What Skills Do Administrators Need?
What Employers Are Looking For
Leigh Gillatt • Careers Advice
WHAT SKILLS DO ADMINISTRATORS NEED
Employers' Must Haves
Despite the role of an administrator often being overlooked, Administrators are crucial to the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of any organisation.
In fact, administrators can be found in office settings in just about every business sector there is.
Those working as an administrator will usually be responsible for supporting their organisation to the highest standards in a variety of ways including, bookkeeping, communications, scheduling, data entry, secretarial services, customer handling and much more.
Effective communication skills are usually paramount to their roles as in the majority of organisations they will act as the first point of contact between the business and its clients / customers.
Office Administration Jobs: Sought After Skills
The role of an administrator can vary greatly, even without considering the additional variations due to business sector, size of the employer and levels of responsibility required, but overall there are key skills all employers look for in great administrators.
We can’t stress enough the importance of tailoring a CV and covering letter to meet the specific needs of every admin role you apply for, rather than providing a general, well-rounded approach.
However, the following skills are what admin employers typically seek:
Communication is a vital administrative skill and being able to demonstrate you are adept in both written and verbal communication is something an employer will look for.
Administrators often have to interact with employers, staff, and clients, either in person or on the phone. It is important that you are able to speak clearly and maintain a positive tone. Being a good communicator also means being a good listener.
Spelling and grammar will often need to be on point and to the highest standards when it comes to office administration roles; without the reliance on word-processing software auto-correction.
General office procedures are necessary for administrative staff, but many positions will require administration personnel to be familiar with accounting data entry and bookkeeping.
In the majority of cases this in modern business this is done using accounting software such as Sage and Xero, and likely working alongside data in spreadsheets produced in software such as Microsoft Excel. Have knowledge and experience of using these accounting software tools will be a strong advantage for those administrators looking for employment.
Acquiring qualifications from leading providers, such as AAT, for bookkeeping tasks is widely available, with many employers demonstrating a willingness to put employees through this form of training if they don’t already have these qualifications; after all it can often be cheaper to have a trained in-house bookkeeper than having to acquire outsourced services.
Filing & Document Management
Office administration staff will also need to show their ability to manage business correspondence. Filing, sorting, and general document organisation skills are essential for office administrators.
In addition to this, administrative jobs of all kinds require strong organisational skills to juggle many tasks. Administrative support staff have to manage not only their own workflow, but possibly the calendars, and schedules of others too, all whilst keeping the office performing efficiently.
Since being IT literate is an essential component of all administrative jobs in today's business world with employees finding themselves having to operate a variety of technological tools, ranging from the Microsoft Office 365 Suite to WordPress to online scheduling programs, so too is the ability to type.
There is no definite method of typing, but those who need to increase their speed may find touch-typing via the "home row" method useful, as its one of the most widely taught methods for typing.
In handling sensitive client or business communications, administrators need to be detail-oriented to catch potential typos and grammatical errors. Furthermore, having an eye for detail helps with data entry tasks and reporting to ensure that your work is accurate and trustworthy.
Missing small details in a report or email communication can leave a less than stellar impression on the recipient(s) and if unspotted can lead to further errors down the line if the data is used for other purposes.
Social Media Management
Businesses are now heavily reliant on communicating with their customers, and since the rise in popularity of social media channels, those customers are generally found online.
Its now consider important for businesses to have a social media presence in order to connect and engage with their audiences on a personal level, building brand trust and authority within their sector.
In a lot of smaller businesses without a digital marketing team, this role typically falls to administrative support staff, who can help facilitate brand awareness and communication with a business’ target demographic.
Administrators are rarely micro-managed. However, any loss in their self-motivation and drive will be quickly made visible to managerial staff in terms of the quality of the work being produced.
Its therefore important that Administrators are able to work autonomously; with the drive and self-motivation to get on with the tasks that they are required to perform and instinctively know how to do.
Database & CRM Software Management
The ability to manage databases and CRM software is a highly desirable skill. Employers will look for administrative staff who are confident in their own abilities and who are able to make sure data is being collected and managed within their chosen central data management software system, both correctly and efficiently.
Looking For More Information On Becoming An Administrator?
View Our Job Role Guide For Administrators here