Receptionist: Skills, Job Description, and Resume Example

female receptionist at desk with computer
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Are you interested in a job as a receptionist? Before you start applying for receptionist positions, take the time to review what the job entails and put together a resume that highlights your previous experiences and the skills that will make you stand out from the other job applicants.

Receptionist Job Description

Receptionists perform administrative and office tasks such as answering phones and email, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.

A receptionist is, by definition, the first person whom a visitor normally sees. The front entrance of an office complex or a medical facility will usually have a receptionist whose primary job is to direct visitors to the correct office within the facility. Individual offices may also have their own receptionist, or an office assistant or office manager may fulfill that role. Indeed, the three grade into each other to some extent.

Though sometimes overlooked, receptionists occupy a pivotal and trusted role in any company.

Receptionist Salary

The median salary for accountants was $28,390 per year in 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It will vary by area and levels of experience.

Top 5 Skills Receptionists Need

Here's information on the top skills employers seek when hiring receptionists:

1. Professionalism
As a receptionist, you’re supposed to be the first person a client or other visitor sees upon arriving. That means you’re responsible for providing everyone’s first impression of your employer. You must, therefore, embody your company’s ideals, both in your behavior and in your appearance. Look the part. Greet everyone with a smile and a kind word and show that you are happy to help.

2. Communication Skills
Communication is very important since your primary job is to greet people, find out what they need, and help them get it. Most of this communication will be verbal, either in person or by telephone.

Besides interacting with visitors, you will also have to work closely with all the various people whom visitors come to see. If an important meeting falls through, you may have to explain why. If someone is having a bad day, you may bear the brunt of it.

If an emergency develops in or in front of your place of business, you may be the first person who must respond to it and decide what to do. And always you will have to make sure information flows through you accurately and efficiently.

3. Technology Skills
Most obviously, you will be using a telephone system, probably one featuring multiple internal and external lines that you must keep operating smoothly. You’ll also most likely need to be familiar with spreadsheets, word-processing software, your company’s email and file-sharing systems, and possibly several social media platforms, and your company’s own software solutions. There is always a copy machine, and the paper will always jam. Can you fix it?

4. Organization
You will be the nexus of a large part of your employer’s internal communication. That means you’ll not only have to keep yourself organized, you’ll have to keep everyone else organized, too. You may be responsible for stocking and straightening reading materials or informational resources in your waiting area as well.

5. Multitasking Capability
You will seldom have only one thing to attend to. A new phone call may come in while you are still on the line with the first, so you must greet the new caller and then switch back. Meanwhile, three people might be waiting in person to talk to you. You will have to keep the needs of each person separate in your mind, not neglect anyone, and not get overwhelmed or frustrated. Some people enjoy the challenge. Some do not.

If you can multitask well, you can be an asset to your employer and your company, and you'll likely be successful as a receptionist.

Receptionist Skills List

Required skills for a receptionist job will vary based on the job for which you're applying. Here’s a list of possible skills you may need to get hired.

A - G

  • Accuracy
  • Administrative Support
  • Answering Questions
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Assisting Others
  • Attention to Detail
  • Clerical Support
  • Client Relations
  • Communication
  • Computer
  • Confirm Appointments
  • Correspondence
  • Customer Focus
  • Customer Service
  • Data Entry
  • Delivering Mail
  • Diplomacy
  • Directing Visitors
  • Email Correspondence
  • Event Planning
  • Filing
  • Forwarding Phone Calls
  • Friendly
  • Front Desk Operations
  • Greeting Visitors

H - M

  • Interpersonal
  • Issuing Security Passes
  • Mail
  • Managing Guest Books
  • Meetings
  • Message Taking
  • Microsoft Office

N - S

  • Office Duties
  • Office Equipment
  • Office Support
  • Organization
  • Phone Calls
  • Prioritization
  • Providing Information
  • Providing Reading Materials
  • Punctuality
  • Registering Guests
  • Reliability
  • Research
  • Screening and Directing Calls
  • Self-motivated
  • Switchboard

T - Z

  • Teamwork
  • Telephone
  • Time Management
  • Validating Parking Passes
  • Verbal Communication
  • Waiting Area Maintenance
  • Welcome Visitors
  • Word Processing
  • Written Communication

Phrases to Include in a Receptionist Resume

A resume for receptionist position should contain a number of sections such as an objective or profile, a summary of qualifications, areas of expertise, accomplishments, employment history, skills and education. 

The following phrases will help you craft your resume. You may use these statements either in skills, qualifications or strengths section of your resume:

• Highly skilled in greeting visitors and directing them to the right person or section

• Well-versed in managing guests book and issuing security passes

• Hands-on experience in giving information to visitors and answering their questions

• Proven record of answering/forwarding calls and taking messages

• Demonstrated ability to deal with phone and email inquiries

• Able to maintain an organized reception area

• Comprehensive knowledge of organizing reading material in the waiting area

The following job duty's statements of the receptionist are given in past tense and can be used to describe your skill set with a job you held in the past. If you want to write a description of your current reception job in your resume, you should change these phrases to present tense.

• Greeted, assisted and directed guests, workers, visitors and the general public

• Answered all incoming calls and handled caller’s inquiries

• Provided office support services so as to ensure efficiency

• Responded to guests and public inquiries

• Received, directed and passed by telephone fax messages

• Directed employees, guests and the general public to the right staff member

• Maintained a sufficient record of office supplies

• Provided word-processing and clerical support

• Picked up and delivered the mail

• Maintained the common filing system and file all letters

• Coordinate the repair and maintenance of office supplies

• Provided administrative services to the office manager

It always helps to have an example so here’s a look at what a receptionist resume should look like and can be tailored to your job search needs:

Receptionist Resume Example

This is an example of a resume for a receptionist position. Download the receptionist resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a receptionist job resume sample
©TheBalance 2018
Download the Word Template

Receptionist Resume Example (Text Version)

Jonathan Applicant
123 Moore Avenue
Albany, NY 12201
(111) 222-3333
jonathan.applicant@email.com

RECEPTIONIST

Managing a busy, fast-paced office with professionalism and efficiency

Experienced in both legal and medical settings and take pride in being the first face clients see in the office or the first voice they hear on the phone.

Key skills include:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Multiline phones
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customer service
  • Highly organized
  • Multitasking

PROFESSIONAL AND VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

LAW OFFICES OF SMITH AND REILLY, Colonie, NY
RECEPTIONIST/ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (February 2015—Present)

First person of contact for clients. Organize documents in preparation for court dates. Schedule and attend meetings and take minutes. Other general office duties.

DENTAL OFFICE OF DR. SMITH, Albany, NY
RECEPTIONIST (November 2012—January 2015)

Greeted patients when they arrived. Scheduled appointments in person and over the phone. Handled medical files (making notations, sorting, and filing). Filed claims with dental insurance companies.

NATIONAL POWER AND GAS COMPANY, Albany, NY
CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (May 2011—October 2012)

Answered customer service calls and resolved problems and concerns. Directed customers to appropriate resources when necessary. Comfortably used computer-based customer service system.

CAMP HAPPINESS, Albany, NY
VOLUNTEER COUNSELOR (June 2009—Present)

Spend one week every summer working at the camp for school-aged children. Organize activities and serve as a mentor for attending youth.

EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS

CITY COLLEGE, Albany, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, 2011

Tips for Writing Your Resume

When compiling your resume, be sure to mention all your relevant skills, keeping in mind the type of office you will be working in. Write your resume specifically for the job for which you’re applying.

For example, if you are applying for a position in a medical office, be sure to highlight your skills that will be utilized in that type of setting like the customer service, phone or filing skills you have.