Resumes & Cover Letters

Receptionist Skills: Definition and Examples

November 23, 2020

Receptionists are the first point of contact in a business and have a responsibility to provide excellent customer care. Their organizational and multi-tasking abilities help staff members stay on track and keep the business running smoothly. When you include the most desirable receptionist skills on your resume, you are more likely to be identified by a hiring manager as a promising candidate for the job.

What are receptionist skills?

The following skills are commonly needed in a receptionist position:


Receptionists are always interacting with people, whether by phone, email or face-to-face. On a typical day, this individual liaises between customers, staff members and various departments.

Receptionists take down messages and are often the middle person in points of conversation. Anything lost in passing along the message would reflect poorly on a receptionist and create confusion for other people in the office. 

Effective and clear communication—both written and verbal—is an important skill for a receptionist to have, as it makes for a more productive workday.


The ideal receptionist is very organized. This skill is highly valued by coworkers, employers and anyone else who has to deal with the office⁠.

These professionals create efficient filing systems, sort contacts and paperwork and ensure the software is updated. Good receptionists can pull up phone numbers, documents and other bits of information at a moment’s notice. 

A receptionist looks to create a clutter-free workspace. Lawyers, for example, are very dependent upon a legal receptionist or secretary’s organizational abilities—without which they would have challenges knowing appointment times, client contact information and court dates.


Receptionists need to have the ability to multitask, especially in a fast-paced work environment. Skilled receptionists are often putting people on hold and handling multiple phone conversations at once, all while dealing with whoever just walked through the door—and maybe there’s a line, too.

Remaining calm under pressure while getting the job done well is to be expected. Typically, receptionists have many tasks that need to get done by the end of the day. It is their responsibility to prioritize the most important ones and dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each one.


Receptionists often use computer software programs and correspond via email. Familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel is almost a must for these professionals, as is being able to operate photocopiers and phone systems.

Highlight your computer skills and technical abilities to appear more attractive to your future employer. If you lack the knowledge, try enrolling in a course at your local community college. Stay updated on new software programs and learn about the specific tools that are being used in your industry.

Customer service

A receptionist is often a customer’s first point of contact. The way a receptionist interacts with customers reflects on the company as a whole. A rude receptionist could make a customer or client think poorly of the company. Sometimes that behavior could lead to a bad review.

Receptionists should be pleasant, accommodating and attentive. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and being able to provide the right answers. 

The goal of providing great customer service is to create customer satisfaction and generate repeat business. If the customer service department at your favorite clothing store didn’t address your shipment mishap, then you’d probably never deal with them again.

Sample receptionist skills on a resume

Highlight your skills near the top of your resume, below the objective. Here are examples of the soft and hard skills receptionists typically have: 

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Customer service
  • Multitasking and prioritizing
  • Dependability
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability
  • Professional phone etiquette

Receptionist skills in a resume work experience section example

Here is an example of how you can show your skills in the work experience section of your resume:

May 2016 – May 2019
Zen Yoga Studio
Jacksonville, Florida

Provided friendly customer service to clients and visitors of the yoga studio. Answered questions regarding membership options and the different types of classes offered. Assisted yoga students with mat placement and helped them set up equipment for TRX and Barre classes. Responded to email and phone inquiries in a professional manner.

Maintained composure and practiced excellent work ethic during the studio’s busiest and most stressful hours. Oversaw long lines during class sign-in and handled multiple transactions while facing time constraints. Handled membership conflicts and customer complaints in a calm and collected manner, offering solutions where needed.

Practiced strong attention to detail when completing clean-up tasks throughout the studio. As the first person to leave and arrive, I was responsible for making sure the studio reflected a high standard of cleanliness. Checked that carpets were vacuumed, showers and bathrooms cleaned and garbage is thrown out. During laundry duty, I folded and put away towels according to the manager’s specifications. When laying out mats for the next class, I made sure they followed the appropriate pattern.


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