In the world of administrative support, many certifications and refresher courses are worth their weight in gold and will make you a more efficient employee, on the lookout for trends in the profession. Which are they? And how do you get them?
An administrative support staff member never really stops learning. “After the basics acquired in CEGEP, it becomes a self-taught profession where everyone shapes their own path according to their needs,” recalls Vanessa Mongeau, founder of L’Indispensable Recrutement and president of the Association du personnel de soutien administratif du Québec (APSAQ). “It is therefore important to continue to learn throughout your career. Certifications obtained in the private or voluntary sector are an asset.”
Microsoft and Office Suite certifications
Of course, you already know the basics of Word and Excel. But taking training to master them in depth will be useful to you. As software never stops evolving, you have to keep up to date! You have the choice, for example, between Microsoft Office Specialist or Specialist Expert certification, for advanced skills, or even a Master’s degree, to go even further.
Note-taking and reporting
“This is one of the most popular and useful certifications,” says Vanessa Mongeau. You will learn the conventions for writing minutes as well as selective listening or mastering a list of abbreviations. Several organizations offer this certification in Quebec, such as Technologia and AccentFormation. APSAQ also offers its members its own course and certification programs.
Standards of written French and typography
The standards of written French often change. It is a good idea to make sure that you have taken on developments in this area. You will be able to take the CEFRANC/TECFÉE certification tests at the Centre d’évaluation du rendement en français écrit.
CAP: official certification of the administration professional
If you are fluent in English, you may wish to obtain CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) certification, recognized in the English world and also making a good impression on a Francophone’s resume. It covers a wide variety of skills. You will find all the information on the website of the Canadian Association of Professional Administrators.
Customer relationship management (CRM) and databases
CRM training can be a considerable asset for those who need to process and analyze customer and prospect information in order to build customer loyalty. In the same vein, mastering database administration can be very useful.
Vanessa Mongeau warns, “Don’t expect the list of certifications on your resume make you much more attractive than others. They are an interesting bonus and will be used for your personal development, but the employer will always be interested in your experience and personality first.”