Administrative Assistant Resume Example

When helping others shine is your profession, you need to find time to shine yourself. We're here to help.

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Written by Melinda Dix
Resume specialist
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on November 17, 2021
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How to Write an Administrative Assistant Resume

Maybe you're like Alexandria. You’ve worked as a Personal Assistant, Executive Assistant, Office Administrator, etc. You have a long history of supporting individuals and organizations to make sure everything runs smoothly. And like Alexandria, you’re ready for the next step in your career. The only thing holding you back is your resume. Perhaps you’re not sure about its wording or formatting or even the content itself - but you know your resume is the first step to getting your foot in the door. Let Leet walk you through the process of generating a stellar Administrative Assistant resume. And if you’re still unsure, you can always have a professional at Leet Resumes write for you - we write great professional resumes for free (tips appreciated!).

The five parts of a great Administrative Assistant are:

  • A professional headline
  • A professional summary
  • A work experience section
  • An education section, and
  • A keywords section.

Writing a Professional Headline

Your professional headline is your advertisement. We want a recruiting professional to see your resume and immediately identify you with the role you’re pursuing. To achieve this, begin with a flattering adjective and then your title. Maybe you see yourself as a Diligent Administrative Assistant, like Alexandria. Perhaps you are a Detail-Oriented Executive Assistant, Dedicated Personal Assistant, or Innovative Office Assistant. Wherever you fall, be sure to describe yourself in a way that applies to your future role, not just your past experiences. For example, maybe you have a long history as a receptionist, but have garnered the organizational skills, calendar management skills, and customer service skills to confidently apply to an Administrative Assistant role. Give a recruiter the notion that you belong in that role from the get go. After all, the whole purpose of your resume is to exemplify what you’re ready to take on next.

What Makes a Great Professional Summary?

On average, a hiring manager is going to take about six seconds screening each resume before moving on. It’s unlikely that, in those six seconds, they will be drawn to all the most important pieces of information in your resume. Enter a professional summary - a place for you to highlight those key pieces of information front and center so you don't have to rely on a recruiter to tease them out. Here, Leet suggests creating a snapshot for the person reviewing your resume, a glimpse of what is to come, a guide that details what they can look for as they keep reading.

A professional summary is typically two to four lines, depending on your years of experience. If you’ve been a personal assistant for someone well-known in your industry for fifteen or more years, you should go for four lines. If you are new to the industry or just haven’t had experience in an executive office yet, you’re looking for two or three lines. Most importantly, you want to accurately capture your capabilities and experiences in a concise way. To that end, each line should include four phrases, each separated by bullets.

The first line of your professional summary is going to highlight job titles you identify with and would be willing to accept. Looking over your list of successes, consider job titles that match achievements where you went above and beynd your job description. Alexandria, for example, defines herself as an Administrative Assistant, but would also be willing to accept the job title of Office Administrator, Executive Assistant, or Department Coordinator.

The second line of your professional summary should encapsulate your relevant skills. Alexandria has chosen Communication Skills, Project Management, Time Management, and Problem Solving. To make this section even better, she might veer from soft skills and be more specific with skills such as Vendor Management, Client Inquiries, Inbox Management, Data Entry, Board Meeting Minutes, etc. Choose skills that are not only applicable to the position you want, but that also demonstrate the capabilities present throughout your resume.

If you have a third line in your professional summary, use this space to highlight achievements. Reference the content of your resume for verbs. Identify accomplishments others applying to this position may not have. Perhaps you’ve designed surveys, edited memos, produced reports, or organized events. Again, be sure that you can prove these experiences later on in your resume.

The optional fourth line of your professional summary should include career highlights. These might be promotions, awards, or affiliations you have earned throughout your career that make you stand out against other applicants.

Make Numbers the Heart of Your Admin Experience

This is the section of a resume that most of us are familiar with - where we list each role, employer, and dates of employment in reverse chronological order. It’s also the biggest section of content in your resume, and therefore the easiest place for a hiring manager to get lost.

As a result, format is important. Contrary to tradition, writing paragraphs can cause your resume to miss out on opportunities. As digital consumers filtering through endless information, the person on the other end of your resume has likely trained themselves to find the gist, identify the main pieces of information, and skim over the rest. Perhaps you’ve done that very thing while reading this article. Hiring managers are not an exception. They appreciate concise bullets and a focus on your accomplishments.

Focus on your wins. This space should not merely list your duties and responsibilities as an Administrative Assistant. The person hiring an assistant is likely aware of what this job entails day-to-day. Try to imagine how your last employer would voice your success. They would likely not explain that you were capable of answering the phone. Sure, maybe answering the phone was a prominent part of your day, but it’s really only valuable here if we can explain how that work made you invaluable to the organization. Consider the difference between “Answered incoming calls” and “Reduced costs 10% by negotiating incoming inquiries and contracts with vendors.” The latter emphasizes impact and impact helps your reader understand what you bring to the table.

Ideally, each of your bullets follows the same format of a verb, a piece of data, and how that number was accomplished. They might look something like this:

Increased client satisfaction 31% by resolving customer complaints in a timely manner. Reduced overhead spending $4,000 per year by negotiating office supply costs. Supported the fundraising of $1.5M by arranging donations for the annual gala.

Once you think you have enough data, add more. Make it especially easy for your reader to imagine how you will contribute and how you are an ideal fit for the role.

How to Include Education on Your Resume

Be specific in listing your educational institutions, dates, and degrees, as attention to detail is likely important to the role for which you are applying. Include any professionally relevant activities, awards, and honors as well. Don’t include uncompleted degrees unless you are actively pursuing them and think they apply to the role.

Resume Keywords for Adminstrative Assistants

Finally, the keywords section of your resume will highlight other key aspects of your career. Technologies is a common title for this section and likely pertinent to your success as an Administrative Assistant. Consider all the software, databases, and management programs you have had to familiarize yourself with to be successful in your professional experience. They might include GSuite, Monday.com, Asana, Calendly, Trello, Slack, Keynote, etc. If the organization you are applying to uses these tools, great. And if your future employer doesn’t use these exact tools, they will be able to envision you as someone capable of learning new technology as needed. This section might also include relevant awards, certifications, or affiliations.

Where to Add Contact Information

A recruiter will need to know how to reach you. At the top of your resume, be sure to include your name, professional email address, phone number, and geographic location. Don’t include your LinkedIn unless you check your inbox daily.

Formatting an Administrative Assistant Resume

For both human readability and computer scannability, a resume with a clean and simple format will be most successful. Remove complex fonts, graphics, columns, text boxes, and other distractions. While Leet Resumes acknowledges the trend of designers creating resumes with coloring, lettering, and other graphics, we also realize this trend does not account for the preferences of hiring managers, HR professionals, and recruiters who read resumes for a living. The individuals hiring Administrative Assistants want something that is predictable and easy to dissect.

When it comes to resume length, the number of years in your professional career and your career objectives will determine how many pages you want to write. One page is appropriate for someone with less than ten years of professional experience. Professionals with more than ten years of experience should consider a two page resume if they have worked with high level executives.

As you imagine the next step in your career, consider the skills needed for your dream role and spotlight your experiences to help a reader understand how you have demonstrated these skills in the past and how you will demonstrate them in the future. Instead of including every responsibility you have ever had, capture the scope of your impact as an Administrative Assistant. Then, most importantly, back it all up with data. And if you still need a little help, have Leet Resumes write your resume for you - we write great professional resumes for free (tips appreciated!).

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