Executive Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022

 

An Executive Assistant, or Executive Administrator, is responsible for managing the schedules and communications of key company executives. Their duties include prioritizing emails and phone calls, gathering documents to prepare for meetings and coordinating travel arrangements.

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Executive Assistant duties and responsibilities

Executive Assistants have more than administrative duties. They also filter and prioritize client visits or phone calls, and communicate on behalf of the executive they support. Other responsibilities include:

  • Providing administrative assistance, such as writing and editing e-mails, drafting memos, and preparing communications on the executive’s behalf
  • Maintaining comprehensive and accurate records 
  • Performing minor accounting duties 
  • Organizing meetings, including scheduling, sending reminders, and organizing catering when necessary
  • Answering phone calls in a polite and professional manner
  • Welcoming visitors and identifying the purpose of their visit before directing them to the appropriate department
  • Managing the executive’s calendar, including making appointments and prioritizing the most sensitive matters

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What does an Executive Assistant do?

Executive Assistants provide high-level administrative support for company leaders to ensure they can efficiently accomplish key tasks and company initiatives. They keep the executive’s communications organized so that they can easily access the most important information without having to sort through low-priority items. Executive Assistants screen all visitors and determine what level of support they need while offering polite, professional customer service. They manage the executive’s daily calendar, including scheduling meetings, confirming appointments, writing itineraries and arranging for transportation. Executive Assistants also train other administrative staff on company policies and best practices.

Illustration of executive assistant working on laptop on benchText reads: "Sample executive assistant duties:Manage exec calendars,Prioritize and manage correspondence,Act as the point of contact between executives & others,Make travel arrangements"

Executive Assistant job description intro paragraph

When writing an Executive Assistant job description, start by introducing the job and company to prospective Executive Assistants. Briefly highlight the work environment, what sets your company apart and why the role is important to your company.

For example:

“Company ABC is looking for a well-organized Executive Assistant to provide support for two of our department heads. This is a great opportunity to establish working relationships with high-level executives and contribute to the overall efficiency of our organization.

Here at Company ABC, we’re committed to creating a culture where employees feel valued. We’re proud to have a 4.5 star rating on Indeed Company Pages and an above average ​​Work Happiness Score from our employees. Apply today if this sounds like the job and work environment for you!”

Executive Assistant skills and qualifications

To become an effective Executive Assistant, candidates should demonstrate particular skills. Here are some common required skills:

  • Time management and ability to meet deadlines
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multitask  
  • Problem-solving and decision making
  • Proactivity and self-direction
  • Interpersonal skills

Executive Assistant salary expectations

An Executive Assistant makes an average of $55,525 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Executive Assistant education and training requirements 

Executive Assistants usually hold a high school degree or GED and are mostly trained on the job. There is no particular degree leading to this position, but an associate degree in administrative assisting can provide education on office matters. Some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field.

Certifications or completed coursework on administrative software are recommended.

Executive Assistant experience requirements

Since Executive Assistants learn most of their role on the job, previous experience is preferred. Whether it is in an administrative support role, secretarial job or personal assistant, the experience is valuable. Experience with the Microsoft Office suite is also very beneficial.

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Frequently asked questions about Executive Assistants

 

What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?

Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants both provide clerical support for office staff, but Administrative Assistants have more general duties while Executive Assistants specialize their work to assist a single company leader. Executive Assistants usually have a high level of administrative experience and may be entrusted with tasks like researching clients, preparing reports and interviewing candidates for other administrative positions. Administrative Assistants may handle team schedules for an entire office, unlike Executive Assistants who are primarily concerned with the busy schedules of company leadership. Executive Assistants may also work extended hours, accompany executives on business trips and assist with personal errands.

 

What should you look for on an Executive Assistant's resume?

When hiring for an Executive Assistant, look for polished resumes with perfect grammar and no errors. An Executive Assistant’s resume should indicate experience handling clerical duties in a high-pressure environment. Previous experience as a Personal Assistant or Administrative Assistant is essential for confirming that candidates are able to keep up with the organizational needs of an office. They should have experience managing multiple phone lines, keeping up with complex schedules and maintaining high-level business relationships.

 

What are the daily duties of an Executive Assistant?

On a typical day, the Executive Assistant is one of the first people to arrive at the office. They might arrange for breakfast and coffee delivery for their boss before they check voicemails and emails. They respond to messages and delegate communications to the appropriate department. Once the office opens to the public, they welcome guests and identify why they are visiting. Throughout the day Executive Assistants update the office schedule and call business partners to confirm appointments. Executive Assistants use word processing software, spreadsheets and databases to organize all of the information in their department.

 

What are the characteristics of a good Executive Assistant?

A good Executive Assistant is highly perceptive and prepared, able to anticipate the needs of their attending executive before they are asked. They have excellent professionalism and are able to politely redirect visitors who do not have an appointment with their boss, diffuse conflict and make visitors feel welcome in the office. Successful Executive Assistants are detail-oriented and make sure that executives are prepared for meetings with organized research documents and notes.

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