What keywords and skills should your Executive Assistantresume include?
How do you decide what skills to include on your Executive Assistant resume? Don’t just list everything you can think of, there’s an art to choosing the most effective skills and presenting them correctly. These are the 4 steps to follow when adding skills to your Executive Assistant resume
How to write an executive assistant resume for your industry?
There are a wide variety of administrative and assistant jobs out there, including executive assistant, administrative assistant, data entry clerk, office manager, secretary, and receptionist, just to name a few. This is why a cookie-cutter executive assistant resume isn’t going to be effective.
For example, an executive assistant’s work is typically more concentrated on attending to the needs of the executives that they work for. Their main responsibilities generally include managing the executives’ daily schedules, setting up personal appointments for one or more executives in a company, and possibly even overseeing other staff members or projects.
An administrative assistant or office manager role, on the other hand, will typically deal with the regular tasks that are associated with keeping a company in order, which can include answering phone calls, entertaining visitors, filing, and scheduling meetings.
An office manager is typically in charge of, among many other activities, organizing meetings and managing databases, booking transport and accommodation, organizing company events or conferences, and ordering stationery and furniture.
Depending on the exact role you’re applying for, choose to highlight role-specific skills and those qualities that are desirable in the industry you’re seeking to get into.
How to list certifications on your executive assistant resume?
Listing certifications can add that extra ‘oomph’ to your executive assistant resume. A certification is a document that proves you’ve gained a specific skill and is issued by an accredited organization. Certifications support and back your claims and help build your credibility.
When listing your certifications, don't confuse professional certifications with honors and awards, or with training. While some training results in certification, that’s not always the case.
Title this section, “Certifications.” If you have licenses as well, you can title the section, “Licenses and Certifications.” When adding a certification to a relevant section of your resume, specify the name of the organization and the name of the document.
Only add those certifications to your resume which add value to your current portfolio. For the executive or administrative assistants, these might include certifications in things like Microsoft Office, technical support, or event management.
How long should your executive assistant resume be?
Most recruiters and hiring managers agree that a resume shouldn’t exceed two pages. Some suggest a page per every 10 years of work experience.
Only include relevant information in your executive assistant resume. Take out any roles or skills that are not relevant to the job you’re applying for. Ultimately, it’s the relevance of the information on your resume that is more important than the amount.
A focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey essential information. This is especially important if you’re applying for an administrative assistant role, where the ability to summarise and present information effectively is considered an essential skill.
How to write an executive assistant resume with no experience?
If you have no experience working as an executive assistant, choose to highlight those experiences that will best demonstrate that you’re a good candidate for the role.
If you have little to no work experience, then the key is to focus on your skills. Scan the job posting and pull out all the relevant skills and qualifications the recruiter is looking for.
Highlight your achievements and accomplishments at school or in your extracurricular activities. Underline your education and relevant skills. Don’t forget to include internships, hobbies, and volunteer work.
When you lack work experience, your career objective, cover letter, and the way you present your personality will also play a key role in getting you an interview.
What to put on your executive assistant resume?
Responsibilities of those working in an executive assistant role can be broad and complex, which calls for a commanding resume.
To write a first-class executive assistant resume, it’s essential that you illustrate relevant knowledge and experience to prospective employers.
Emphasize your qualities and talents in organization, management, scheduling, recordkeeping, and communication and other interpersonal skills. Make an impression on hiring managers by using your resume to showcase your technical skills, client or customer service skills, and the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and projects in a timely manner. It’s generally a good practice to demonstrate both the ability to work independently and with a variety of stakeholders.
Carefully read the job postings that interest you and study each job description for keywords that show what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. Include those keywords in your resume where relevant, backing the claims up with relevant experiences.
How to show experience in your executive assistant resume?
The reverse-chronological resume has been the gold standard for a long time. Start with basic information like contact details and career objective. Then work backward through your job history and related skills. Many HR professionals suggest starting with work experience first and then adding in the education section. If you recently graduated, it’s acceptable to start with the education section.
If you’ve never been an executive assistant before, include only those jobs that will highlight the skills you will need in your executive assistant role.
A great way to illustrate your experience in an executive assistant resume is to demonstrate impact. Show how many users or clients (internal or external) you helped, how many people you supported, how much money you saved the company, or how many projects you oversaw.
Laszlo Bock, CEO of Humu and Former SVP of People Operations at Google, suggested showcasing your experience by following a simple formula: “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z].” For example, “Negotiated 30% ($500k) reduction in costs with XYZ to perform post-delivery support by designing and using results from an online auction of multiple vendors.”
Show them being an executive assistant is not about answering the phone
What parts of your professional experience make the strongest case? What parts of your professional experience are you the proudest of? Where have you added the most value in the past? Highlight these in your executive assistant resume.
Use action verbs specific to executive assistant roles (e.g. assist, arrange, coordinate, record, schedule, oversee, and more), and make sure your skills (hard and soft) are front and center.
Avoid terms like “team player” and “proven track record”. These buzzwords don’t have any real meaning to recruiters.
Stay results-oriented. For instance, instead of saying you are a “team player”, mention that you helped coordinate members from several departments to implement a new platform.
How to ask for a job referral on LinkedIn to get the executive assistant job you want
Before asking for a referral, make sure you have your online presence cleaned up. Check that your social media accounts are employer-friendly and your LinkedIn profile is complete. We recommend using the resume advice listed above to improve the content on your LinkedIn page as well.
Once you’re confident in your online presence, focus on getting referrals for the jobs you’re interested in. As with many things, getting a job – or at least getting an interview – is about who you know. Referrals greatly help job seekers get a call back compared to an application sent on its own. Referred employees are hired 60% of the time compared to the 2% of regular applicants who typically get interviewed.
LinkedIn has even introduced an “Ask for a Referral” button next to the jobs where you know people who work at the company advertising open positions. You can then send your connections a message through LinkedIn, asking them to recommend you for the job in question.
Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job
you’re applying for.