Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing—Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Helping Others—Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Managing Time—Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
- Clerical—Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics—Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Administration and Management—Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Economics and Accounting—Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Personnel and Human Resources—Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Communications and Media—Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Conventional—Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising—Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Using computers.
- Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Performing day-to-day administrative tasks.
- Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work.
- Creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships.
- Documenting or recording information.
- Evaluating information to determine compliance with standards.
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants.
- Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
- Executive Secretaries
- Bill and Account Collectors
- Court, Municipal, and License Clerks
- Receptionists and Information Clerks
- Clerical Library Assistants
- General Office Clerks
- Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
- Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.