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What It Takes to Be an Executive Assistant

February 16th, 2017
office adminIf you've been working in an office support role and are considering taking a step up -- that's a big step up -- to executive assistant, you should know that an impeccable resume is only one of the ingredients to landing the job.

Many of the most important skills simply don't show up on a resume. To be sure, you need all the office skills an experienced support person must use in the course of the job. Plus a track record of growth in the job and in your responsibilities.

More than that -- and here's what's hard to show in a resume -- you need "impeccable social skills," says Melba Duncan. Author of The New Executive Assistant, Duncan says you need to look and act the part of an executive assistant. That doesn't mean dressing and behaving as the right hand to a senior executive, it means exercising discretion in your conversations, demonstrating diplomacy in difficult situations and with difficult people, and practicing business etiquette.

You must also have an "extraordinarily positive attitude" about yourself and the work you do, she says.

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