Advance Your Career as an Administrative Professional

A woman wears a headset in front of a computerOccurring each year in April, Administrative Professionals Day provides the occasion for offices across the country to recognize the secretaries and assistants who help their organizations run efficiently.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , secretaries and administrative assistants hold about 4.3 million jobs in today’s economy, making administrative professionals the largest segment of the office workforce.
Workers in administrative services often serve as information and communication managers for an office or supervisor.  Typical job responsibilities include planning and scheduling meetings and appointments; organizing and maintaining files; conducting research; and disseminating information through various communication channels.
If you have strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills, a career in administrative assistance could be a great fit for you. Below are some tips to boost your skills and prepare for a job as an administrative professional:

  • Get comfortable on the computer. As the reliance on technology continues to grow, it is crucial for administrative professionals to have strong skills and knowledge of computer software applications.  Sign up for a class in your local community or learn at your leisure with Goodwill’s online computer training.
  • Build your communication skills. While specific job duties vary with experience and titles, many organizations look for administrative professionals who have strong writing skills including spelling, grammar and editing.  Also, make sure to work on your oral communication skills since many administrative professionals are tasked with responding to the telephones in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate your attention to detail. Since organizations often rely on administrative professionals to keep them organized, thoroughness and attention to detail are considered key attributes employers seek in their secretaries and assistants.
  • Refine your résumé.  Employers are looking for trustworthy, reliable and proactive qualities in their administrative professionals.  Make sure to highlight these qualities by checking out sample administration résumés.
  • Search specialized job boards. Sites like and can help you narrow your job search to find administrative positions in your local state and community. 
  • Prepare for the interview.  Once you land an interview for an administrative, secretarial or office position, check out sample administrative position interview questions and start preparing your answers ahead of time.

Many Goodwills across the country offer classes and trainings on computers, writing and other communication skills that can help you prepare for a career as an administrative professional.  To learn more about programs offered in your local community:

Contact Your Local Goodwill