There is a lot of variability in executive assistant jobs, with the specific requirements varying based on the company, industry, and needs of the executive to whom the assistant will be reporting. Discover some of the most common skills, characteristics, and duties typically included in this type of job.
Executive Assistant Skills and Characteristics
As executive assistant provides administrative support to a member of the company's leadership team. This type of job tends to be best suited for individuals who can effectively juggle all the responsibilities associated with a multifaceted, high-level administrative job. Key characteristics required to be successful as an executive assistant include being:
- Adaptable - comfortable dealing with what can sometimes be very rapid change; adjusting appropriately based on the executive's or company's needs
- Discreet- maintains confidentiality with regard to sensitive information related to the work of the executive and the overall organization
- Humble - comfortable working in a behind-the-scenes role primarily intended to provide administrative support for an executive leader
- Good with people - personable, polite, and professional in demeanor; can work effectively with people at all levels of the organization as well as those external to the organization
- A multitasker - comfortable juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities at the same time
- Organized - able to effectively organize your own work and the work of others; able to put together and coordinate meetings and events
- Professional in demeanor - projects a high level of professionalism in all interactions with others
- Self-directed - comfortable working with minimal supervision; accountable for quality, quantity, and timeliness of work
- A strong communicator - strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills, including in-person, via telephone or video conference, and in writing
- A team player - works collaboratively with the assigned executive, as well as other company leaders and executive assistants, to support the needs of the organization
- Tech-savvy - knowledgeable about technology applications for business; able to master company computer systems
Common Job Duties for Executive Assistants
While no two executive assistant jobs are identical, this type of position typically involves a wide variety of administrative functions performed in support of the executive that the assistant has been hired to support. Common job duties include:
- Data processing - able to effectively use word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database software, as well as other computer systems used at the company
- Decision making - comfortable making decisions within the scope of the administrative responsibilities of the role
- Event planning - planning special events, such as business dinners, company retreats or gatherings, company conferences, etc.
- Meeting management - scheduling meetings and events, including booking location, notifying attendees, preparing agenda, distributing materials, taking minutes, etc.
- Prioritizing incoming requests - handling incoming calls, emails, and other messages directed to the executive, prioritizing in accordance with their preferences
- Problem-solving - able to identify and resolve issues associated with administrative matters related to the executive's responsibilities
- Proofreading - editing and proofreading documents prepared by the executive or other leaders to ensure that all outgoing correspondence is error free
- Records management - keeping thorough, accurate records of information related to the executive's office or department
- Relationship building - builds and maintains professional relationships with other assistants and company leaders, as well as employees
- Report writing - able to pull and review company data, then synthesize and organize it into an easily understandable format
- Scheduling - managing the executive's calendar and overall schedule, including making appointments and sending meeting reminders
- Time management - ability to effectively manage your own time and provide support to help keep the executive on track
- Writing - preparing drafts of documents for the executive, such as business letters, emails, conference reports, and other documents
Putting Executive Assistant Responsibilities in Writing
Executive assistant jobs can definitely be challenging to describe. After all, no two positions are exactly the same. Use this general job description to inspire you to create a customized job description for your company, or to tailor the way you describe your previous employment on your updated resume.