A resume is often the starting point for most hiring decisions. Many companies require a resume before even agreeing to a face-to-face interview; as such, resumes serve as calling cards for a person's experience and abilities. For administrative assistants, a good resume is a chance to show off not only relevant experience but organizational skills. A basic administrative assistant resume should contain enough information to gain an idea of work history and qualifications, while not overwhelming the potential employer.
An administrative assistant resume should never be submitted without a name or detailed contact information. Include address, phone number, and an email address at the very least. Consider opening an email account with a professional address separate from personal accounts. Not only can this help protect personal information, it can look considerably more professional. Employers are more likely to believe that email@example.com is more professional and prepared than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work history is an important part of an administrative assistant resume and should be placed prominently. Include job title, place of employment, dates of employment, and name of supervisor. If there is room, a section that includes job duties can also be illuminating, but keep it simple and remove it if the page looks crowded. A resume should rarely go over one page, so try to include relevant work history only if space is an issue.
In addition to work experience, an administrative assistant resume should contain a section for educational achievements. This section can give employers an idea of the educational background and notable degrees of an applicant. Include school attended, dates of attendance, and degree or certificate obtained. Typically, an administrative assistant resume only includes education information for high school, college, and graduate school.
The skills section of a resume details applicable knowledge and special training. For administrative assistants, items such as mastery of computer operating systems, customer service training, conflict management skills, foreign language abilities, typing speed, and level of familiarity with office equipment are all important to note in this section of the resume. If an employment ad lists desired qualifications that an applicant possesses, be certain to include those criteria in the skills section.
An administrative assistant applicant may want to include a few references for potential employees to contact. These references should be from adults, preferably former employers or co-workers. It is unwise to use friends or relatives with the same last name, as their objectivity or knowledge of working skills can easily be called into question. Do not include any references who are likely to give a bad review.
If an applicant has received any special awards for actions relevant to the position, those may be included. For instance, employee of the month recognition, graphic or computer skill awards, or any other special notification for excellent work can be included. Be certain to only include relevant awards, and do not worry if there is nothing that can be used for this section. It is rarely expected, but can help make a good impression on employers.
The layout and design of a resume can speak volumes about organizational and computer skills. Many word processing programs offer free resume templates that are divided into sections and can be filled in with data. Be absolutely certain that there are no spelling or grammatical errors, and that copies print out legibly. A resume that looks good may not win a job, but it will certainly attract attention.