Executive Secretary Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

An Executive Secretary, or Executive Assistant, is responsible for supporting the daily job duties of a company Executive or Administrator. Their duties include maintaining an Executive’s appointment calendar, proofreading documents before they go out to company employees or stakeholders and answering phone calls or emails on the Executive’s behalf.

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Executive Secretary duties and responsibilities

An Executive Secretary performs many administrative support, organizational and customer service tasks to ensure the professionals they assist have all of the resources they need. Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Answering phones and directing the calls to the correct people
  • Greeting visitors and directing them to the appropriate place
  • Managing multiple or complex calendars for meetings, travel and personal commitments
  • Making travel arrangements for in-office professionals and a special visitors
  • Sitting in on meetings to take minutes
  • Creating memos, reports and agendas as needed
  • Negotiating with suppliers and vendors to gather quotes, order supplies and maintain office inventory
  • Preparing financial statements, invoices, letters and statements
  • Disseminating memos, reports and other information to relevant colleagues
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What does an Executive Secretary do?

Executive Secretaries typically work for corporations to provide administrative support and ensure a productive work environment. They greet office visitors and remind Executives about important deadlines or meetings. Their job is to work closely with an Executive to complete clerical duties and perform market research or data analysis tasks when Executives have more complex duties to attend to. They may also need to take notes during meetings with upper management, type up meeting minutes and email them to attendees after meetings.

Executive Secretary skills and qualifications

Executive Secretaries need a variety of soft skills to provide the most comprehensive support they can. These skills and qualifications often include:

  • Excellent time management and organization skills, especially the ability to prioritize and multitask
  • Effective and professional communication abilities, including being able to communicate with all levels of employees, vendors and clients or guests
  • Professional writing capabilities, including emails, memos, letters and other industry-related reports, documents and correspondence
  • Project management skills, like goal-setting, budget management and planning
  • Great customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Good computer skills, including basic troubleshooting skills and
  • Familiarity with word processing software for creating and contributing to spreadsheets, drafting and sharing documents and creating engaging and informative presentations
  • In-depth understanding of the industry or office they work in

Executive Secretary salary expectations

An Executive Secretary makes an average of $18.40 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.

Executive Secretary education and training requirements

Entry-level candidates likely have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some candidates may have completed technical courses in professional and administrative skills like business writing, data processing and bookkeeping. Others may have an associate or bachelor’s degree in business administration, communication or liberal arts, but having a degree in any discipline is a valuable qualification for all candidates. Previous training in business communication, industry-specific processes, organizational software, bookkeeping, data entry are also beneficial.

Executive Secretary experience requirements

Entry-level candidates may have previous experience in customer service or administrative support roles, while others may only have completed education. Organizations willing to train candidates on general administrative support tasks and office-specific duties should consider entry-level candidates with their preferred level of education and little previous experience. In fast-paced offices with complex needs, a candidate with years of experience in administrative support may be required. For roles that involve industry-specific tasks, previous experience in that industry may be beneficial. 

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Frequently asked questions about Executive Secretaries


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

Although Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants have similar job duties, there are a few ways to distinguish between these two roles. The main difference between an Executive Secretary and an Administrative Assistant is that Executive Secretaries perform more clerical work for one or more Executives. In contrast, Administrative Assistants can assume leadership roles in the absence of Executives or Administrators and delegate tasks among office workers on their behalf. 

Further, Administrative Assistants typically have more industry-related experience that allows them to oversee business operations and manage office budgets.


What are the daily duties of an Executive Secretary?

On a typical day, an Executive Secretary arrives to the office before the Executive or group of Executives. They check their email and voicemail to provide Executives with time-sensitive messages once they arrive. They also review the calendar to make a note of any appointments, meetings or deadlines to notify the Executive about. They greet office workers as they arrive for the day and meet with the Executive to relay information and remind them of their appointments. 

Throughout the day, they take phone calls, schedule appointments, make copies and receive faxes for the Executive. They also sit-in on meetings with Executives to take notes. Executive Secretaries use downtime to create PowerPoint presentations and important documents as instructed by the Executive.


What qualities make a good Executive Secretary?

A good Executive Secretary prioritizes organization. Being well-organized helps Executive Secretaries monitor an Executive’s appointments and maintain organized filing systems for quick information recall. Executive Secretaries should also have a personable nature as they participate in daily interactions with company clients, stakeholders and other executives. 

Further, a good Executive Secretary maintains confidentiality in their daily work life and beyond. This is because they may participate in meetings or receive emails, phone calls and faxes regarding classified company information. For this reason, they need to be able to practice discretion around lower-level employees and members of the public.


What should you look for on an Executive Secretary resume?

When reviewing resumes for an Executive Secretary position, you should make sure to compare the skills, education and previous work experience of each candidate to the qualifications outlined in the job description. For example, you can narrow your pool of candidates by only looking closely at candidates who have a bachelor’s level education per the job description requirements.

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