Administrative Skills List and Examples

Administrative Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Administrative assistant on phone
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Administrative skills are those related to running a business or keeping an office organized. Administrative skills are needed for a variety of jobs, ranging from office assistants to secretaries to office managers. Employees in nearly every industry and company need strong administrative skills.

Below is a list of the top five most important administrative skills, which include lists of related administrative skills employers seek in job candidates. Develop these skills and emphasize them in job applications, resumes, cover letters, and interviews. The closer a match your credentials are to what the employer is looking for, the better your chances of getting hired.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, particularly, you might want to use some of these keywords.

Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give specific examples of a time when you demonstrated these skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in your interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer. Also review our lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Examples of Administrative Skills

© The Balance, 2018

Communication Skills
Communication is a critical administrative soft skill. Administrative employees often have to interact with employers, staff, and clients, either in person or on the phone. It is important that they speak clearly and loudly, maintaining a positive tone.

Being a good communicator also means being a good listener. You need to listen carefully to clients’ questions and concerns.

Written communication skills are also extremely important. Most administrative positions involve a lot of writing. Administrative employees might write memos for their employers, write material for the company website, or communicate with people via email. They must be able to write clearly, accurately, and professionally.

  • Answering Telephones
  • Business Correspondence
  • Calling Clients
  • Client Relations
  • Communication
  • Correspondence
  • Customer Service
  • Directing Clients
  • Editing
  • Email
  • Filing
  • Greeting Clients
  • Greeting Employees
  • Greeting Visitors
  • Interpersonal
  • Listening
  • Oral Communication
  • Presentation
  • Public Relations
  • Public Speaking
  • Receptionist
  • Stenography
  • Teamwork
  • Writing
  • Written Communication

Technology Skills 
Administrative employees have to operate a variety of technological tools, ranging from Microsoft Office Suite to WordPress to online scheduling programs. They also have to use, and often maintain, office equipment such as faxes, scanners, and printers.

  • Computer
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Document Management
  • Faxing
  • Internet
  • Maintaining Office Records
  • Microsoft Office
  • Office Equipment
  • Ordering Office Supplies
  • Order Processing
  • Outlook
  • QuickBooks
  • Record Keeping
  • Research
  • Running Office Machines
  • Software
  • Spreadsheets
  • Time & Billing
  • Transcription
  • Typing
  • Typing from Dictation
  • Videoconference Preparation
  • Voicemail
  • Word Processing

Organization
Administrative jobs of all kinds require strong organizational skills. Being organized allows an administrative employee to juggle their many tasks. They have to manage various calendars, schedule appointments, and keep the office orderly.

  • Accuracy
  • Appointment Setting
  • Attention to Detail
  • Billing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Calendar & Docketing
  • Clerical
  • Efficiency
  • Filing
  • Inventory
  • Legal Familiarity
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Office Administration
  • Office Management
  • Sorting and Delivering Mail
  • Time Management
  • Travel Arrangements

Planning
Another important administrative skill is being able to plan and schedule things in advance. This might mean managing someone’s appointments, creating a plan for when employees are sick, or developing office procedural plans. An administrator needs to be able to be able to plan ahead and prepare for any potential office issues.

  • Event Coordination
  • Making Appointments
  • Meeting Planning
  • Prioritizing

Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving, or critical thinking skills, are important for any administrative position. These are often the people that staff and clients come to with questions or problems. Administrators must be able to hear a variety of problems and solve them using critical thinking.

  • Supervising
  • Employee Relations
  • Client Relations
  • Mediation
  • Issue Resolution
  • Training

By developing your skill sets in each of these top five areas, you’ll maximize your chances of landing – and retaining – a rewarding administrative position.