Considering a receptionist job

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Comments (5)

Shakti in Brooklyn, New York

49 months ago

So, for personal / health reasons I've been having problems getting back into school, which of course is another story all together but I would really like to begin applying for receptionist jobs. I'm 19 and I was a personal shopper at Toys R Us for a few months last year which was in essence a receptionist job except the clients were mine as well. (Wasn't fired or anything, it was a seasonal job.) At the moment I'm working at Gap and it's pretty great but being a receptionist is something I would truly enjoy and really involves using my best qualities.

If it's not obvious already, my issue is experience. I've been doing research but getting mixed messages. People who work as or have been receptionists say much of it is learned on the job and you don't need much, if any experience to be one. The job openings I've looked at list atleast one to two years of prior experience as a requirement. I suppose I could just start applying and try my luck, but I'd like to be informed beforehand. I'm also curious to know if there any classes I should look into taking to help my chances.

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Angellee in Tampa, Florida

49 months ago

I think you should go for it! I worked as a receptionist in a law firm when I was 20. First, you should make sure you can type a decent amount of words per minute. Also, make sure you understand the programs in Microsoft Office 2007(most office jobs require you understand these programs). There are free online tutorials if you go to the Microsoft Office website. You can also download a free copy of Microsoft office and have access for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, you don't have to buy it: office.microsoft.com/en-us/?CTT=97

When you compose your cover letter and resume for a receptionist job, make sure you put down all of the experience you've had that might transfer: answering phones, computer work, the computer programs you know, interacting with customers, having a friendly attitude, being a people person and team player.

Make sure you wear a nice, contemporary skirt or pant suit to your interview. Buy something that is fashionable, but simple(no ugly old fashioned, outdated things and nothing over the top). Make sure you hair is perfectly styled and your makeup is nicely done but not flashy. Receptionists make the first impression of the company on all clients that walk through the door. They always need to look their best.

My best advice to you is don't give up! It might be hard to find a receptionist job with the way the economy is, but you're young and you have time. I hope this helps! Best of luck in your job search! Also, I see you're having problems getting back into school. I don't know what they are, but you could always eventually try a community college(you will take a placement test and everyone is allowed to attend regardless of their high school grades) and take part-time classes. You can even take them one a time in the morning, afternoon or evening depending on your schedule. Again, you have plenty of time. Just making a suggestion. :)

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Shakti in Brooklyn, New York

49 months ago

Thanks so much! I didn't expect a reply so soon. Luckily I have Microsoft Office on my laptop already and I do have experience with phones and paperwork and dealing with all kinds of clients. I'll definately have to check out those tutorials to brush up my skills. I have no idea what my typing speed is though...

I was thinking about doing just that with a community college and then transfer. Thanks for the advice. :)

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Angellee in Tampa, Florida

49 months ago

You're welcome! :) You can find out your words per minute typing speed here: www.typingtest.com/

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Skye in Pickens, South Carolina

45 months ago

Very informative/helpful information. Thank you Angellee. I am in the same situation as Shakti. I am going to definitely take your advice.

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