How To Get An Admin Job With No Experience
A Step by Step Guide
Leigh Gillatt • Careers Advice
HOW TO GET AN ADMIN JOB WITH NO EXPERIENCE
A Step by Step Guide
Applying for an admin job with no experience may feel like you're fighting a losing battle, but don't give up - learn what you can do to boost your chances of success.
It's a classic catch-22 situation: you need experience to get a job, and a job to get experience.
This can feel disheartening but remember, you're not alone. Finding an admin job with little or no experience isn't impossible - you just need the determination and tenacity to uncover the right opportunities.
Despite the role of an administrator being often overlooked, Administrators are crucial to the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of any organisation.
Those working as an administrator will usually be responsible for supporting their organisation in a variety of ways including bookkeeping, communications, scheduling, data entry, secretarial services and much more.
As you can see the role of an administrator varies greatly, without even considering the additional variations due to the sector, size of the employer and levels of responsibility required, but overall a key attribute of all great administrators is the ability to be able to multitask.
Often an entry level position, for those looking for admin jobs is as an admin assistant, which can lead to a career in office management or operations management.
Entry levels positions also offer you a chance to get a feel for a particular business sector, although administrative tasks in a business support function may be similar across all business sectors, each will have its one slightly different slant on things.
If you’re the world’s greatest multi-tasker, in fact so great at organising that everything you do in life is practically colour coded and listed A-Z, and on top of that you’re an excellent communicator, then you’ve got all top sort after skills you need to do well in an entry level admin job.
No experience? No problem.
Here’s how to get that all important start in an admin job.
The first step in how to get an admin job with no experience is to have in mind what skills employers are looking for admin assistants to have and relate those to your own skill.
1. Good communications skills
Assistants are often responsible for a lot of office-wide communication and may be responsible for answering incoming calls; being the first point of contact between the business and the general public, or responding to some customer emails using exceptional levels of written communication.
Due to this office administrators are required to have proven written and oral communication skills.
Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure will need to be polished to the highest standards when it comes to office administration.
2. Strong organisation & attention to detail
Admin assistants need to show their ability to effectively manage multiple forms of business correspondence. Filing, sorting, and general organisation skills are essential qualities employers are looking for.
On top of this, admin assistants also need to be able to organise their own workload on the fly. No two days are the same in an administration office and admin staff can very often be expected to be able to carry out tasks that interrupt their normal workflow with little prior notice.
To prove you have these necessary qualities to employers, make sure you apply for admin job roles with a CV free from spelling errors and typos, along with a cover letter that highlights any experience you have turning chaos into order.
3. Self-Motivated & Reliable
Being an excellent administrative assistant means gaining trust -- and that starts with showing up reliably, always being available to help when you’re needed, and not having to be micro-managed.
Any loss of drive or self-motivation will easily be picked up on by more senior members of staff when they look at the the quality of the work you’re producing for them.
During the application process you can begin to demonstrate your reliability by showing up on time to interviews, and by responding quickly to any communications you receive from the potential employer.
4. Ability to display customer service skills
Managers appreciate administrative assistants who can think on their feet. Every day, new situations arise in the office requiring a certain degree of urgency. Stretching your skills beyond just administrative tasks is key to being able to perform well as an admin assistant.
In a lot of admin roles, you could find yourself in customer facing situations on a regular basis, so having the ability to display strong customer service skills with both professionalism and an even tone is something sought after by employers.
The next step in how to get an admin job with no experience is to fill in any gaps in your skill-set.
1. Study a typing course
In Today’s office environments, it’s almost a given that your ability to use a computer is essential and that you have good knowledge & experience of using some of the standard software packages such as Word & Excel. But for admin assistants so too is your ability to type.
Many positions don't specify a required speed, but in general most are employers are looking for you to be comfortable with typing at around 60 words per minute (wpm) with 100% accuracy – which incidentally is slightly above the global average of 39 - 40 wpm.
If you have taken any typing classes, or you’re not sure your typing speed is quite up to scratch, then you’ll need to brush up on this so that you can quickly respond to emails, edit documents, and take notes. There are even several free typing courses available online.
2. Bookkeeping – the key to gaining employer interest
General office duties are necessary for administrative staff, but many positions will require administration personnel to be familiar with bookkeeping also.
Its very rare that you’ll see this done by hand these days, the norm now is to use specialist bookkeeping software packages such as Sage, Quickbooks or Xero. Having knowledge of any of these will be a great on your CV and attract the attention of potential employers.
There are both online and classroom-based course you can take to gain these skills. Even if you haven’t completed the course at the point of making an application for an admin assistant job, make sure it goes on your CV. It’ll show that you’re serious about the daily tasks that are part and parcel with many administrative assistant positions to employers.
And the final step in the process is to go get that job by...
1. Considering taking a part-time job
Even if you can’t land a job in your desired sector, consider taking on a part-time admin job. Employers will often put some weight onto any form of work experience, even your first part-time job.
2. List all of your skills
Employers place emphasis on work experience because they're checking that you've developed the skills necessary to complete the job, clearly listing your skills on your CV will highlight you have to skills despite not having work experience.
3. Networking in an industry
Select an industry sector you’re interested in pursuing a career in, and start expanding your network connections within it.
Reach out to your friends for contacts, contact people you knew from school and college, and make good use of sites like LinkedIn. Be clear about what type of position you’re looking for and ask for advice in achieving that goal.
4. Consider Temping
Temping is a great way to gain experience in the duties of an admin assistant, gives you a flavour of what a particular industry sector is like, and also gets your foot in the door at several companies.
More often than not, employer’s will offer a full-time position within their company for good temps, once they’ve had the time to assess their skills and suitability within the role. We often have temp admin roles here at Diverse Employment, so this is a great place to start your job search.