Secretary / Receptionist / Executive Assistant
How to Become a Secretary or Receptionist
Secretary and Receptionist Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Secretary
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Secretary / Receptionist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
When applying for a secretarial position, applicants may find that only a high school diploma is required. However, a college degree may come in very handy and in most situations will help capture a higher pay rate.
Many community colleges offer an administration degree or something similar. Those who seek to secure this type of degree will strengthen their skills in accounting, keyboarding, computers, transcription, grammar, English, records management, and office procedures. Some degree programs may even require students to complete an internship. Depending on one's career goals, courses in a foreign language may also prove useful during the job hunt.
Those who wish to venture into the legal or medical industry will need special training and will need more than a two-year degree. Depending on one's career ambitions, one may also wish to become certified by one of four different certification programs,.
The first two certification programs available include the Certified Professional Secretary and the Certified Administrative Professional. Both certifications can be obtained by meeting education and experience requirements. Legal secretaries can also be certified by the National Association of Legal Secretaries. The certifications that are available to this group of individuals include the Professional Legal Secretary and Certified Legal Secretary Specialist.
The role of secretary or executive assistant has a wide range of responsibilities, and at the entry level, job responsibilities may only include preparing letters, documents, and answering phones. Of course, as one's skills improve, job responsibilities may include fluency in foreign languages, superb typing skills, managing budgets, maintaining websites, and arranging travel.
At the highest level of the secretarial job spectrum are the most responsibilities. Once here, employees may be required to complete continuing education requirements and to uphold a certain persona that fits that of the company.
Other requirements may vary depending on the specific job and industry. This may include public relations, business English, fluency in foreign languages, etc. Of course, as technology grows, the skills that are necessary will change. For example, with the dawn of computers, email, and word processing, many professionals began to handle their own correspondences and leave other tasks to the secretary. This, of course, is when secretaries began taking on more difficult tasks such as coordinating events, planning budgets, etc. Secretaries also have to learn how to use copiers, fax machines, PDAs, and other devices. The position will only continue to evolution as new technology appears, and one needs to be willing as well as able to adapt.
However, while all of the above skills can be taught, interpersonal skills cannot. It is imperative that secretaries or executive assistants have tact and the ability to work with co-workers and those outside the organizations in order to solve problems and plan events.
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