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Career Development

Administrative Skills: Definition and Examples for Your Career

March 30, 2020

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Administrative skills can help you to be well organized, be a strong communicator and enhance your customer service skills. While administrative skills are certainly important in administrative roles like office managers and receptionists, they are also helpful skills in nearly any job. In this article, we take a closer look at what administrative skills are, why they are important and how you can improve them.

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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.

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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.

Related: 6 Important Job Skills You Can Learn at Work (And How to Learn Them)

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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:

  • Organization
    Having an organized workspace, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Related: 5 Key Tips for Improving Your Time Management Skills

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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.

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