Behind every successful entrepreneur, an executive assistant supports him throughout his journey. Most people think that being an executive assistant is easy, but it is much more than doing administrative work. They not only help you with your office tasks but also help you with your personal work.
The executive Assistant knows everything about their boss; they understand their working style, expectations, and how to fulfill them. To build this kind of relationship, you have to build trust between both parties.
Below we have mentioned the top 23 executive assistant skills list to succeed in the workplace.
Without further ado, let’s get started with essential executive assistants skills for your resume and career.
Top 23 Skills for Executive Assistants in 2023
- Organizing tasks
- Communication Skills
- People Skills
- Be a team player
- Be ready to adapt
- Be willing to learn
- Project management Skills
- Be an analytical thinker
- Be a sharp negotiator
- Be an ambassador
- Time Management Skills
- Data Entry
- Written communication
We have compiled the top 23 skills every Executive Assistant should possess.
1. Organizing tasks
It is one of the essential qualities that your Assistant should have. Good organizing skills are needed so that your executive Assistant can plan and complete all the tasks to achieve your goals. An executive assistant helps you organize your tasks throughout the day so that you cannot miss important meetings or calls.
2. Communication Skills
Communication is the key to success. This is one of the top skills for executive assistant. So your executive Assistant should have good communication skills regardless of their years of experience. Your clients first have to deal with your Assistant, so make sure that your Assistant communicates clearly on your behalf.
Your executive Assistant should have good networking and negotiation skills so that if any difficulty arises, they can solve it quickly. Your executive Assistant should be good at coping with unusual problems.
As we already mentioned, technology cannot replace an EA, but your EA should know how to use digital tools like PowerPoint, spreadsheet, reports, Excel, Salesforce, etc.
Most of the EA’s duties are performed via computer, so your EA should know how to use a computer. Your EA should know how to arrange virtual meetings and webinars.
“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”Warren Bennis
Trustworthiness is the top skill for executive assistant. All your sensitive information is handled by someone you can trust. Your EA should not reveal your personal information to anyone in any case. Eventually, you need to trust your Assistant to build a good relationship with them.
Your Assistant should be good at handling multiple projects at a time. Your EA should know how to prioritize and organize tasks and manage them without distraction. It may seem challenging initially, but your EA will learn how to handle multiple things like a pro as time progresses.
This is the quality your executive Assistant should embrace. No boss wants someone he has to teach everything to, and they don’t have time for this. So you should be smart enough to learn new things as much as you can on your own. Always remember to deal with every situation proactively, and things work for you and your boss.
Let’s be honest, you may be a perfect executive assistant, but handling calls, scheduling meetings, and other administrative tasks can be frustrating for you. So your EA should remain calm working under pressure.
When an executive assistant sees their boss getting worked up over an issue, simply asking a question can be a distraction. A good executive assistant is like a rock star in the office. So being calm in every situation must be a necessary skill to look into an EA.
9. People Skills
People skills are the ability to communicate with others. The job of the EA is to interact with different people on a daily basis. They also include listening to others to assist in problem-solving at work.
Influential people skills allow you to interact with managers, co-workers, and customers, providing support and ideas for decision-making that promote the goals of a project or job.
Your Assistant should be smart enough to make quick decisions even when you are not around. Each decision they make is a learning opportunity for your Assistant. It is also a confidence buster and sharpens their skill set. So this is the one quality your Assistant should possess.
11. Be a team player
The nature of this job is to collaborate with different team members at different times. An executive assistant is a person who works very closely with their boss. So, they must know how to manage the staff members and give them guidance and advice. They know their boss’s needs and what is best for the company.
So all these things require you to be a good team player. You must represent your boss but should also be someone people feel they can turn to when needed.
12. Be ready to adapt
Adaptability skills are essential and show employers that you can cope with unforeseen circumstances. You can learn new things if you have adaptability skills. You should always be ready to adjust to every situation and work more efficiently and productively.
13. Be willing to learn
It is impossible to learn new skills with all the administrative tasks and busy schedules. The best way to enhance your skills is to read the news daily and keep up with the latest trends and tools to make your life easier.
This alone will help put you in a stronger position as an Executive Assistant.
14. Project management skills
An executive assistant handles a single but highly complex project when you think about it—the needs and requirements of a high-level executive. Therefore, a firm grip on some of the key concepts and practices of project management would go a long way.
15. Be an analytical thinker
The more analytical thinker you are, the more efficiently you will be doing your work as an executive assistant and the more valuable you’ll be to your executive. You can become good at handling sensitive and complex situations.
Your employers will particularly value this since an EA will often occupy the unofficial advisor and confidant role.
16. Be a sharp negotiator
You’ll be surprised at how valuable this particular skill is essential for an executive assistant. EA spends a lot of time dealing with customers and service providers, so they should know how to negotiate with them to obtain the necessary outcomes for the company.
The time invested in networking will be helpful in this case to get favors and inside pieces of information.
17. Be an ambassador
As you are closely working with your executive, you need to familiarize yourself with the goals and values of the company. You have to understand the bigger picture and keep it in mind, mainly when dealing with people outside the organization.
Invest your time to understand the company’s goals and know all the team members and their duties. This helps you answer questions and make decisions in the company’s best interest.
18. Time Management Skills
Time management is an essential skill for executive assistants. With the burden of lots of work, it is challenging to complete all tasks on time.
Good time management helps to reduce stress and smooth workflow.
Assistants should know which job to prioritize and how much time to assign to jobs.
19. Data Entry
This is the most important technical skill for executive assistant. Data entry is an administrative position. All the necessary information or data is recorded with high speed and accuracy. Basic technological skills are also helpful to find solutions to ensure critical data is accessible.
The best Assistant performs their tasks without expecting thank you from everyone. They are like stagehands, running around backstage to make it possible for the star to shine on center stage. Working with humbleness is not easy but necessary. Humility helps them to get along better with their executives and colleagues.
The work of EA is to interact with clients or customers on a daily basis, so they need to be polite and professional. They represent your business so that a warm gesture will give a good impression.
22. Written communication
Good writing and grammar skill is a must quality for executive assistants when communicating with managers and employees since they write office correspondence, such as memos and emails. They need to be familiar with content writing tools.
Most of the executive assistants’ tasks are detail-oriented and require attentiveness. So your EA should complete their work without making any errors.
Why Are Executive Assistants Important?
In this digital world with so many devices like Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, it is easier to set schedules, organize emails, and take phone calls, but the point is that these devices cannot replace executive assistant competencies.
As mentioned by zippia.com “There are over 353,903 Executive Assistants currently employed in the United States. Executive Assistants are most in-demand in New York, NY”
Executive assistants are invaluable and trusted sources of information who perform admin or business tasks like scheduling, managing the office, taking calls, implementing processes that affect all employees, and much more.
By having an extra pair of hands working by your side, you can eliminate distractions that consume a lot of your time.
Read our blog post: Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant: Key Differences
How to Improve Executive Assistant Skills?
Nowadays, skills are more important than holding a degree. A candidate with a degree has a basic understanding of the subject, but with a proper set of skills, they can succeed in the job role. The job market is changing very fast with new skillsets and technologies. Employers are looking for specific skills to fulfill their organization’s needs.
You possess all the necessary administrative skills, but how can you improve them? Follow these tips to improve your set of skills and efficiency in your work. These tips help advance your career.
1. Assess your present skills
Evaluating your current skills can be the best idea for improvement. The best advice is to compare your skills with the current market trends. This assessment allows you to identify your weaker skills and where you need to work.
2. Learn about the latest technology
To be a successful executive assistant, you need to be aware of the current technology and tools used in the industry. Check out the latest blogs, articles, and news related to the administration industry.
3. Practice leads to perfection
You must have heard this quote: Practice makes a man perfect. Practice helps to improve and adjust your learning methods. If you practice your skills daily, you can improve them faster.
4. Never stop learning
If you look around yourself, there will be your managers and other peers who have ample talent to inspire you. Learning skills from them can be the best way to work on your skill set.
Executive Assistants FAQs
1. What does an executive assistant do in 2023?
The workload of an executive assistant has increased in 2023. They have to perform project management, event planning, and administrative and technical tasks too.
3. What type of person makes for a good executive assistant?
An effective executive assistant is typically organized, efficient, and able to anticipate the needs of the executive they are assisting. They should also possess excellent communication skills and have the ability to work well under pressure. Additionally, it is important for an executive assistant to be able to maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive information. Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to multitask are also important qualities for an executive assistant to have.
2. How to improve as an executive assistant?
To improve your performance, you have to set your goals clearly, meet deadlines, be respectful with your colleagues, learn new skills daily, and much more.
Working as an executive assistant is an exciting job with duties extended beyond answering calls or replying to emails. If you possess these skills mentioned in this article, you have a bright future as an executive assistant.
Some of these qualities are savvy, but some are developed with experience. To become a good assistant, learn from your mistakes and learn new things every day.