Becoming an executive assistant isn’t easy. But once you’ve attained the position, keeping it requires excellent communication skills, the ability to multitask effectively, and a helpful spirit. Below are a few of the skills necessary for an average executive assistant job description.
Be a good listener. An important part of any administrative assistant’s job, no matter what level of seniority, is being a good listener. This does not mean always affirming and agreeing with what superiors say, but rather listening, evaluating, and offering honest feedback when necessary.
A good listener is someone who not only hears what is being said to them but understands the motivations behind the statements. An effective executive assistant needs to be able to listen to the orders and requests of his or her superiors as well as the requests from coworkers and clients. He or she is able to understand and remember what is being said in all interactions.
Take notes. To remember all of the instructions and requests of everyone they work with, executive assistants are experts at taking notes; detailed descriptions of conversations, shorthand reminders of phone calls or office memos, and brief mentions of people who stopped by to speak to the executive. These notes are part of what make executive assistants so knowledgeable on such a wide range of subjects, ranging from office gossip to company plans.
Manage phone calls. A vital part of the executive assistant job description is managing calls. This includes answering calls, redirecting callers to the appropriate department or individual, taking messages, and returning calls. The executive assistant is the switchboard through which all contact with the executive must be routed, and as such must be both authoritative and respectful with every caller and must maintain a pleasant disposition at all times.
Understand the company goals. Executive assistants are often privy to their superior’s conversations and plans, and as such have a deep understanding of the company’s goals and intentions. This allows them to make educated and informed decisions pertaining to company methods and to give effective advice to their executives when necessary. Many executives consult with their assistants before making big decisions, and a thorough understanding of the company’s workings is necessary to be of service.
Keep track of coworker’s progress. In addition to managing his or her own work, an executive assistant makes sure his or her coworkers are completing their tasks efficiently. A part of the executive assistant job description is to coordinate efforts between different departments and report to the executive on the progress of projects and group assignments. This means the executive assistant must have a working knowledge of the goals of each project as well as an understanding of how everything is interconnected and what each team needs to be successful.
Professional representation. In some situations, the executive assistant may be called upon to represent the executive in a board meeting or a conference. He or she will have to speak with other executives and interact with them as an equal, with every right the executive would have if he or she were present.
For more information about what it takes to be a successful executive assistant, contact Symphony Placements today.