Being an administrative assistant is complex and challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Your actions influence almost every part of the company, and you get to work with a bunch of different people. But to get to that part and land a job like that, you’ll need an attention-grabbing administrative assistant resume.
A good resume will show recruiters that you’re a jack-of-all-trades that they’ve been looking for to solve all of their paperwork problems and boost their productivity.
Luckily, we’ve put together a complete guide to help you write a captivating administrative assistant resume that will get you that dream job, so let’s dive in.
Some of the best formats to use for your administrative assistant resume are reverse-chronological, functional, or combination ones.
If you’re at the beginning of your career, you should write a resume objective. On the flip side, go for the summary if you have a decent amount of experience.
To substantiate your skills, you should connect them with relevant achievements and keep mentioning them throughout your resume.
You can use optional sections to tailor your resume to the job requirements and enrich it further.
What is the Right Format to Use for an Administrative Assistant Resume?
In the world of resume building, one format has risen above the rest and is used the most frequently. It’s the reverse-chronological resume format, which is the top pick of the majority of candidates for a number of good reasons, such as:
It places your last job—which is often among the most relevant ones—first for recruiters to see.
Recruiters get to see the development of your professional and academic career over time.
Since this format is one of the most common ones, recruiters are used to it and know how to quickly get valuable information from such resumes.
The format is ATS-friendly.
On top of this one, there are two more formats to consider, which are used more often than the rest, and these are:
Functional resume format, which focuses on skills and works great for students, recent graduates, or career switchers.
Combination (or hybrid) resume format, which allows accomplished professionals to get the best of both reverse-chronological and functional resume formats. It emphasizes skills but also reinforces them with impressive work achievements.
Once you’ve decided on the format, you should move on to the layout. Basically, you want a clean and organized administrative assistant resume that conveys a lot of information in a concise manner. Due to this, you should try to fit everything on one page.
To do that, you can start by choosing a resume-friendly font like Verdana, Tahoma, or Cambria. Use a smaller font size (10–12 pt) for regular text and a larger size (14–16 pt) for headers.
Combine that with margins and white space between the sections, and you’ll get a professional resume that grabs attention.
What Sections Should an Administrative Assistant Resume Contain?
Now that a format and layout are out of the way, let’s see what content your administrative assistant resume should feature. There are must-have sections, which give recruiters everything they want to see, and optional sections, which serve to enhance your resume and further impress hiring managers.
Must-have Resume Sections
Optional Resume Sections
Certifications and courses
You can just add information to your resume by following these lists, and you’ll already be ahead of most candidates. However, if you want to make the process even simpler, use our resume-building tool.
The tool allows you to start with a professional administrative assistant resume template and adjust style, layout, font, and colors in a rather simple way. Then, you can fill in the blanks with your information and have a finished resume in minutes.
Administrative Assistant Resume Contact Information
There’s not much when it comes to writing your contact information section, and that’s a good thing. Simply include your name, job title, professional email address, and phone number.
Optionally, you should consider adding a link to your LinkedIn profile since it’s a social network frequently used in a professional setting.
On the flip side, there’s no need to include your full home address since it’s an outdated practice that nowadays might lead to privacy issues. The same goes for any other sensitive information regarding your race, gender, religion, etc. A personal photo is also a no-go on a resume for similar reasons.
Let’s take a look at an example:
+ 225 907 7924
Administrative Assistant Resume Objective or Summary
Having an excellent resume only matters if a hiring manager takes a look at it. That’s why you want to put your best foot forward and start with a strong opening paragraph in the form of a resume objective or summary.
If you are new to the field, write an administrative assistant resume objective to show off your skills and career goals.If you're a seasoned professional, get the reader's attention by writing a resume summary that highlights your best work accomplishments.
Administrative Assistant Resume Objective
You should write a resume objective if you’re a student or a recent graduate. Alternatively, you can get the most out of it if you’ve changed professions and the work experience that you have isn’t relevant to the field that you’re applying to.
By emphasizing your key skills, you’ll display potential and show that you’re the best person for the job. It’s crucial to be specific when writing a resume objective and highlight those abilities that recruiters are looking for the most.
Let’s see that in an example:
“Highly motivated and detail-oriented business administration graduate looking for a position as an administrative assistant. Seeking to leverage strong interpersonal and communication skills to help the team reach its full potential.”
Here’s a poorly written resume objective for comparison:
“Recent graduate looking for a job as an administrative assistant to learn and to advance in your company.”
Being driven and eager to learn is valuable, but you should show that you already have something to offer your future employers.
Senior Administrative Assistant Resume Summary
You can draw attention to your most prominent professional achievements by writing a stellar administrative assistant resume summary. Write a captivating paragraph to sum up the rest of your resume, and recruiters will want to read more. Here’s an example:
“Accomplished administrative assistant with 7+ years of experience. Proficient in database management, data entry, and the MS Office package. Managed schedules of 2 corporate executives and trained 3 new administrative assistants while performing general office duties with precision and efficiency. Looking to leverage organizational and management skills to work with cross-functional teams at [your company].”
On the other hand, if you write a vague resume summary with no specific details or exact accomplishments, you might end up with a bad one, like in the following example:
“Experienced administrative assistant exceptional at organizing and managing teams. Looking to join your team and perform office duties with excellence.”
You shouldn’t just mention your skills and then rely on recruiters to take your word for it. Instead, you should back them up with relevant accomplishments.
Administrative Assistant Resume Work Experience
One of the best ways to convince hiring managers that you’re a good candidate is by showing your past work experience. That’s why this section is usually the centerpiece of an administrative assistant resume.
Once you’re familiar with a couple of general tips, it’s rather simple to create a compelling work experience section.
Let’s start by defining what information is a must-have. Your work experience section should feature the following:
Dates of employment
Responsibilities and achievements
Since you want to convey as much information as briefly as possible, you should use bulleted lists when adding your responsibilities and achievements. You also want to focus on the latter because achievements directly show your workplace competence.
Here are a couple of tips that will help you get the most out of this part:
Your bullet list should have between 3 and 5 points.
Using numbers and percentages helps make achievements more substantial and concrete.
Strong action verbs and power words improve the whole section by making it more memorable.
Speaking of action verbs and power words, here are the best ones to use in your administrative assistant resume when you want to describe your leadership skills and achievements:
If you’re writing about your designing abilities and endeavors, you should use some of the following power words:
When you want to emphasize your key achievements, consider some of the following action verbs:
Lastly, here are some impactful terms to help you highlight your assisting prowess:
Entry Level Administrative Assistant Experience
Here’s an example showing how to write a good work experience section for an administrative assistant resume of an entry-level candidate:
Administrative Assistant Intern
February 2022–June 2022
Led meetings in collaboration with 2 managers, putting 15 suggestions in motion that were later adopted and implemented in the workflow.
Managed emails, messages, and calendars of 5 executives.
Welcomed 30+ daily visitors and assisted them in finding desired locations.
Even though they don’t have years of professional experience in the field, the candidate leveraged their internship. You could do the same with freelance work, volunteering, college projects, and similar activities.
Experienced Administrative Assistant
As a veteran in the field, you want to include only the most extraordinary accomplishments. Don't include every achievement you've had in an attempt to impress recruiters with a long collection of achievements, as that might actually weaken the overall list.
Here’s an example of a concise and information-packed senior administrative assistant work experience section:
Senior Administrative Assistant
Facilitated meetings between the CEO and executives 5 times a week.
Increased revenue by 23% in 2021 via 5 online corporate events.
Coordinated the 11-member executive team by synchronizing their calendars, scheduling meetings, and organizing participants.
In just a couple of bullet points, the candidate showcased exceptional talent and expertise in the field.
If you have multiple relevant previous jobs that you want to include, add them in reverse-chronological order.
Administrative Assistant Resume Education Section
Education adds trustworthiness to your entire resume. The importance of the education section increases the newer you are to the field. You can use it to substantiate your skills and workplace competence.
Here’s an example of a well-structured education section:
Education Section Example
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Concordia University, Saint Paul, MN
Relevant coursework: Introduction to Office Management, Business Communication, Leadership and Team Management
Not only did the candidate include required information like their degree, the institution they went to, its location, and dates, but they also added optional bits. Details like a high GPA, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, and various notable achievements increase the value of this section.
Another important thing to consider when writing an education section is that you could add your degree even if you haven't yet obtained it. Here’s how:
If you’re still studying, you should write “current” in the place of the graduation date.
You can add “expected” next to a graduation date if it’s coming soon.
Even as a college dropout, you could list your degree and mention how many credits you earned towards obtaining it.
Administrative Assistant Resume Skills
Along with your work experience and education section, the skills section makes up the core of your administrative assistant resume. However, you can do much more with your skills than simply adding them to a separate section.
Skills act as keywords for the ATS, so it helps to have them appear throughout your resume. Plus, they’ll have a bigger impact on recruiters when used in combination with relevant accomplishments in your summary or objective and in your work experience section.
For starters, it’s often best to research the job ad and find exactly which skills recruiters are looking for. Then, you should create two separate lists:
Hard skills, which are specific to the profession of an administrative assistant.
Soft skills, which are broad and interchangeable between professions, also known as interpersonal or social skills.
Lastly, you should add these lists separately to your skills section while mentioning the most important ones in other sections.
Here are some of the highly desired hard skills for an administrative assistant resume:
Microsoft Office Suite
Adding some of these soft skills to your resume could help you stand out among the competition:
Attention to detail
Administrative Assistant Resume Optional Sections
Savvy job seekers can use the optional sections to give recruiters plenty of useful information that doesn’t fit in any of the mandatory sections.
You can also tailor your resume to the specific job requirements with the help of optional sections.
Certifications & Courses
We briefly touched upon how relevant coursework could help spruce up your education section. However, if you have attended courses outside your formal education, add them to this section to show your diligence and dedication to improvement.
You could include courses on specific computer programs or technologies, courses on time management, customer service, and more.
Similarly, certifications allow you to demonstrate highly specialized skills and knowledge. Some examples of administrative assistant certifications include:
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
While this section is usually optional, if a job ad makes it mandatory (e.g., if you’re applying for a position in an international company), you should consider adding it somewhere near the top of your resume. Simply list the languages you know, starting with the one you’re most proficient in.
It’s crucial to be honest and don’t over-exaggerate your abilities when writing this section since that’s something recruiters can easily check.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Administrative Assistant Resume?
Even if it's not asked for in the job posting, you should submit an administrative assistant cover letter with your resume. Here are some of the numerous benefits of doing so:
You display diligence and willingness to go the extra mile.
A cover letter gives you the opportunity to further highlight your achievements.
It allows you to connect with the recruiter on a more personal level by addressing them directly.
Expert Tips for Creating an Administrative Assistant Resume
These expert tips will help you fine-tune your administrative assistant resume to perfection:
It’s often easier to write your resume objective or summary last, as this section should highlight a couple of key points extracted from the rest of the document.
An administrative assistant is a “swiss army knife” member of the team with a diverse set of skills, which is why you want to highlight your abilities throughout your resume. Add them to your summary and work experience in addition to a section of their own.
Since most resumes should be one page long, you can always use a cover letter to showcase more of your skills and achievements to hiring managers.
By ensuring that your resume looks professional with a clear structure and no mistakes, you also indirectly demonstrate proficiency in desirable soft skills such as attention to detail and organization skills.
Job-Winning Administrative Assistant Resume Examples
To help you put everything you’ve learned into practice, we’ve prepared three administrative assistant resume examples:
Creating an administrative assistant resume is not an easy task, but this guide should help you master the process. So, congratulations—you can now add yet another valuable skill to your ever-expanding belt!
By following our guidelines, you might get that interview sooner than expected, so it might be time to brush up on your conversation skills. Your dream job might be closer than you think!