8 Office Skills Administrative Employers Are Looking For

By Indeed Editorial Team

May 24, 2021

Office skills are required for most office administrative positions because they increase productivity and efficiency. In this article, we’ll list the most in-demand office skills employers are seeking to help you prepare for your next office administrative position interview.

Related: Learn About Being an Office Administrator

What are office skills?

Office skills are basic administrative skills that help an office function smoothly. Employers often expect administrators to have experience or knowledge of basic office skills before they hire them. These skills allow administrators to schedule appointments, greet customers, ensure the office is functioning properly and provide employees with office resources.

By using these skills, office administrators are better equipped at meeting and anticipating supervisor or employee needs. They may also ensure that any visitors feel welcome by providing a friendly presence and keeping a well-maintained office.

Related: Administrative Skills: Definition and Examples for Your Career

Why are office skills important?

Many offices need administrators who possess strong office skills. Office administrators are responsible for schedules, organization and customer relations. They can often be the first impression potential or current customers get of the company. This is why proper office skills are essential to ensure office administrators are professional, personable and easy to reach via email or phone calls.

With a professional office administrator completing all their tasks efficiently using office skills, the overall company’s performance can remain successful.

Office skills employers are looking for

When employers are searching for potential office administrators, they are looking for specific skills to help the office thrive and run smoothly. Here are a few important skills employers will expect office administrator candidates to have:

  1. Basic computer literacy skills

  2. Organizational skills

  3. Strategic planning and scheduling skills

  4. Time-management skills

  5. Verbal and written communication skills

  6. Critical thinking skills

  7. Quick-learning skills

  8. Detail-oriented

1. Basic computer literacy skills

Much of the office administrator’s position involves working on a computer. They will often need knowledge of either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to input different clerical data and information. This can include customer information, company performance data and office inventory. Microsoft Word or Google Docs can also be essential for administrators as they may need to write reports, draft important notes and record the minutes from meetings.

Office administrators may also be required to perform minor accounting duties, so the operation of financial tracking software like QuickBooks may be expected.

Related: Computer Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Organizational skills

Office administrators are responsible for the organization of many documents and assignments, often of a confidential nature. To this end, possessing basic organizational skills to file, store and source each item is crucial. Moreover, they also often responsible for storing and ordering office items like staplers, printer paper and folders which requires solid organizational skills.

3. Strategic planning and scheduling skills

In order for an office or company to run smoothly, someone must be charged with strategic planning and scheduling. Office administrators schedule meetings, events and customer appointments for their supervisor, and often for the entire office. This requires excellent strategic planning skills to make sure schedules align and do not overwhelm scheduled participants.

4. Time-management skills

Office administrators are assigned several tasks regularly. Some of their tasks are often planned but often, others are unexpected. There may be instances where office administrators must complete some tasks under a strict deadline. Time-management skills can help prioritize these tasks.

Office administrators can use their time management skills to create a list of information they need to file, data to be inputted and documents or reports to submit. In this role, you should be equipped to handle troubleshooting and flexibility in dynamic environments.

5. Verbal and written communication skills

Office administrators are often the first point of contact clients and employees come into contact with. They answer phones, greet customers, address questions and schedule appointments. It follows that candidates interested in these roles have stellar communication skills, positive attitudes and friendly manners.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

6. Critical thinking skills

Offices are prone to the unexpected. Office administrators are skilled with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to overcome each challenge that may occur. If the printer breaks, the bathrooms aren’t clean or food disappears in the kitchen, the office administrator must find solutions to overcome these challenges. They are in charge of calling plumbers, maintenance, custodians and navigating employee relations problems. If a problem occurs and they can’t find a solution, it’s their job to think critically and develop a creative solution to the problem.

7. Quick-learning skills

If the office switches to a new scheduling system or their supervisor needs a project completed using an unfamiliar software, the office administrator may be expected to learn and adapt to this new method. Office administrators who are quick learners can easily develop skills to increase efficiency and productivity and are flexible and adaptable to do so.

8. Attention to detail

Mistakes happen. Office administrators are often charged with catching any issues and correcting them before clients see them. They should be detail-oriented in checking the facts, grammar and tone of employee work.

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