What is the Job Description of an Executive Assistant?

Having a good knowledge of the job description of an executive assistant is good step towards becoming a good executive assistant.

Executive assistants perform a wide range of administrative and clerical tasks.

It can be a very stressful and demanding job, but, the experience is worth it.

The role is similar to administrative assistants, Secretaries or personal assistant.

In the sense that their roles are all supportive. They provide administrative support to individuals or a team.

But, the difference is that executive assistant is a senior role assigned to an experienced executive staff.

In small organisations, the job description of an executive assistant and that of an administrator and personal assistant overlap.

Whereas, in larger organisation these are all different positions with their unique job descriptions.

executive assistant job description

What does an executive assistant do?

Executive assistants are Senior office staffs that supervise the work of other office staffs. They coordinate and monitor activities that contribute to the overall success of the company.

They provide administrative support to the executives or other senior staffs, by carrying out research, analysing documents and also presenting reports.

Executive assistants are a very integral part of any organisation, and as such they are indispensable.

Some of the responsibilities of an executive assistant includes collating and distributing mails and memos, answering calls and setting up meetings as well as appointments.

Most executive assistants start their career by taking the position of an administrative assistant.

After years of works and improving qualification, they are eventually promoted to the position of an executive assistant.

To be successful in this career path, you have to be very organised and possess excellent managerial skills.

What are the duties and responsibilities of an executive assistant?

Some of the commonly featured duties and responsibilities in the job descriptions of an executive assistant are:

1. Act as a bridge between employees and executives

It is the responsibility of an executive assistant to serve as a bridge or point of contact between employees, executives and partners.

This is possible because they are executives but still work closely with other employees.

2. Control the flow of information

Since They are a point of contact between employees and executives, it is also the responsibility of an executive assistant to manage information flow.

They relay necessary information from executives to employees and vice vers.

3. Manage Executive’s calendars

Executive assistants also manage the calendar of the different office executives.

They keep track of meetings and set up appointments.

4. Make travel arrangements

It is also the responsibility of an executive assistant to make new travel arrangements for executives.

From booking a means of transportation to making hotel reserves must be done before the journey.

5. Keep track of daily expenses

Executive assistants keep record of all office expenses.

As well as make monthly, quarterly and yearly report.

6. Supervise other staffs

They also supervise other staffs to ensure that all operations are carried out using best practices.

Some other duties and responsibilities of an executive assistant are:

  • Take minutes during executive meetings
  • Answer and direct phone calls to the right correspondence.
  • Welcome visitors and also decide if they are allowed to meet executives.
  • Order office supplies.
  • Read, analyse and distribute memo and mails to the right offices.
  • Make necessary plans and preparations for office events.

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What are the requirements for becoming an executive assistant?

Unlike Secretary or administrative assistant that are entry-level jobs and do not require years of experience.

Prospective executive assistants should have gained experience in secretarial or administrative assistant duties over a period of years.

The minimum academic qualifications for becoming an executive assistant is a high school diploma.

But, most organisations prefer employing individuals with a bachelor’s degree in business management, human resources or related fields.

There are no mandatory special certification to become an executive assistant.

But certification may add value to your resume or portfolio. They are available online and do not take a long time to complete.

In as much as employers employ individuals with experience in administrative assistantance or other related fields for the role of an executive assistant.

Most of the experience and trust is gain at the job over some period of years.

Employers also look out for those with proficiency in Microsoft office suite.

What skills and personality suit an executive assistant?

In most executive assistant job description posting, employers always look out for those with certain skills.

This is because, these skills make the job easier and faster.

Some of the commonly featured skills in the job description of executive assistants are:

1. Communication skills

Executive assistants perform several activities that require great communication skills.

From responding to callers to determining what information should be passed across to executives.

Therefore, they have to capable of proper communicating in writing and verbally.

2. Interpersonal skills

Executive assistants also have to develop good relationship with employee as well as stakeholders.

This still helps them foster better working condition and relationships.

3. Organisational skills

Organisation skills is relevant when filling documents, maintaining records and carrying out so many other duties.

Therefore every good executive assistant must be organised at all time.

4. Customer service skills

Executive assistants respond to calls and welcome visitors as well.

As a result, it is necessary for them to be customer oriented.

Because treating a customer or visitor wrongly may result to losing them for ever.

5. Multitasking

It is good for an executive assistant to be able to do more than one thing at a time.

Because it makes work faster, more tasks can be company within a limited time.

But, whenever multitasking is not possible, prioritizing activities is the best alternative.

More important and urgent tasks should be given preference, while less urgent tasks should not be left out.

6. Time management skills

One of the responsibilities of an executive assistant is to help other executives manage time.

As a result, executive assistants should be good time managers.

Not just for other executives but for themselves too.

7. Discretion

This role is an executive role , therefore they have access to sensitive information.

Therefore executive assistants must be discrete and confidential.

8. Leadership skills

In order to properly carry out their duties, executive assistants have to be good leaders as well.

They must possess and exhibit good leadership attributes when dealing with employees.

9. Problem solving skills

Lastly, executive assistants should also be trouble shooting.

They should be capable of thinking critically whenever problems arise.

Where do executive assistants work?

The duty of an executive assistant is practically indepensable in every organisation.

Some of the typical employers of executive assistants are:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Government organizations
  • Hotels
  • Recreational centers
  • Manufacturing companies

But, the need for an executive assistant depends on the size of the firm.

What should be included in an executive assistant resume?

According to my perfect resume, there are four characteristics of a good executive assistant resume.

1. Summary

The summary should highlight the following:

  • Skills
  • Strength
  • Achievement

These information should be in line with what suits an executive assistant.

They should be highlighted using short statements or sentence. Example: ”customer oriented executive assistant with 6 years experience working with top professional executives”.

2. Skills

Alongside administrative capabilities, an executive assistant should have strategic skills.

Some of these skills include:

  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Discretion
  • Leadership skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving

It is important to state these skills in your resume. Their relevance in the job description of an executive assistant are explained above.

Even during interviews, if is almost necessary to always make references to them.

3. Experience

This section should contain some of your contributions to the success of a company or a specific tasks.

Now, I know this can be a long epistle, however you have to intelligently make it a short statement or sentence.

I am not saying you should just write it in form a list, NO!

For example, ”I devised a new and better method for keeping records that made it easier to pick them out when needed for reference purpose”.

4. Educational background

Although academic certifications are not mandatory to qualify for a job as an executive assistant, they are advantageous.

Therefore if you have any form of academic certification, include it in your resume.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration and management or other related fields is preferred.

How much do executive assistants make?

On the average, executive assistants in the United States earn up to $59,340 per annum.

Less experienced and  qualified executive assistants earn about $24,690 per annum.

while their more experienced or qualified colleagues may earn up to $64,230 per year

The bottom 10% from the average earn $24,690, while the top 10% earn up to $64,230 per year.

These figures may differ depending on the following:

  • Geographical location
  • Employer
  • Size and sector of the firm.

You can obviously tell that more experienced executive assistants earn more than their colleagues.

Is executive assistant a stressful job?

Yes, the job of an executive assistant can be very stressful and demanding.
In some situations, you may even have to work beyond the job description.

You also have to stay very calm to other staffs and the world at large in the face of a challenge or crisis.

But, the experience is worth it. The skills and character the stress indirectly imbibes in you are worth it.

What is the work environment and schedule of an executive assistant like?

Executive assistants typically work in offices, interacting with visitors, staffs, as well as other executives.

They work within the regular working hours and days.

Whenever it is necessary, they may have to extent working hours.

Is executive assistant a deadend job?

No, the position of an executive assistant is not a deadend job.

After becoming an executive assistant, there are so many other exciting roles or positions you can be promoted to.

Some of these positions include:

  • Office manager
  • Project manager
  • Human resources manager/coordinator
  • Customer service coordinator
  • Sales associate
  • Executive administrative assistant
  • Legal assistant

Therefore, after some years of working as an executive assistant, feel free to move further to any of these positions.

Conclusion: executive assistant job description guide

Although this guide on the job description of an executive assistant was written with prospective executive assistants in mind, it is also a good template for creating a job posting.

Executive assistants play a vital role in every organisation.

Therefore, while employing, employers must be careful enough to recruit a capable hand.

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