7 Valued Administrative Skills That Can Help Your Career

Updated July 31, 2023

Developing administrative skills can help you to be organized, a strong communicator in the workplace and an adept provider of customer service. While administrative skills are certainly important in administrative roles like office managers and receptionists, they're also helpful in nearly any job.

In this article, we take a closer look at what administrative skills are, why they're important and how you can improve them. 

What are administrative skills?

Administrative skills are qualities that help you complete tasks related to managing a business. This might involve responsibilities such as filing paperwork, meeting with internal and external stakeholders, presenting important information, developing processes, answering employee questions and more. There are many administrative skills that help you perform these responsibilities in an efficient, quality way.

Related: What's the Difference Between Clerical vs. Administrative Jobs?

Why are administrative skills important?

Administrative skills are important because they keep business processes running smoothly. Any successful, efficient organization should have both administrative professionals who have strong skills in this area, as well as individual contributors who have good administrative skills.

Examples of administrative skills

There are many soft and technical skills that contribute to a strong set of administrative skills. While the technical skills required for administrative tasks may vary from business to business (such as proficiency with specific software or platforms), there are several soft or “interpersonal” skills common among people with strong administrative skills.

Here are a few examples of administrative skills:

1. Organization

Strong organizational skills to keep your workspace and the office you manage in order. Having an organized desk, computer and calendar can help you complete administrative tasks in a quality and time-efficient manner. Administrative professionals might also be in charge of organizing supply closets, filing systems, processes and more.

2. Communication

Communication is a crucial skill to have when performing administrative tasks. You must be able to communicate processes and information to others, respond clearly to questions and requests and more. You must also be able to use various types of communication including verbal, nonverbal, written and visual communication.

3. Teamwork

Having strong teamwork skills can help you when collaborating on administrative projects, developing a new process, communicating and putting a new process into place or delegating tasks. Being a good teammate includes practicing empathy, humility and being a good communicator.

4. Customer service

In administration, it is common to answer questions for others or perform certain tasks that others are unable to do themselves. These responsibilities can be performed well with strong customer service skills which include active listening, setting expectations and communication.

5. Responsibility

Tasks related to administration are often important to keeping a business running efficiently. So, having the responsibility to complete tasks on time and in a quality manner without much oversight is crucial.

6. Time management

Because there are so many various responsibilities involved in business administration, managing your time wisely is a key skill. Maintaining your calendar, planning time to complete tasks and setting proper timeline expectations are all parts of being a strong administrator.

7. Multitasking

As an administrative assistant, you might be asked to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. It’s not uncommon to have to respond in a timely manner to emails, answer calls, address in-person requests and handle project requests. Combining other skills like organization and time management gives you the ability to multitask, allowing you to manage multiple responsibilities at once by to be able to efficiently.

Related: 5 Key Tips for Improving Your Time Management Skills

How to improve administrative skills

Improving your administrative skills can help you to have a stronger work ethic by completing tasks in a punctual and quality manner while working well with others. Here are tips you might consider when working on your administrative skills:

Set personal career goals

Setting specific, measurable goals to increase some or all of the above administrative skills can help you improve over time. It can help to meet with trusted friends, colleagues or mentors to identify areas of improvement to determine which skills you should prioritize.

Get organized

Organization is an important part of being a good administrator. Take time to make a clean, organized workspace for yourself that can help you prioritize tasks, manage your time well and respond quickly to others who need the information you have.

Mimic other strong administration skills

If you have a colleague or manager that has strong administrative skills that you find effective, try adopting their practices in your own work. For example, if you find that their style of note-taking is especially helpful, you might also practice taking notes in this way.

Frequently asked questions

How can I include administrative skills on my resume?

You can highlight your administrative skills on your resume within the work experience section. You may describe job duties that you had for specific roles, such as organizing events, resolving workplace issues or managing an entire team's schedule. If you can show that you have experience performing administrative tasks, a potential employer can learn about your current skill set and how you may apply your competencies in a future role.

Do administrative skills consist of hard or soft skills?

Administrative skills include both hard and soft skills. A candidate can have strong hard administrative skills, like the ability to engage in enterprise resource planning (ERP), file expense reports or use organization-specific software. A candidate can implement soft administrative skills, like creativity, problem-solving and adaptability, within the various tasks they complete.

Who can benefit from having administrative skills?

Employees who work in administrative roles, like secretaries, office managers or front desk agents, can use administrative skills to perform their tasks effectively. Employees who work in various other types of positions can also experience greater success in their work when they have administrative skills in addition to their job-specific competencies. For example, a good social media manager not only has knowledge of marketing channels and advertising techniques, but they also have administrative skills like time management, communication and organization.

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