What is an Executive Assistant?
Executive assistance is a great choice for jumping into the business world. On a daily basis, as executive assistant you are in charge of the tasks like scheduling, organizing documents and records, note-taking, and managing the phones. Executive assistants are vital aspects to the functioning of a business and require a great deal of skill in their positions. Basically, an executive assistant is an expert in their own right about the functioning of a business, in aspects like project management, administration, and office support.
What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and a Personal Assistant?
Though both positions are assistants in title, there is a notable difference between the tasks and the skillset required for each. Personal assistants generally work as a support for an individual in not only their business or work needs, but also in some aspects of their personal lives. Executive assistants are professionals in administration, and can manage the clerical and administrative needs of multiple executives, in some cases, as well as generally work with executives or high ranking company personnel. Personal assistants, alternative, generally manage the needs of one individual, and can be a lower-ranking professional than would be assigned to an executive assistant.
While the basic difference between an executive assistant and a personal assistant is in performing tasks strictly for one’s business life versus one’s personal life as well, this difference tends to permeate other aspects of the careers. As mentioned, executive assistants are effectively administration experts, and while both positions require a similar set of skills, there are certain edges that makes executive assistants distinct.
Qualifications for Executive Assistants.
The best way to outline what an executive assistant is, and does, is to go over what one needs in order to fill the role. Executive assistants need strong organizational skills, and excellent communication skills, and competence with Office software. Generally, executive assistance aid in system administration, which relates to the technology used by the given office. Essentially, system administration is the upkeep or maintenance of the computer systems in relation to their role in the office, specifically. System administration is an important skill for executive assistance, in terms of being fluent in the software necessary for the functioning of the given business. Skills like excel, Microsoft word, and various specific data-bases are hugely beneficial, though the specific systems will vary by location.
Similarly, executive assistants play an incredibly important office-support position. Office support refers to the daily functioning of the office as a whole, managing phones, answering inquiries, and so on. Executive assistants, as the people who manage the office-life and maintenance of high level personnel tend to play an incredibly important role in this matter. Office support skills are generally those of an assistant in terms of organization, scheduling, and communication skills.
If you think that an executive assistant position might be right for you, there are a number of skills that are of prime importance to demonstrate on a CV, or in an interview. According to teambulding.com, the top three skills are organizational, multitasking, and time management, with communication skills being an important fourth. Essentially, these skills are all vital to keep up with the fast moving, changing, and organizational place of executive functioning. As an assistant, you are in charge of essentially managing the administrative and clerical tasks of the executive, whether that be meetings, taking calls, or managing other corporate maintenance. With that being said, these environments tend to be fast-paced and ever changing which means adaptability and organization are unbelievably crucial. The systems administration and office support aspects are necessary for working within the frameworks of that given system. Communication and people skills are the final piece to this puzzle. In managing someone’s scheduling inherently involves dealing with other people, as well as dealing with the executive you are working for, of course. With that involves important verbal and personable skills when meeting with people and communicating with not only your direct boss, but with all of the people that they, and you, will be interacting with on a regular basis. Moreover, written communication skills are also essentially for scheduling meetings, and handling administrative tasks in and outside of the office.
Top tips when applying for an Executive Assistant job.
This section will help you determine if the role of an executive assistant is the right fit for you. We have also shared a few tips on the best skills to highlight in your application as well as your potential salary expectation.
As far as technical requirements go, most companies will not require a third-level degree to be an executive assistant. However, they will require either previous experience as an executive assistant or in a similar field as a professional assistant.
While a bachelor’s degree is not required, they can be incredibly helpful to your application. Courses or certification in management, business, or systems administration can make you a more desirable candidate when you apply for the position of executive assistant.
Travelperk.com, recommends possessing a certification in one or more of the following:
- Business Management
- Computer skills e.g. Microsoft Office, G-Suite
- Project Management- this involves the same skills and a similar job description as an executive assistant.
When we consider the skillset required for an executive assistant more-often-than-not businesses hire for these roles through recruitment agencies like Hall Recruitment.
Executive assistant jobs can be more competitive to get, so by ensuring you have the necessary certifications and relevant experience you are making yourself more employable. Utilising professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn, is incredibly important, especially considering the high-level individuals that you will be working with. So remember to be careful about what you post!
The average salary of an executive assistant has recently increased.
According to jobs.ie, they have reported an average increase of 3.37% in 2022 compared to 2021. Glassdoor.ie states that the average salary is € 45,445 per year in Ireland. In Dublin, the range is usually with a minimum of €40,000 and maxes out around €47,000 per year.
Executive assistance is a vital, fast-paced, exciting job, though it can be stressful, you will be a vital aspect to the functioning of big businesses at the highest level, and can be extremely rewarding.