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If you want to see a magic trick, watch how capable employees can turn helpless when the office administrator goes on a two-week vacation. Suddenly clients are angrily waiting for documents, expense reports pile up, and communication falls apart.
Clearly administrative skills are essential for good office management. But what exactly are the most important administrative skills? And how can you put them on a resume to get a job in any office?
We’ll show you administrative skills examples in a second, but… Perhaps you could use a leg up on the competition—
The Zety resume builder will generate hundreds of office and administrative skills, suggest bullet points, resume objectives, and achievements. Just what the recruiter is looking for.
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Looking for a complete guide on how to write an administrative assistant resume? Check: Administrative Assistant Resume
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What Are Administrative Skills?
Administrative skills are the skills that increase office productivity by consolidating time-consuming administrative tasks into one role. The most common skills include keeping projects on track, arranging travel, scheduling meetings, and filing expense reports.
But how is it that administrative support positions can increase office productivity so drastically?
And what are the skills that separate a top-notch office administrator from your run-of-the-mill office assistant?
Let’s discuss what administrative skills mean in more concrete terms.
Administrative Skills for a Resume—Examples
What are examples of administrative skills?
Administrative skills can be tough to put down on paper.
Why? Because “administration” is an extremely broad term—it means any process or activity that relates to running a business.
Any business process or activity? Creating a list of those skills would need an Excel spreadsheet with enough rows to crash your office computer.
But you don’t need to list every administrative skill on your resume—in fact, you shouldn’t. Some admin skills are more important than others.
Here is a list of the most in-demand administrative skills:
- Decision-making skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Teamwork skills
- Organizational skills
- Writing skills
- Communication (Oral and Written)
- Time management
- Attention to detail
- Office coordination
- Problem solving
- Event coordination
- Calendar management
- Meeting planning
- Travel arrangements
- Email management
- Data entry
- MS Office skills
- Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Database management
- Expense reports
- Computer skills
Those skills are most in demand for administrative assistants, office assistants, and office administrators. But—that doesn’t mean you should copy the entire list and paste it on your resume. Instead, tailor your resume to specific jobs by finding the administrative skills mentioned in the job description and weave them naturally into your resume.
What about office equipment skills? An office without office equipment is like a car without an engine—it’s not going anywhere. And since office administration workers spend the most time out of anyone in the office with office equipment, you can expect these skills to come in handy.
What are office equipment skills? Here’s a list of skills and equipment used in offices:
Office Equipment Skills
- Business telephone systems
- Printers and photocopiers
- Computer software (MS Office, ERP, Quickbooks, spreadsheets)
- Computer hardware
- Fax machines
- Mailing equipment
- Conference room equipment
- Storage equipment
Find other excellent skills to put on your resume in these guides:
- Employability skills
- Marketing skills
- Conceptual skills
- IT skills
- Transferable skills
- Leadership skills
- Technical skills
- Project management skills
- The difference between soft skills and hard skills
- Master list of personal skills to put on a resume
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How Do You Describe Administrative Skills on a Resume?
Once the office knows you as “the administrative person”, you’ll be expected to fix any and every problem in the office. Is it fair? Not quite, but since that’s the expectation, you need your resume to show you’ve got the administrative skills to handle whatever the boss will throw at you:
- Read the job ad carefully and highlight which administrative skills they are looking for.
- Create a list of all the administrative skills you have. You can reference the list above to get ideas.
- Compare the skills from the job description and your personal skills list. The skills that overlap are perfect keywords to put on your resume.
- Draw attention to your administrative skills by putting them in a separate skills section on your resume.
- Incorporate your skills throughout your resume, in both the work experience section and resume profile, by providing examples of them in action.
- Mention both soft skills and hard skills so you look well-rounded.
- Make sure not to lie on your resume, it will come back to bite you.
- List up to 10 and focus on the skills you’re best at. Ideally, skills that you can back up with relevant work experience.
Keep in mind that the hiring manager will likely ask you to go into more detail on whatever you put on your resume, so be prepared to defend your admin skills.
Now let’s see what these skills in real life with an example of administrative skills on a resume:
Sample Administrative Assistant Resume Template
Highly flexible administrative assistant with 3+ years of experience in office administration. Seeking the executive assistant position at Hill Group to remove administrative barriers and increase office productivity exponentially. Organized a company-wide retreat in record time and negotiated over $7,500 in office supply cost savings for previous employers.
Murphy Inc, Orlando, FL
September 2018–June 2020
- Crafted highly-detailed meeting plans for 20+ employees on a daily basis.
- Prepared and submitted bank drafts and deposits to the finance department on time and without errors.
- Handled clerical duties including responding to urgent emails, preparing documents, and creating compelling presentations.
- Provided responsive customer service to clients regarding membership changes, cancellations, freezes, and upgrades.
- Organized a company-wide weekend retreat with training and motivational speakers in less than two weeks.
Kunz and Sons LLC, Dallas, TX
July 2017–July 2018
- Screened 25+ phone calls a day, resolving problems and directing calls to the appropriate departments.
- Managed the schedules of 5+ rooms by coordinating meetings and events.
- Tracked team goals to help drive completion of key deliverables and assist where needed.
- Collaborated with 30+ outside vendors to maintain and service office equipment, replacing equipment as needed.
- Negotiated an office equipment contract that saved the company $7,500 annually.
Booker T. Washington High School, Dallas, TX
Graduation: May 2017
- Skilled in database management, event coordination, and travel arrangements
- Experience with ERP, MS Office, and QuickBooks software
- French (Advanced)
Diplomas and Certificates
- Administrative Assistant Diploma (Pitman Training)
- Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certificate
Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.
Here’s an overview on how to write all the main parts of a resume:
- Figure out which type of resume is best for you. If you already know your way around an office, the reverse-chronological resume format will shine a spotlight on your work experience. If this will be your first time working in office administration, consider the combination resume template to have more space for your administrative skills.
- Improve your resume by putting a short resume introduction underneath your header to act like an elevator pitch. Write a resume summary if you have more than 2 years of experience. Otherwise, create a resume objective that highlights what you are bringing to the table.
- Craft an impressive resume work experience section by writing 5-6 bullets that detail your biggest achievements. Start each bullet resume action verbs like managed, coordinated, organized, created, etc.
- If you’re writing a resume for your first job, you want to include any work experience that you have, whether that means an internship or a side job.
- Be sure to include an education section. You should only put your high school on your resume if that’s the highest education you completed. Otherwise, include your college in your education section.
- Put any professional certifications and licenses in their own section, so they can pop out.
- Make your resume stand out with optional resume sections: language section, awards section, freelance work, projects, and hobbies and interests.
Read more: How to Build a Resume
Plus, 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:
Thanks for reading! Now I’d love to hear from you. Which administrative skill do you think is most important? Do you have any interesting stories to tell of poorly-organized offices you’ve worked at? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.