Summary: An Executive Assistant position covers a wide range of roles and responsibilities. What are some of the typical functions, skills and qualifications used on an executive assistant resume?
If you are checking out a sample resume selection for an executive assistant, you may be overwhelmed at the sheer range of the roles and responsibilities expected of this ‘power behind the throne’.
It’s true that in many cases high level business people depend heavily on their executive assistants to maintain the smooth flow of their busy working lives. So the title of Executive Assistant or ‘P. A.’ does scant justice to the versatility of these vital support staff.
These employees support the work of a wide range of executives, from private business owners in all kinds of industries to C-level executives, such CEOs, CFOs and CIOs.
When you look at example resumes for executive assistants, you’ll start to notice how they differ in details that relate to specific job functions according to the executives they support. But there are also many points of similarity in terms of the personal qualities and professional skills that most positions require. Use the sample resumes to evaluate different styles of presentation and emphasis, so that you show a laser-targeted focus on the needs of the job you are applying for.
Executive Assistant Duties
The responsibilities of an executive assistant usually fall into clusters. Here are some examples:
- Organization / Co-ordination: Prioritize and manage the executive’s functions and daily activities, managing their schedule, dealing with calendar issues.
- Practical Arrangements: travel reservations, handling expenses, making appointments, arranging meetings.
- Secretarial Functions: receiving, composing and editing letters, memoranda and general correspondence, taking and distributing minutes of meetings, managing records, maintaining contacts / rolodex.
- Preparing Documents: material for board meetings, presentations, charts, departmental reports.
- Right-Hand Person: anticipating needs, dealing with the unexpected, acting as liaison between Executive and staff, handling confidential matters.
Qualities Required in an Executive Assistant
The wide-ranging nature of the executive assistant’s role calls for high levels of professionalism and organizational competence. Skills and abilities are likely to include the following:
- Professional demeanor and appearance, strong presence
- Excellent work ethic, sense of responsibility, willingness to ‘go the extra mile’
- Independence, resourcefulness, attentive to detail
- Sound judgement and able to anticipate needs and problems
- Ability to prioritize tasks and assess urgency of situations requiring executive attention
- Able to multi-task, juggle responsibilities and deal with conflicting demands
- Able to work under pressure, meet deadlines and turn round projects promptly
- High level writing, editing and communication skills
- Tact, discretion and sensitivity when dealing with confidential matter