Administrative assistants are often the unsung heroes of the business world. These professionals know the ins and outs of their company and they have the skills to keep everything ticking over. If that sounds like you, you need an administrative assistant CV that tells your story. Luckily, we have you covered with all the support you need.
Here at Resume.io, we have everything you need to superpower your job search. You can expect expert-backed writing guides, dozens of CV examples, and a field-tested CV maker to boot. Ready to get started? In the following guide, we will take a look at these core topics:
- What an administrative assistant does
- How to write an admin assistant CV (with a stellar CV example!)
- Advice on how to complete each CV section
- How to design a professional CV that will wow recruiters.
What does an administrative assistant do?
First up, let’s talk about what administrative assistants do. Also known as a clerical assistant or office administrator, this professional deals with a myriad of admin tasks to keep the company processes running smoothly. On any given workday, your duties may include:
- Answering emails, phone calls, and social media enquiries
- Photocopying, printing, and managing hard-copy documents
- Monitoring and ordering new office supplies
- Setting up meetings for various departments and liaising
- Taking minutes/notes during company meetings
- Writing up letters, reports, and other documents
- Making general arrangements for staff members (e.g., travel plans)
- Keeping track of staff and computer records
Since all types of businesses require administrators, the specifics of your role may change according to your company. When you are looking at job adverts, pay close attention to the responsibilities section. You can also ask for more information during the interview.
How much do administrative assistants earn?
If you think that this is the job for you, you may wonder how much you will get paid.
According to National Careers, the annual salary of an administrative assistant in the United Kingdom starts around £14,000 for an absolute beginner. However, should you work your way up the career ladder, you could expect to double that and make up to £28,000 per year.
There’s plenty of room for progression. Should you stay in the administration sector for years, you may become a team leader, supervisor, or even an office manager.
How to write an administrative assistant CV
Looking for your next admin role? Before you can walk into your dream job, you need a CV that turns recruiters’ heads for all the right reasons.
The first step of writing an administrative assistant CV is knowing what to include on the document. Your standard CV should have the following elements:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
When you’re writing your administrative assistant CV, including all of the above is a good starting point. However, if you want to really impress a recruiter, do some extra research. The more you know about the company to which you’re applying, the better you can tailor your CV. Take the time to research the business and learn as much as you can.
Any nuggets of information you come across could prove useful. For example, if you find out that the company recently started offering a new service, you can reference that on your CV.
On the other hand, should you find that the business has expanded in the last year, you might want to mention that you can deal with a high volume of paperwork. It’s these seemingly minor details that could make a huge difference when it comes to your chances.
Use keywords in your CV!
Many employers now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to rank CVs based on how well each matches the job criteria. If your application doesn’t rank well, it may end up in the bin before a recruiter even lays eyes on it. Luckily, there’s a trick you can try.
Take a look at the original job advert and pick out any keywords or phrases you find. You should include these — if they fit! — throughout your CV. That way, you will have a better chance of getting your CV past the ATS software and onto a hiring manager’s desk.
Make sure that you get the tone just right too. As an administrative assistant, managers will expect you to be professional at all times. After all, you are representing the wider business! Apply the same logic when you’re writing your CV. The tone should be formal and use clear language to get your point across. If in doubt, take a look at our CV sample for inspiration.
Choosing the best CV format for an administrative assistant
Not sure where to start? In most cases, you should use a reverse chronological CV format when applying for jobs.
Since the role of an administrative assistant is traditional, this approach is what employers expect. Start with your most recent experience and qualifications at the top of the page. As you work down the page, work your way back in time too.
Of course, there is an exception to every rule. If you are new to the realm of admin, you might want to go for a functional CV format instead. That means that you dedicate less space to your prior experience and more space to your skills section. If you are lacking in experience, this approach allows you to showcase your talents.
Since you work in administration, you will be no stranger to red tape. The first thing you need to put on your document is your CV header. If a hiring manager is impressed with your application, they will want to reach out to you ASAP. The information in the header allows them to do just that. It should include your full name, phone number, email address, and location. This information should be easy to read — stick to a plain sans-serif font!
CV summary example
Your CV summary sits directly below your header. Chances are, it is the first thing that a hiring manager will read when they review your application. It is a 2 to 3-line bio about you. Take this opportunity to tell the reader who you are and why you are perfect for the job.
Consider what it is that makes you unique. What do you have that other candidates might not? You might want to dazzle the hiring manager with your super-fast typing speed. Then again, you may have undertaken HR training that you can apply to the role. Figure out what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is and lead with it.
The space on your CV is precious. Make sure you don’t waste it. To save on your word count, cut any sentence openers that start with ‘I,’ ‘I am,’ or ‘I have.’ These don’t add anything to the context of your summary so you can afford to lose them. If you’re not sure where to start when writing your summary, take a peek at our CV example now.
Detail-oriented professional with expertise in providing outstanding administrative support to executives, managers and team members. Highly organised, adept at co-ordinating daily workflows, prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines. Excellent interpersonal skills, able to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders.
Employment history sample
Experience is one way to impress a hiring manager. Your employment history section is where you highlight your prior workplaces. You should kick things off with the name of the company, your position there, and the years you worked there. Beneath each of those headers, you may choose to include some of your highest achievements or key duties.
Don’t make the mistake of cramming in information for the sake of it. The hiring manager doesn’t need to know that you replied to emails or filed reports. These are duties they would expect any administrative assistant to be confident in doing. Instead, only include details that will make you stand out from the crowd. Take a look at our CV sample here.
Administrative Assistant, Seybold and Associates, London
January 2016 - Present
- Co-ordinated daily workflows to ensure all tasks remained on track to meet deadlines.
- Planned meetings and events with up to 150 attendees, including reserving on-site meeting rooms and off-site venues.
- Standardised electronic and hard copy filing systems, improving organisation, eliminating duplicates and minimising lost files.
Administrative Assistant, Jones & Keller, London
July 2012 - August 2016
- Managed multiline phone system, answered more than 100 calls per day, took messages and forwarded calls to appropriate individuals.
- Prepared documents, correspondence, reports and PowerPoint presentations for executives and senior managers.
- Monitored supply inventory and placed orders with approved vendors in a timely manner.
CV skills example
Having a powerful skills section on your CV can make a world of difference. Hiring managers want administrators who can not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. It’s all about balance — you will need a mix of hard skills and soft skills if you want to succeed.
Soft skills allow you to work well with others. Examples include ‘excellent communication,’ ‘intrapersonal skills,’ and being a ‘self-starter.’ You need a few of these on your CV. On the other hand, hard skills tend to pertain directly to the job for which you’re applying. In the case of admin, that may mean ‘Microsoft Suite proficiency’ or ‘filing and reporting.’
- Administrative Support
- Deadline Management
- Calendar Management
- Interpersonal Communication
- Records Management
- Travel Arrangements
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Organisation & Prioritisation
Administrative assistant CV education example
Often enough, you don’t need a formal degree to become an admin assistant. You may be able to apply for this role with A Levels or merely GCSEs. In each case, the job advert will tell you what level of qualification and/or training the hiring manager is looking for.
Start by writing the school or institute, the dates you attended, and your qualifications. You can use bullet points to include specific details about each of your certificates. For example, if you achieved 120 WPM in your typing class, you can include that flourish below the main information. Take a look at our CV sample for some help on how to do this.
University of Leeds, Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Leeds
September 2009 — June 2012
CV layout and design
It doesn’t matter what details your CV includes if the document is difficult to read. Recruiters spend seconds looking at each application so first impressions count. When you’re creating this document, here are a few simple rules you need to follow:
- Don’t try to cram too much information onto the document. Stick to the details that will impress the hiring manager and highlight your unique skill set.
- Pick one or two fonts to use. Your CV should have a consistent style throughout.
- Avoid using too much colour or pictures. As an administrative assistant, you need to make sure that your application looks both professional and formal.
If you’re having trouble designing your CV, we have just the thing to help you out. Our tried and tested CV templates are easy-to-use and could be the secret ingredient.
Key takeaways for an administrative assistant CV
- Writing your administrative assistant CV doesn’t have to be hard. Be sure to take a formal approach in both the layout and your written tone.
- You should always tailor your CV to meet the requirements of the job or company.
- A well-written CV summary can help you to pique the hiring manager’s interest.
- Lacking design skills? Don’t panic. Use our field-tested CV templates to get it right!