While the job of a receptionist is likely to include being the first point of contact for a business, there are numerous responsibilities and specializations within the role. Some of the different receptionist jobs include supporting medical and dental practices or other health care centers, welcoming guests to hotels or conference facilities, and representing the offices of lawyers and bankers. Beauty salons and fitness centers as well as insurance brokers and money managers, often have receptionists on staff, either as full-time client greeters or as part-time phone operators. Receptionist jobs generally involve making a positive impression on first-time clients and maintaining a professional and likable presence for returning customers. Answering and directing calls, setting appointments, and providing hospitality all may fall within the role of a receptionist.
In many professional fields, receptionist jobs are generally the same and require little specialization. Knowing basic office skills or phone systems is often a requirement and having a professional demeanor is desirable, but other skills and preferences come with knowing the type of office or practice and how to represent it. A receptionist job at a creative agency likely includes having a style and personality befitting the work done within the studio, while the same role at a brokerage firm could include a classic wardrobe and a set script for answering phones and directing calls. Hiring criteria based on personality or conformity to office standards depends on the setting and needs of the company.
Filling receptionist jobs in a health care practice typically involves more specialization. Medical and dental receptionists assist practitioners by questioning patients while setting appointments. Learning how to address the needs of patients and track the openings in the schedules of doctors and dentists involves both people and time management skills. These types of receptionist jobs also may include billing and receiving, which require further specialization for directing incoming mail or calls for processing. A skilled receptionist will screen callers and save time for all involved by knowing how to properly direct inquiries, complaints, and even personal calls.
Appearance and manner are considerations when filling receptionist jobs at hair salons, beauty industry offices, or modeling and casting agencies, as those in the business of making others look their best often hope to represent their best at the front door. Studying the look or style of a business before approaching them for work is helpful in preparing for an interview and fitting in with what the clientele may consider representative of the business inside. Being courteous, personable, and accommodating go a long way toward positively representing any business, and working to remember names and faces while keeping good records can lead to excellence in the field.