Using a reverse-chronological resume is the way to go in the vast majority of cases. But only if you know exactly how to make this particular resume format work for you.
You are 7 minutes away from the perfect administrative assistant resume. But first—
What’s an administrative assistant?
An administrative assistant is the office’s one-person special operations unit. You make the boss run like clockwork. You make that Monday morning teleconference happen.
You make the world go round.
Landing that job in the first place.
Demand for secretaries and administrative assistants isn’t growing fast enough.
You need the perfect admin assistant resume to land your next job.
This guide will show you:
- An administrative assistant resume sample better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write an administrative assistant resume that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a resume for administrative assistant positions.
- How to describe administrative experience to get any job you want.
Here’s an example of a resume for an administrative assistant made using our resume builder.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample Administrative Assistant Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.
Here are more resume samples for office and administrative support occupations:
- Executive Assistant Resume
- Office Assistant Resume
- Office Manager Resume
- Secretary Resume
- Receptionist Resume
What’s the Best Format for an Administrative Assistant Resume?
The best format for an administrative assistant is elegant and personable like Pam Beesley. But it packs a punch like Peggy Olson—
It’s the reverse-chronological resume format.
You can’t go wrong with this format for a professional administrative assistant resume.
Remember how hard it was for you to write your first resume?
This time it’s different.
What’s a good administrative assistant resume template?
Professional. Clean. Simple. Easy to scan.
The core of administrative assistant job skills is organization. Prove your worth by using a professional resume template—
A modern resume-friendly font. White space to guide the hiring manager’s gaze. Headings that help navigate the contents.
Finally, save your perfect administrative assistant resume as a PDF. The PDF format keeps the layout in shape better than bubble wrap.
Have your resume saved in different formats depending on what’s required on the job advertisement, says Sarah Dowzell, COO at Natural HR.
Pro Tip: Check the job description for the administrative assistant position to make sure PDFs are OK. Some Applicant Tracking Systems can’t read PDF-formatted resumes. Then a Microsoft Word file may be preferred.
How many pages? Aim for a one-pager, but double-check if it’s your ideal resume length.
The reverse-chronological format is best for most admin assistant resumes. But there are better templates for career changers and admin assistants re-entering the workforce. This guide will show you what will work best for you: Resume Format: How to Format a Resume for a Dream Job
Want to make sure your resume will hook every recruiter and get you that interview? Get our free checklist and learn what makes a job-winning resume: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume
Administrative Assistant Resume Summary or Resume Objective
Whatever introduction you use, it should be catchy but chock-full of job-relevant skills and experience.
Who should use a resume objective for an administrative assistant resume?
- Fresh graduates
Are you an experienced administrative assistant? Go for a resume summary.
An administrative assistant resume objective is like an elevator pitch. It explains what skills you excel at and how you can prove yourself on the job:
Sample Resume Objective for Administrative Assistant (No Experience)
Here’s how entry-level administrative assistant resumes could begin:
|English graduate with proven communication, travel planning, and email management skills. Seeking a position as an administrative assistant at Acme Inc., to leverage organizational and research skills to support internal and external communication.|
|Looking for an admin assistant role where I can apply my skills. I’m a self-starter that wants to make a difference.|
But wait! The first example does mention experience!
Actually, both examples come from the same candidate. She was writing an admin assistant resume without experience in the industry.
In the right example, she included work experience relevant to the position. She got it through internships, freelancing, and in college. It's a success!
In the wrong example? Well, she simply called it quits and moved on.
Pro Tip: Writing a resume for an entry-level administrative assistant job? Brainstorm. Come up with relevant experience and skills from other jobs. If you have the time, do a quick internship or volunteer at a local not-for-profit. Get involved in on-campus activities.
An administrative assistant resume summary is a to-the-point highlight of your achievements and skills as an admin assistant.
A good summary will make the hiring manager think, “This is our savior!”
Examples of a Senior Administrative Assistant Resume Summary
Look at these two samples of executive administrative assistant resume summaries.
|Senior administrative assistant with 5+ years of experience and a degree in accounting. Managed busy schedules and travel plans of 3+ corporate executives while performing general office administration duties. Wanting to execute appointment management, manage internal and external communication, and aid with QuickBooks bookkeeping while meeting deadlines at Acme Inc.|
|Admin assistant with on-the-job experience. Well-versed in handling day-to-day office management duties and bookkeeping. Excellent at multitasking.|
The right administrative assistant resume summary cuts to the chase. The hiring manager will want to call this skilled candidate ASAP.
This candidate has the experience. Delivered quantifiable results. No need to mention multitasking, it’s clear she’s a pro.
The wrong administrative assistant resume summary isn’t wrong wrong. It’s just like the mystery meat served at the canteen on your first job. It looks fine, but you’re clueless about specific ingredients (How many years of experience? What’s their background?). Some might like it, but only if they’re out of options.
Pro Tip: It’s easier to write a heading statement after you’ve finished the whole admin assistant resume. This way you’ll know exactly what to showcase in your summary or objective.
A heading statement works great on any administrative assistant resume template. With all the competition out there, you need to grab the employer’s attention ASAP. Pack that entry-level administrative assistant resume objective with relevant experience. Highlight your pedigree in your summary. These guides will show you how: How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See and 20+ Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
How to Describe Administrative Experience on a Resume
Followed our advice on writing the best admin assistant resume summary/objective?
Great, the hiring manager will read on.
Time for the make or break part of your resume—the experience section.
Administrative Assistant Resume Samples—Experience
Executive Administrative Assistant
Acme Company, October 2014–January 2018
Acme Company, March 2017–Present
See the difference?
The right example of an administrative assistant’s resume will get any hiring manager’s seal of approval!
The wrong example of an administrative assistant’s resume?
It reads like a generic administrative assistant job description from Craigslist.
Listen, hiring managers know the responsibilities and duties of an administrative assistant. They wrote the job ad to hire new employees.
Curious how you can give your resume a boost like our candidate in the right example?
Here are the best tips for talking about administrative assistant duties and responsibilities:
How to Write About Administrative Experience in a Resume
- Don’t list non-critical or routine day-to-day tasks, unless they’re in the job ad.
- Don’t list responsibilities. List achievements.
- What is administrative experience without the numbers? Quantify your achievements whenever possible.
- Introduced a procedure or initiative that saved time or money? Show that off.
- Don’t use clichés like “responsible for” or “managed.” Use action words to highlight your strengths: “organized,” “trained,” “arranged,” or “distributed.”
- Use the Problem–Action–Result method to talk about your work. For example: Saved $3,000 a year in office supplies after negotiating a new deal with the current supplier. Problem? Money wasted. Action? Renegotiated. Result? Saved $3,000.
You really need to do this right.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that demand for secretaries and administrative assistants is not growing fast enough. But knowledge of office equipment is not enough. Fine-tune your experience section with help from this guide: How to List Work Experience on Your Resume [+20 Examples]
Having trouble making that administrative assistant entry-level resume shine? These guides will help you kick the employer’s doors wide open: Entry-Level Resume: Sample and Complete Guide [+20 Examples] and First Resume with No Work Experience Samples (A Step-by-Step Guide)
If you have worked on projects that required you to make use of your administrative skills, be sure to mention them. Internships matter. So does freelancing and volunteering. You can create an additional section that will surely change the status of your application from maybe to hell yes!: Resume Sections to Include on Your Resume: Guide (+20 Examples)
Action Words and Power Verbs for an Administrative Assistant Resume
Use these power words on your AA resume. See section 4. How to Put Skills on a Resume of this guide for more administrative assistant keywords.
|Leading a Team or Project||Designed or Created||Achievements||Assistance|
Skills to Put on an Administrative Resume
You’re well on your way to finishing the perfect administrative assistant resume.
Remember how jobs aren’t growing fast enough? That means competition.
Time to tip the scales in your favor and emphasize your administrative assistant skills on the resume.
The ones that double as resume keywords for administrative assistants—
20+ Must-Have Administrative Assistant Resume Skills
- Appointment Setting
- Calendar Management
- Travel Planning
- Event Planning
- Time Management
- Foreign Language Skills
- Email Management
- Writing Letters and Emails
- Calling Clients and Suppliers
- Receiving Visitors
- Customer Service
- Recording Minutes of the Meeting
- Training New Employees
- Order Processing
- Data Entry
- Filling Systems
- Inventory Management
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Outlook
- MIcrosoft PowerPoint
A good admin assistant is like a Swiss Army knife—dependable and can do almost anything.
See the administrative assistant skills list above?
But don’t just copy and paste the whole thing into your resume. Pick your best abilities which mirror the requirements of the job ad. Match them to your previous jobs and mention them in bullet points describing your administrative duties.
Does the job listing require you to know something about accounting, managing communication, and be fluent in Spanish?
For this candidate it’s check, check, and check. Look how she put these administrative skills on her resume:
Decent Company, January 2017–Present
IncredibleStaffingAgency SF, August 2014–January 2017
Fluent in Spanish (2 years in a bilingual work environment), accounting, QuickBooks, G Suite, MS Office, database management, multiple productivity apps (Slack, Trello), ...
Can’t quantify or prove your administrative skills through achievements?
Don’t worry, you can’t put a number on everything. List the remaining relevant skills in the skills section of your AA resume template.
Always highlight your command of foreign languages. Especially, if you’re a bilingual admin assistant.
Pro Tip: Want your admin assistant resume to start landing you interviews? Always write with the prospective employer’s needs in mind. Here’s a great guide to explain what we mean: 6 Tips on How to Tailor Your Resume to a Job Description (Examples)
Why do resume keywords matter? Your resume goes through an applicant tracking system—an app that puts non-relevant applicants on hold. Forever. Don’t let this happen to you. This guide will help you get straight to the recruiter: Resume Keywords To Use: Step-by-Step Guide [25+ Examples & Tips]
It’s not easy to come up with administrative skills on your own, so let us assist you: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)
Is Your Education Section Underperforming? It Might Be
Just list the highest level of education and move on, right?
Yes, a high school diploma works just fine on an entry-level administrative assistant resume.
For many executive administrative assistant resumes, you’ll need a bachelor of arts.
Either way, this is how to put education on an AA resume:
BA in Business Economics — 2012
State University of New York (SUNY)
Relevant coursework: Introduction to Managerial and Financial Accounting, Advanced English Composition.
It’s not just the degree, date, and the school’s name. Our candidate also listed coursework that matches the job requirements of the position.
Pro Tip: Whatever goes on the resume has to work in your favor. Use the education section to show off job-relevant knowledge and skills. If you’re a recent graduate with an almost perfect GPA, put it on your resume. In all other cases—don’t.
Still working on your degree? Just finished vocational training? Employers will appreciate this. Read our resume tips to find out how to put that education on your administrative assistant resume to wow them: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]
How About a Cover Letter for an Administrative Assistant?
You’ve got some serious communication skills, right?
Don’t do like the rest of your competition and just plonk communication skills in your administrative assistant skills list.
Prove them by writing a cover letter for the administrative assistant position.
For administrative assistant jobs, are cover letters necessary?
Spoiler alert: Yes.
Approximately half of all recruiters expect to get a cover letter.
Don’t make them send you that thanks–but–no–thanks email the previous admin assistant wrote.
Write an administrative assistant cover letter that makes them think, “Wow! I need this candidate to write everything from now on!”
Aim for a short cover letter for your administrative assistant resume. Show you’ve got the skills, you know the company inside out, and provide them with an offer they can’t refuse.
Not sure what we mean? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our complete guide on how to write a cover letter that fits your perfect resume: Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Sample & Writing Guide
You can also see general cover letter writing tips here: Cover Letter for a Resume: 12+ Sample Cover Letter Sections
A great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Want a sample to work from as you write your office assistant cover letter? See this guide: Office Assistant Cover Letter: Sample & Full Writing Guide [20+ Tips]
So, to write a professional administrative assistant resume you need to follow these steps:
- Grab the hiring manager’s attention with the perfect administrative assistant resume objective or summary.
- Focus on achievements to prove you’re worth your weight in gold.
- Show you’ve got the right education by listing relevant coursework and vocational training.
- Pepper your AA resume with relevant skills.
- Prove your communication and research skills by writing a catchy admin assistant cover letter for your resume.
- Include contact information, but consider skipping the address on your resume.
Resume writing can be a challenge. Do you have any questions on how to make an administrative resume shine? Want others to review your document? Give us a shout in the comments section!