Personal assistant: job description
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- answering telephone calls
- maintaining diaries
- arranging appointments
- taking messages
- typing/word processing
- organising meetings
- using a variety of software packages
- booking transport and accommodation
- managing databases
- implementing and maintaining procedures/administrative systems
- liaising with staff, suppliers and clients
- preparing letters, presentations and reports
The work offers excellent scope for promotion into senior PA/administrative positions.
- Local and national government
- Small businesses
- Major companies
- Media firms
- Financial institutions
Vacancies attract strong competition – graduates are often competing directly with very experienced PAs/administrative staff. Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies and in local, regional and national newspapers (particularly The Guardian and The Times) and their respective websites.
A degree in English, business, IT, languages, information science, administration or management can be beneficial, particularly for the most prestigious positions. Previous clerical, secretarial or commercial work experience is essential (some employers may expect as much as two years).
A variety of secretarial courses, including the LCCI Private/Executive Secretarial Diploma, are available at further education colleges. Relevant experience can be gained via temporary agency work, which may in turn lead to permanent work.
- Good interpersonal skills
- Ability to multitask
- Organisational skills
- Communication skills
- IT skills
- Secretarial skills