Do you like organising your workspace, have excellent time management skills, are great at teamwork and can think on your feet? Then you could be suited to a career as an administrator. But do you have the experience and qualifications needed to net yourself a job as an administrator? We give you the low-down on what companies are looking for.
Administrators are usually the backbone of a business, as they handle many essential tasks that help keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. They are required to have a range of soft skills and even a few speciality skills, depending on the company and industry they join.
Key skills recruiters are looking for include:
- Organisational skills
- Computer literacy (such as proficiency with basic word processing and spreadsheet software or even industry-specific programs)
- Attention to detail
- Ability to prioritise
- Excellent communication skills
- Teamwork skills
Daily tasks and responsibilities could include:
- Typing correspondence
- Organising and filing paperwork, both in hard copy or electronically.
- Taking calls for a specific individual or department or managing the office/company switchboard
- Managing diaries
- Scheduling meetings and taking minutes
- Doing research and assisting staff with administrative tasks such as compiling presentations or finding relevant paperwork.
How do I become an administrator?
There are several ways. Firstly, through a college course. Many institutions across the UK and online offer courses on Administration and Business Administration. These courses will help you learn what administration entails, inform you about work practices, and improve your practical skills and performance in the workplace. The certificate or diploma that you earn will also look excellent on your CV.
Secondly, through an apprenticeship. This way, you will get on-the-job training and learn how to become an excellent administrator from someone with years of experience.
Lastly, by utilising relevant transferable skills that you have gained from your previous jobs. These skills may include typing, filing and other administrative, as well as IT skills and other specialist skills related to the industry you’d be working in.
Generally, companies want employees with at least two years’ experience in an office environment. This makes handing the role over to a new employee much smoother, as the new employee mostly knows what to expect and can quickly adapt to a new environment. However, companies are sometimes willing to train employees that have just completed a qualification. Especially if the qualification is done through a reputable institution. The same is true if you enter the industry through an apprenticeship. In this way, you will gain hands-on experience and, often, a foot in the door at the company or industry.
But, if you are considering a mid- or high-level position, such as a PA or secretary for management, companies are usually looking for employees with several years’ experience in a similar environment. This is due to the fact that these positions carry more responsibility and risk.
Depending on the company’s size, administrators may have several opportunities to grow and be promoted. For example, administrator clerks or admin assistants can get promoted to administrators of departments, and then appointed as secretaries and even personal assistants.