Learn more about what it takes to become an office administrator and download our office admin resume template to get started.
Office admins are often called the heart of a business. They keep every aspect of the business running smoothly, so the rest of the team can focus on doing what they do best. Office administrators juggle everything from office inventory management to scheduling meetings to technical troubleshooting to bookkeeping—and everything in between.
It’s not easy, and it’s not a job every person is cut out for. Do you have what’s required to become an office administrator? Below we’ll cover duties and responsibilities, how to get into admin work, what to include in an office admin resume, and job search resources. Don’t forget to download our free resume template!
Office Admin Duties and Responsibilities
Office administrators perform clerical duties and oversee administrative staff and assistants. They have a wide range of admin duties and responsibilities related to the management and organization of a business.
The breadth of the role depends on the size of the company and the current needs of the business. If an office has other finance roles, such as an accountant or Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the office administration role will have fewer duties related to finance. If the company is very large, the admin duties may be more related to managing administrative staff, whereas a smaller company may require the office administrator to perform broader office management roles, working directly with other departments.
Possible office admin duties may include:
- Scheduling meetings
- Creating meeting schedules
- Record keeping
- Answering phone calls and emails
- Assigning work to administrative staff
- Front desk communication
- Greeting guests
- Travel arrangements
- Managing budgets
- Sourcing suppliers
- Technical troubleshooting
- Event planning
- Inventory management
Office admin responsibilities will change from business to business. The duties of an office administrator for a paper supplies company will differ in areas from an office administrator working in a law firm. When applying for a position, ensure you have all of the required skills and experience, as each job description with the title Office Administrator will have different responsibilities and requirements.
How To Get Into Admin Work
Experience Required For Office Admin Jobs
Due to the flexibility of the role and the huge range of duties required to work as an office administrator, the position requires a variety of skills and traits. Some office administration roles require specific knowledge of the industry in addition to administration experience.
List of Clerical Skills For Office Administration
- General computer skills
- Data entry
- Phone systems
- Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
- Email (Outlook, Gmail, or other email solutions)
- Digital Calendars
- Printing, photocopying, faxing
- Office inventory management
Read our article on Office Supply Inventory Management. It includes everything you need to tackle office inventory, including supply closet organization, inventory supply lists, and free supply request templates.
For success as an office administrator, you need more than practical skills. Working in office administration is not for everyone. It’s a demanding job that requires certain strengths and personality traits. It’s best for you and the business that you have the required experience and temperament. If you struggle in your personal life with organization, assertiveness, multitasking, or working with others, this may not be the role for you at this point in your life.
List of Traits For Office Administration
- Time management
- Risk management
- Creative thinking
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
The most important of these traits may be adaptability. Office administrators need to adapt quickly to change now more than ever before. As new business applications and advanced technologies make their way into the workforce, everyone must adapt. Office administrators are on the front lines of office changes. Switching to a new phone system? Implementing new office software? Office admins are at the forefront of these changes, and it’s their responsibility to help everyone else in the organization implement new systems and technologies.
How To Get An Admin Job With No Experience
It is unlikely to get hired as an office administrator without any experience. An office administrator is the lifeblood of a business—they ensure that everything runs smoothly, which includes responsibilities like managing payroll and invoices. It’s a serious problem for a business if their staff or vendors don’t get paid on time.
Failing to complete administrative duties can derail a business. Running out of inventory could mean your business doesn’t have any printing paper for a week. Scheduling conflicts could mean double booking two important clients in the same time slot, requiring your clients to wait or be turned away. A proofreading mistake would look bad on the overall brand image of the business. A small data entry mistake could cost the business hundreds or thousands of dollars and could put the business in trouble with the IRS.
It’s essential that office administrators fully understand their role and the duties they need to perform. Previous experience in an office or a degree in office administration is a huge asset. It would be unfair to you (and your employer) if you’re hired for a job that you don’t have enough experience for.
If you lack substantial administrative experience, you might want to begin searching for jobs as an administrative assistant. These positions may require less previous experience, education, and training. It is possible to get hired as an administrative assistant without any previous work experience, but you will still need to show equivalent education and demonstrate many of the required skills for the job.
What to Include In An Office Admin Resume
Your office admin resume will highlight why you are a good fit for an admin job, your relevant skills, and your previous experience. The resume will showcase your administrative experience while showing potential employers what you have to offer them.
Highlight your most recent experience and only include information applicable to the office administration industry. Employment from 2010 is old news by now, and it’s unlikely hiring offices will be interested in your karate training. Keep it timely, relevant, and succinct.
Contact information is a simple yet critical aspect of any resume. You won’t be off to a good start if you get this part wrong. Ensure all of your contact information is accurate and include multiple ways to get a hold of you, such as a phone number and email. Ensure you use a professional email address for your resume; firstname.lastname@example.org have cut it in high school, but it won’t in this professional setting. Ideally, your email will include your name along with a professional domain, such as Gmail, Outlook, or your own personal brand domain.
A resume objective is a concise and exact statement carefully tailored to match the specifications of the job you’re applying for. With it, you outline the direction you want your career to take while demonstrating to your prospective employer why you’re the perfect fit for the position.
Why are you the most qualified person for an office administration role? Highlight your qualifications in this section and summarize what you have to offer. Don’t be too wordy here. You want to provide an overview that highlights the most important and relevant aspects of your qualifications. If a potential employer only reads a few sentences of your resume, what do you want them to know?
Relevant skills may be included in your qualifications section or in a section of its own. List specific skills you have that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Focus on technical skills, such as typing WPM (word per minute), Microsoft office abilities, programs and applications you’ve worked with (QuickBooks, Asana, Monday, etc.), and other digital experience you may have. It will mean less training later, so employers will be happy to see that you already have experience using these office tools.
Do you have relevant experience in office administration? It’s critical that you highlight your previous job experience, as many employers will be hoping you can hit the ground running once you are hired. Since an office administrator essentially keeps a business running, your employer is going to consider any previous professional experience very seriously, as hiring the wrong office admin could easily derail their business.
Remember to tailor your office job resume to the needs of the position you’re applying for. If you know the job will entail a lot of bookkeeping, emphasize your previous job experience in that field.
Education and Training
Highlight any relevant education or training you feel qualifies you for the job. Begin by stating your degrees, and move on to any specialized training courses you’ve undertaken, such as courses in bookkeeping or human resources.
Admin Job Search Resources
Looking for a job in office administration? There are plenty of online resources that can help you search for job opportunities, improve your resume, and prepare for job applications. Check out the following resources to get started:
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