Administrative skills encompass a wide range of competencies that are necessary for good office management. It is a broad term that includes everything from highly sought-after transferable skills to specialized abilities exclusive to administrative assistants.
With so many different skills to keep in mind, it can be challenging to pinpoint precisely the ones recruiters want to see on your resume.
That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to explain what administrative skills are, how to recognize which ones to demonstrate on your resume, and how to list them in your job application for the best chances of success.
Administrative skills represent a broad collection of soft and hard skills that allows individuals to run a business effectively.
The most prominent soft administrative skills include communication, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, time management, and problem-solving.
Some hard administrative skills you can add to your resume include office equipment handling, scheduling tools, proficiency in Microsoft Office, social media, legal documents, and bookkeeping.
You can make these abilities more prominent on your resume by listing them next to the relevant achievements.
There are many ways to improve your administrative skills, including training programs, workshops, new technologies, mentorships, etc.
What Are Administrative Skills?
Administrative skills include a wide range of competencies that are needed to run a business effectively. These abilities are highly valued by employers in many industries, as they enable employees to do everything from communicating effectively and solving problems to managing resources and coordinating tasks.
For instance, administrative professionals can be responsible for managing time, personnel, and budgets. Also, they can spot problems, analyze information, and come up with good solutions to keep projects on track and make sure they are finished successfully.
Administrative skills also revolve around organization. Competent professionals such as office managers and administrative assistants are often tasked with planning and coordinating projects and events. In addition to all that, there are highly technical skills for administrative assistants, which include the use of software and digital communication tools.
10 Soft Administrative Skills to Put in Your Resume
Many administrative skills represent soft, interpersonal abilities. They can be just as important for workplace competence as hard ones, which is why many recruiters value them just as much—if not more—as job-specific skills.
Moreover, 75% of recruiters have an increasingly difficult time finding candidates with the right blend of hard and soft skills.
Having this in mind, let’s examine some of the most sought-after soft administrative skills to add to your resume.
#1. Communication Skills
Communication skills refer to a person’s ability to convey information, and this includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Effective communication abilities are essential for building healthy workplace relationships, organizing teams, collaborating with others, and ultimately driving business success.
These involve many other subskills, including:
Communication skills are vital for administrative professionals because they allow them to interact with people at all levels, including colleagues, supervisors, stakeholders, and clients.
Verbal communication is crucial for face-to-face conversations, meetings, and presentations. On the other hand, written communication involves writing emails, reports, and other similar forms. Being able to utilize both methods, in addition to adapting communication styles to different situations, is one of the most important aspects of being a competent administrative specialist.
#2. Interpersonal Skills
We mentioned interpersonal skills as a part of the communication skill set, but they represent much more than that. They are a collection of traits and abilities that help people interact with others in both personal and professional settings.
Interpersonal skills have a lot to do with teamwork and collaboration, as well as communication and empathy. In the workplace, these abilities are crucial to maintaining relationships and understanding the perspective of others in order to build trust and resolve conflicts.
Candidates who can demonstrate interpersonal skills on their resumes will show recruiters that they can foster a healthy, positive, and productive work environment. That leads to increased job satisfaction and overall personal fulfillment.
#3. Organizational Skills
Organizational skills involve your ability to manage and prioritize tasks, time, and resources. That makes them critical to handling the day-to-day operations of an organization.
Organizational Skills Examples
Here are some of the many reasons why organizational skills are important for administrative professionals:
Resource allocation. These abilities allow individuals to allocate resources like time, personnel, and budget to ensure projects are completed successfully.
Attention to detail. This skill helps you keep track of important information, maintain records, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Project management. Administrative specialists usually plan, organize, and coordinate whole projects.
Adaptability. Being able to adapt to a change in circumstances and handle changing priorities, schedules, and unexpected events is essential in the modern, fast-paced workplace.
#4. Time Management
Time management skills are vital for planning, prioritizing, and setting deadlines and allocating time efficiently. Administrative specialists with strong time management abilities can eliminate time-wasting activities, multitask when needed, and help their team avoid procrastination.
The upside to it is an increase in overall productivity and reduced stress in the workplace. All of that makes time management skills important in many industries, particularly in business-oriented careers, healthcare, and education.
#5. Problem-Solving Skills
Administrative specialists usually have to manage different tasks to make sure the organization runs smoothly. This is where their problem-solving skills come in handy. They enable individuals to face challenges on a daily basis and solve them effectively without hindering the performance.
For example, these skills allow administrative assistants to solve problems such as scheduling conflicts, technical issues, disagreements between colleagues or clients, and various other unexpected situations.
Moreover, adept administrative professionals can use these skills to anticipate problems and come up with plans and solutions in advance. That way, they can prevent potential issues from coming up in the first place.
5 Additional Soft Administrative Skills to Put in Your Resume
Here are five more administrative skills examples that recruiters usually look for in candidates:
6 Technical Administrative Skills to Put in Your Resume
Now that we’ve examined transferable skills that make you more efficient, let’s check out the most sought-after technical administrative skills that allow you to do the job in the first place.
#1. Office Equipment Handling
Handling office equipment is one of the critical administrative skills that involves efficiently maintaining and operating various types of office machinery and supplies. This includes computers, scanners, copiers, printers, and other electronic devices.
To be effective at handling office equipment, you should possess the required knowledge of different sorts of gear and their capabilities. Moreover, you need to have the ability to troubleshoot and resolve any issues that arise.
Office equipment handling includes everything from replacing printer cartridges and cleaning equipment to managing the inventory of supplies. By being proficient in this skill, you’ll be able to keep everything well-maintained and functioning optimally so that it meets the needs of the organization.
#2. Scheduling Tools
Proficiency in scheduling tools involves the effective use of software and instruments to manage appointments and schedule meetings and events. These tools include calendar and project management software, as well as scheduling apps.
Administrative assistants adept at using these should also be able to communicate and coordinate with others to ensure all parties are on the same page with tasks, appointments, and meetings.
Scheduling Tools Examples
By demonstrating these administrative skills on a resume, you portray yourself as a tech-savvy candidate who can increase productivity and overall success in a professional setting. Some of the commonly used tools and software include:
#3. Microsoft Office
The Microsoft Office Suite is widely used for various administrative tasks. You can use Word for word processing, Excel for data management, PowerPoint for presentation creation, and more. In other words, proficiency in this set of software applications involves the ability to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
Furthermore, it enables you to manage emails, calendars, and contacts through Outlook. Being adept at the Microsoft Office Suite lets you create professional-looking documents with ease and perform various other administrative tasks. For all these reasons, this skill is often a requirement for administrative jobs in many different industries.
Knowledge of databases and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems involves the ability to work with data effectively. It includes gathering, organizing, transforming, analyzing, and presenting data.
A database is a structured collection of data that allows for easy edits and information retrieval for business purposes. On the other hand, an ERP system is a software application that helps with organizing various aspects of businesses, such as accounting, human resources, or inventory.
By demonstrating these administrative skills on your resume, you’ll highlight your ability to provide valuable information and insight relevant to the organization’s operations.
#5. Social Media
Proficiency in various social media platforms is becoming an increasingly important skill in a contemporary, online-oriented business environment. It represents the ability to create, publish, and manage content for platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and others.
Social Media Skills Examples
Moreover, to be effective at social media, you should know your audience and analyze important metrics. Almost every administrative position nowadays could benefit from social media skills, but especially if you’re going for the role in:
These hard administrative skills revolve around knowledge of legal documents and bookkeeping. On top of the role-specific expertise that you need, you should also be adept at information management and pay attention to detail.
Legal documents involve forms such as contracts and legal correspondence. On the flip side, bookkeeping skills help you manage financial records such as invoices, receipts, and other documents.
By showcasing these skills on your resume, you will portray yourself as a competent and knowledgeable candidate who can ensure that tasks are completed accurately and in compliance with legal requirements.
How to Add Administrative Skills to Your Resume
Adding administrative skills to your resume doesn’t sound like a challenging task, but there are a couple of tips and tricks that will help you make your document stand out. It all starts by researching the company and the job ad to figure out which skills recruiters and employers are looking for.
Let’s check out an example of a job ad to see how we can determine which administrative assistant skills you should highlight in your resume:
Job Title: Administrative Assistant
We are looking for an administrative assistant responsible for providing administrative and clerical support to ensure effective office operations.
Schedule and coordinate appointments, meetings, and events
Perform data entry and maintain databases
Perform general office duties such as ordering supplies, managing mail, and maintaining office equipment
Proficient in Microsoft Office and other relevant software applications
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Strong organizational and time management skills
Once the list is set, you should add it to the skills section of your resume. Just remember that hard and soft administrative skills are different and should be listed separately.
However, you want to make your administrative skills truly pop, and to do that, you should substantiate them with relevant achievements and concrete results. So, when you write your resume summary, objective, and work experience sections, try to include some of your most important administrative skills in them to show how they helped you perform.
Here are two final tips to ensure recruiters really pay attention to your abilities:
Use relevant keywords, action verbs, and power words. They are more memorable in the eyes of recruiters and can also help you pass the ATS scan.
Whenever possible, add numbers, statistics, and percentages to add credibility to your results and show easily-measurable results.
How to Improve Your Administrative Skills
Improving your competence can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, but it can also make you more employable. Here are a couple of short and actionable tips on how to improve administrative skills:
Seek out training and professional development opportunities, such as training programs and workshops.
Improve your communication skills by practicing active listening, clear and concise writing, and verbal communication.
Learn new technologies, such as software and applications that can make you more productive. There are many courses to help you out, but you can also practice by yourself.
You can find a mentor who can offer guidance and support, point out your mistakes, and show you how to improve.
Practice time management by setting priorities, eliminating distractions, and using time-blocking techniques to manage your work.
As an administrative assistant, you’re the glue that holds the organization together. Recruiters are aware of the importance of this position, which is why they pay extra attention to your skills.
Fortunately, we’ve given you all the information required to help you make an outstanding resume that highlights your abilities in the best way possible.
Not only that, but you now know several different ways that you can use to improve your administrative skills and make yourself more employable. With all this newfound information, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be invited for an interview!