Helping to facilitate excellence across all functional areas: Office managers do far more than just order stationary – they offer vital support for virtually everyone. In small and medium businesses, the office manager sits at the very heart of the organization, in many situations whispering into the ears of the leadership team. They have their fingers on the pulse of the business to such an extent that they notice trends and risks far earlier than others who don’t see the big picture. They are organizers, administrators, coaches and delegators. They keep their employers on the right financial track and they make sure that the internal culture is bubbling along where it needs to be. Because they are involved in so many aspects of the business, they are often asked for impartial advice.
Office management is an incredibly varied and rewarding career path. An office manager’s resume needs to convey their all-around grasp of a hugely diverse range of issues. But how do you write a resume that secures you cover it all? Do you need to cover it all? This resume guide will discuss how to:
- Create an office manager resume that is both comprehensive and tailored to the role.
- Convey the details of how you keep every part of your business ticking along.
- Ensure that you use the right keywords to pass the ATS test.
- Use the format of your resume to be clear about the core skills that are most required.
Along with our sample resumes and resume builder tool, we will help you to persuade your dream employer that their life will be so much easier if they decide to hire you, while also making sure that you make it past the ATS keyword test.
Office managers: The most flexible skills of any office staff
One hour they will be organizing a teleconference, the next they will be welcoming an interview candidate and the next they will be checking the invoice for the latest stationary order. They are often a focal point for external supplier communications and a sounding board for problem solving. Given the huge range of interventions, the priority areas of the role often differ hugely from one organization to another. In a resume, it is important to cover all the bases, but by reading the job description and doing some online research, it is often possible to guess where the pinch points might lie. The most important attribute of an office manager is to do “whatever it takes” to keep things running smoothly, whether they have done something before or not. A growth mindset and flexible attitude is therefore critical to convey in the resume. There are three basic considerations for an office manager resume:
- Finding the balance of displaying your broad skills while showcasing the specifics required.
- Getting past the ATS where specific keywords are important to the role.
- Ensuring a focus on your never-say-die attitude with emotional and passionate vocabulary.
The office manager job role
No matter what the industry or size of business, the best office managers share a multitude of common traits. As just mentioned, one vital trait is a passion for making things happen. That cannot be conveyed by a mere description of responsibilities in a resume – you have to bring your job role to life with adjectives that show how much effort and thought go into how you go about your work. It is also important to dedicate a bit more space to describing what you did in more detail where possible – especially in the areas that you know will be in demand in your potential employer.
When they read your resume, they have to get a sense that you will offer them that incremental value in a huge number of areas. For a great office manager, it is all about the marginal gains. But what elements of the role could you include? The basic role of an office manager is to ensure that all processes are tightly organized and that everything is working as it should. This means administering the flow of equipment, people and knowledge in such a way that everyone around them can get on with their specific roles and not be inconvenienced when IT breaks down because a supplier hasn’t been paid or certain equipment has run out of stock. They will often only be approached when there is an issue, so their problem solving and people skills need to be top notch – they might not find a solution immediately, but everyone needs to have confidence that they will get there in the end.
The sporting example of a “backstop” is something we might consider in their case. They often get involved in recruitment and training matters and are intimately involved alongside the management team in shaping the culture of an organization. Most operational matters fall firmly under their remit and they are pivotal when aspects of the workplace require optimization. Also, as social media continues to make an impact, their role is often to coordinate and cajole their colleagues to get involved. All of these aspects should be woven into an office manager’s resume, but for a human to read them, firstly you have to pass the ATS test.
How can you beat the ATS algorithm?
Applicant Tracking Systems work based on analyzing resumes for keywords. As the office manager’s resume is so varied, the selection and use of keywords might make the difference. If an ATS system does not see enough relevant keywords, your resume might not be read by a human at all. This selection of keywords should come after a very careful consideration of the job description and scope of the role. The office manager job will vary greatly depending on the size and industry of the employer. While it is important to showcase your range of business development experience, the ATS system may only be looking for certain keywords, so sprinkling your resume with specific words and terms that the hiring manager will have specified will be crucial to passing the first stage of the selection process.
Personalize for each job
For the office manager, this is vital to understand what exactly you will be doing. Doing this work might be painstaking, but you will also better understand the areas of questioning in an interview. Every resume should contain subtle differences for the requirements of each role.
You can provide the most free-flowing descriptions of your activity in your summary. The ATS algorithm places great weight to what has been written here and it is vital to strike a balance between personality and performance. Here are a few ideas of how to write a compelling office manager summary:
Resume summary example: Manager your image
In just a few short lines, you need to convey a sense of “this person can do anything.” Anyone can write a list of job responsibilities, but not all can stand behind emotional and passionate words about how and why they do their job. Employers need to understand that their office manager is an incredibly safe pair of hands and it is only by appealing to their emotions that this will be possible. The resume summary is the perfect place to make someone feel this.
Choose your words to instill a feeling of trust and reliability
To the people that you are working with, it is not just about what you are doing, it is vital to understand that you will do everything to the very highest standards. In this respect, explaining your attitude and approach is incredibly important at the start of your resume. If people didn’t think that you would add value to their day, they would likely do these things themselves. Use your summary to position yourself as the sort of go-to person for any task, no matter how big or small. The best office managers are so reliable that someone can entrust them with something and then just forget about it because they know that it will get done.
Reassure them with industry specifics
If there are specific requirements for an office manager in a particular industry, the summary is the place to ram home the message that you are exactly the person they are looking for. This is not the place for general statements and bland descriptions. If those few lines are hyper-targeted for each role, the reader cannot help but want to read more.
The job description will give you some hints
The job description is a good starting point when it comes to choosing keywords. If the summary and job description match up, you will likely pass the ATS test. Word clouds are useful software to pick out patterns from the text and shine a light on what the author was thinking.
If you are still looking for inspiration, our related administrative resume examples will help. Start out with our Administrative Assistant resume sample. The Personal Assistant or Office Assistant resume examples are other resources for you. Still searching? Check out the Office Secretary resume sample or the Office Administrator resume example.
Dynamic Office Manager with extensive experience overseeing office operations to ensure a productive and positive work atmosphere. Adept in providing outstanding day-to-day administrative support to management and staff. CHRO certified and committed to continually growing both professionally and personally.
Employment history sample: Hone in on the relevant
If you can imagine everything that an office manager is asked to do over a month’s period, it would be an extremely long list. The challenge in writing an employment history lies in the fact that you only have a few short lines for each role that are wholly inadequate in conveying the breadth of the job. It is important to give a future employer an overall view of what you are capable of, and the only way is to spread your experience across the range of jobs that you have enjoyed. Of course, you should dedicate more space to the most recent jobs, but this doesn’t mean that your older roles will be viewed any less critically. Make the most of every sentence.
If possible, pick out aspects of each role that could be related to the job that you are applying for. It is better to expand on relevant experience than include stuff where they think, “Oh, that is not for us.” If you use real examples of situations over your career that you think may be relevant for your new employer, they will immediately start to picture you working with them. Talk about the problems and give an insight as to how you solved them – you will be able to talk in more detail at the interview, but it is always good to sow the seed of a conversation that you want to have rather than be asked about something else that you are not prepared for. Talk about how you make things happen with your wider colleagues – no office manager works on their own and much work is done alongside others. Influencing skills and delegation ability will make you effective as there is always lots to do and only so many hours in the day. Collaboration is key.
Notice that each bullet point in our resume sample below begins with a strong action word.
Office Manager, Bayview Architects, New York
July 2017 - Present
- Successfully oversaw day-to-day operations and worked to foster efficiency.
- Maintained office-wide calendars and assisted with events and travel arrangements.
- Managed vendors and the purchasing of office supplies, software, and equipment.
- Maintained office-wide protocols in accordance with the employee handbook and COVID guidelines.
- Assisted bookkeeper with company payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, expense reimbursement, and general ledger.
- Interfaced with clients on project-related matters and provided appropriate support to ensure the smooth flow of projects.
- Created and managed project invoices and tracked project expenses.
Office Manager, Lissa Medical Day Spa, New York
October 2014 - June 2017
- Provided optimal office support for one of the busiest and most celebrated midtown medical day spas.
- Supervised all front office operations to ensure profitability and exceptional service, and value for every client.
- Effectively managed front staff operations and worked to achieve ultimate client satisfaction rates.
- Answered and managed calls, coordinated client schedules, and provided for seamless client care and follow-up.
- Assisted with the marketing and promotion of events through the implementation of effective email marketing campaigns.
CV skills section example: Mix it up
The role of office manager is so varied that it is important your resume contains a good mix of hard and soft skills – with a few real-life examples where possible. The longer format examples can be included in your employment history sections with shorter words and phrases (sometimes repeated) in the specific CV skills section.
- Oversaw daily operations in varying businesses from 60-850 people.
- Budgeted for every aspect of business administration – from marketing to operations.
- Managed equipment purchases and all corporate capex requirements.
- Recruited and trained over 5,000 people over a 20-year career.
- Maintained detailed business records and managed audit processes.
- Shaped the business culture and worked closely with the HR department.
- Reliable crisis manager and organizational first responder.
- Planner of events, conferences, meetings and
- Operational point of contact for customers and suppliers.
Make your experience come alive off the page by using the sorts of words that the hiring manager would associate with their experience when they were doing your job.
- Customer Service
- Interpersonal Communication
- Excellent Multitasking
- Effective Time Management
- Financial Accounting
- Knowledge of Office Technology
Office manager resume education example
While a bachelor’s degree in business administration or marketing is preferable, there are many office managers who have moved up the administrative ranks. Their overall understanding of how a business works is considered more important than a theoretical qualification, but it is still important to list any and all relevant training courses that have been taken.
CHRO Program, Wharton Aresty Institute-Executive Education
August 2018 - April 2019
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Hunter College, New York
September 2010 - May 2014
Resume layout and design: first impressions
The practical nature of your role should be reflected in the clean lines of your resume. Don’t overindulge in long descriptions of your experience – keep your language efficient and sharp. There is a huge range of activities that you might choose to include but don’t forget the benefits of white space in your resume to allow the reader some time to collect their thoughts before they move on to the next section.
The structure should work for both human resources people and hiring managers. Human resources will be looking for more practical skills and your hiring managers will be wondering more about your personality and whether they can work well with you. Choose a layout where you are able to section off the more practical aspects (maybe with bullets or in a list) and where you have to space to write a few sentences where you can express yourself a little more freely. Our professional template collection has a wide range of attractive layouts – choose one that makes sense for you.
Key takeaways for an office manager resume
- Showcase your important role at the heart of your organization.
- Describe the impacts that you make on every function and level of the business.
- Use the summary section to make an employer feel what it is alike to work with you.
- Communicate your mix of hard and soft skills with specific achievements in context.
- Ensure that the layout of your resume highlights your most important achievements.
- Share what, how, where, when, and why certain actions have led to the desired result.
Don't forget to create a matching cover letter and read our guide about how to write a cover letter!