be excellent placeholders when you’re between one industry-specific position and the next. And perhaps most importantly, admin jobs oftenpay well.

If this option feels like the right move for you right now, here are a few resume tips that can help you land the position you’re looking for.

1. Use your summaryto explain how you believe working as an admin will support your career over the long term. This demonstrates a sense of ambition and career continuity, but it also assures employers that you aren’t just using this position as a placeholder. Let your reviewers know that when you step in the door, you plan to stay, at least for a while.

2. Emphasize your fluency with office management software. Every tool in the Microsoft office suite will be necessary for most admin jobs, but if you have other backgrounds as well (with complex planning and scheduling programs, or social media tools like Wordpress and Hootsuite), make this clear.

3. Remember that customer service skills, both internal and external, will support your success in this role. Let your employer know that you can handle any phone, email, or face-to-face interaction with poise, diplomacy, and warmth. 

4. Keep in mind that great administrative assistants are also tough. If their employer needs a complex reservation made, wants an answer from a direct report, or needs to be protected from interruptions, effective admins rise to the task. And they use their horizontal management skills to push others into action, even those over whom they hold no official authority.

5. Explain how your previous positions have helped you develop the skills you’ll need as an admin. Your employers may not be interested in the day-to-day details of your sales job, for example, but they’ll tune in if you can find a way to explain how admin success and sales success are built in the same kinds of aptitudes, attitudes, and skill sets.

6. If you’re a mid-career professional stepping into an administrative assistant role, be prepared to handle questions about relevance and over-qualification. Why are you choosing to work here, instead of going back into epidemiology, restaurant management, or interior design? Answer these charges by making it clear that this position is your primary goal right now, and you plan to take this role seriously.

An Effective Resume is Just the Beginning

A strong resume and cover letter will help you land an interview and take you over the first major hurdle between you and the job you need. After that, your personal presentation and communication skills will come to the foreground. Visit LiveCareer for resume andcover letter building toolsthat can put this process in motion. 

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