The jobs of secretaries and administrative assistants have a number of things in common: greeting, filing, planning, office management and coordination. Secretaries usually work for a single person, a manager or a director, often doing personalized work. Administrative assistants, on the other hand, work for an entire office or team. They may represent their companies or be responsible for the office. In some companies, they have a slightly higher level of responsibility than secretaries.
- Take and filter calls
- Greet visitors and customers
- File documents
- Perform searches and provide information
- Answer mail
- Manage diaries
- Organize events and meetings
- Manage supplies and the smooth running of the office
- Take notes during meetings, then write up summaries
- Write, lay out and update documents
- Possibly supervise the work of administrative personnel
- In small companies: Secretaries and administrative assistants may also have accounting, recruiting or logistics tasks to do.
Administrative assistants and secretaries should have a high school diploma. An increasing number of companies ask for greater qualifications, however, such as a college or university degree in business or public administration. Specializing may be an advantage in some sectors such as legal, accounting, health care and computers.
- Good typing skillsExcellent proficiency in office systems software
- Accounting skills
- Basic knowledge of the sector in which you want to work
- Fluent in French and English
- Good time management skills
- Team player
- Excellent organization skills
- Punctual and thorough
- Good interpersonal skills
- Discreet and honest
With experience and motivation, administrative assistants can become office managers, and with time, director of administrative services. Secretaries can become executive secretaries with additional training.