Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

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Also known as:
Executive Assistant

ABOUT EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT CAREERS
Video transcript

Behind almost all successful business executive are executive secretaries. Sometimes called administrative assistants, these invaluable workers handle a variety of office activities that keep their employers' businesses running smoothly.

While they usually possess excellent clerical and computer skills themselves, executive secretaries tend to delegate many of those duties to others. They are more likely to be reviewing correspondence and writing responses, preparing presentations, or conducting research for a report he or she is writing for the boss.

In addition, executive secretaries may manage projects and plan special events or conferences. They often train and supervise other office staff, as well as oversee the purchase and maintenance of office supplies and equipment.

This worker is also the gatekeeper to senior managers. Executive secretaries not only schedule appointments, they may even determine who gains access to the boss. Most of the work is done in a comfortable indoor setting. The length of the work day will depend on the boss. Some bosses work long hours and expect their key assistants to be there with them.

Executive secretaries usually come up through the secretarial ranks and often earn their own offices. Good writing and people skills are required. Generally, so is at least a high school diploma. This job can be an excellent springboard for advancement to middle management.

SNAPSHOT
Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees, and boards of directors.

Attend meetings to record minutes.

Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.

Provide clerical support to other departments.

Prepare agendas and make arrangements, such as coordinating catering for luncheons, for committee, board, and other meetings.

Make travel arrangements for executives.

Manage and maintain executives' schedules.

File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports.

Coordinate and direct office services, such as records, departmental finances, budget preparation, personnel issues, and housekeeping, to aid executives.

Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements, and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.

Perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining records management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.