How To Write an Administrative Assistant CV (With Examples)
Updated 12 April 2023
A well written administrative assistant CV catches the eye of a recruiter with just a few words. Having a CV that clearly focuses on skills, experience and accomplishments is a good way to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Plus, a well-written CV is further evidence of your attention to detail and dedication to the position. In this article, we focus on how to write an administrative CV and provide a template and an example to help you create yours.
What is an administrative assistant CV?
An administrative assistant CV lists the skills, experience and education a candidate possesses and explains how these qualities make them a great potential employee. Administrative positions are crucial for maintaining an organised and well-regulated office. Some responsibilities of an administrative assistant include dealing with queries by phone and email, greeting visitors, updating records, setting up and attending meetings and organising company documents. Some administrative assistants deal directly with executives and make travel arrangements, take notes for them during meetings and set up meetings.
The CV may highlight a candidate's skills, especially skills related to these tasks. The skills, experience and education listed may showcase how these attributes help run an office efficiently.
How to write an administrative assistant CV
Here are a few essential steps to follow when writing a CV for an administrative position:
1. Pick a clear CV format
A standard CV follows a basic format and includes the following sections:
You can add a volunteer section if your CV lacks professional experience. Keep the formatting simple with 1-inch margins and traditional, easy-to-read font. The entire CV may be only a page. If there is room at the end of the CV, add a 'hobbies' or an 'interests' section if you feel it may add value to your CV and you think the hiring recruiter may view this in a positive light.
2. Make an ATS-friendly CV
It's important to format your CV so it's ATS-friendly. Companies use ATS, or applicant tracking systems, to sort through and process CVs. These tracking systems look for keywords and elements within a CV and, if they find the CV suitable, move it on to the next round for a recruiter to review it. ATS are sensitive to certain designs and formatting, so it's best to keep your CV as simple as possible. Avoid using graphics, photos, strange type fonts or abnormal sizing. Use keywords found in the job description as an ATS may pick up on this.
3. Highlight skills that match the job listing
Thoroughly read the job description before writing your CV. Look for skills mentioned multiple times in the job description. You can also visit the company's website to gain more insight into the type of employees they are looking for. Some skills valued in this role include:
attention to detail
working well with others
sensitivity and understanding
verbal and written communications skills
understanding of how to provide exemplary customer service
ability to work on their own
organisational and administrative skills
4. Mention specialised certifications and technical skills
A CV for an administrative assistant job must also highlight technical skills and any specialised certifications that may set you apart from other candidates. In your experience section, mention technical skills that you obtained from previous jobs. Some important technical skills for an administrative assistant include:
understanding how to use inventory and supply management software
familiarity with calendar management software
familiarity with database management software
typing speed and accuracy
understanding of billing and record-keeping software
knowing how to use typical office software, including word processors and spreadsheets
understanding of office hardware, including photocopiers, printers and scanners
Also, list any certifications you received as part of a school or a training course. Certifications demonstrate to recruiters you're serious about your career and care about the quality of your own performance.
5. List references
At the end of your CV, list professional references who can provide an accurate report regarding your character and work ethic. Strong references add credibility and evidence that you put your skills to good use. References are essential for people in administrative roles as their responsibilities can differ depending on the company. Recruiters may ask references about your behaviour with other colleagues, work ethic and specific skills listed on your CV. When listing a reference, include their name, contact information and where they work.
6. Proofread and edit
When you have finished writing your CV, take time to look for mistakes and revise as necessary. This is especially important as an administrative assistant has to be proficient at paying attention to the details and catching any grammar and spelling mistakes. Once you have reviewed the CV, it's a good idea to have a coworker or friend read over it once more before submitting it.
Administration CV template
Here is a template you can use to write a CV for an administrative position:
Personal statement: [Write what you hope to accomplish by submitting this CV and list a few skills and qualifications that make you an excellent candidate.]
[List previous work experience, starting with the most recent.]
[Remember, if you lack work experience, you can list volunteer experience, apprenticeships or internships in this section.]
[List where you went to school and what you specialised in.]
[List soft skills and technical skills that make you an excellent candidate.]
[List two to three references.]
Admin assistant example CV
Here's an example CV to help you create your own:
Halifax HX1 3UF 01422 012345
An administrative professional with over five years of experience seeking a position in a fast-paced work environment where I can sharpen my communication and leadership skills.
Administrative assistant, Advanced Medical Integration and Systems, August 2015-Present
Scheduled company-wide meetings, attended these meetings and then sent out minutes
Received and distributed mail to all departments
Took inventory of office supplies and restocked when necessary
Collaborated with all departments to ensure company-wide communication
Helped maintain and improve databases of client accounts
Helped office transition from paper records to using more cloud-based data sharing and storage
Admin assistant, Leeds University, July 2013-August 2015
Processed and analysed paperwork for incoming students in the university's engineering department
Communicated with students about their coursework
Kept lecturers updated about new university policies and changes
Attended department meetings and offered advice regarding administrative policies
Managed the reception desk in the main engineering building by answering phones, greeting students and answering all enquires
York University, May 2011-July 2015
Administrative Studies BA
Proficient in word processors, spreadsheets and presentation software
Excellent public speaker
Extremely organised and attentive to detail
Familiar utilising scheduling software
Team player who is used to working in a department with many colleagues
Mr Thomas Scott
Chief financial officer
Advanced Medical Integration and Systems
Tel: 0171 012345
Professor of engineering
Tel: 0113 012345
Tips for writing a strong CV for administrative assistant jobs
Here are some tips for writing a CV that may help set you apart from other candidates:
Utilise action verbs
Utilising action words in your experience section is a good way to show your strengths, personality and accomplishments. Action verbs also help clarify your responsibilities in your previous job and make your CV appear more confident. For example, saying 'Spearheaded a new process for organising files' instead of 'Helped start a new process for organising files' creates a more powerful image in the recruiter's mind and gives them more insight into your personal work style. Use action verbs at the beginning of a sentence to make an impact and catch the recruiter's attention.
Administrative assistants have many transferrable skills that they utilised in vastly different jobs. It's important to be specific when talking about your experience to make your skills really stand out. When listing your experience, clarity the different industries you've worked in, the size of the companies you've worked for and the different departments you've worked for. An administrative assistant who 'Greeted clients and answered enquires while working at the reception desk for an international company with 5,000 employees' is a much better example of someone's experience than 'Sat at the receptionist desk and greeted all those who entered the office'.
Use simple formatting
It's always best to stick to the simplest format when writing a CV. This may make the CV more ATS-friendly and also help the recruiter scan the CV efficiently. Choose a functional CV layout with one-inch margins and use a traditional and clear font. A simple layout may allow the important information to stand out, like descriptive verbs and contact information.
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