As an administrator, writing your resume is a particular challenge. Your role is basically a supporting one and the better you are at your job, the less you’re noticed because everything is running smoothly. Nonetheless, your resume still needs to highlight the vital contribution you make to the success of your department.
Your profile is your chance to sum up in a few sentences what makes you a great all-rounder, capable of handling every area of a company’s admin systems. Target your profile according to each vacancy’s requirements.
- Identify key areas of experience in the industry you are applying for work in.
- How many years’ experience do you have?
- Focus on particular areas of responsibility that are mentioned in the job advert.
- Emphasise that you enjoy working with a team, that you’re flexible and adaptable, organised and calm under pressure; all these traits are important in a good administrator.
Think about what you’ve achieved in previous roles and how this might be relevant to the one for which you are applying. Keep it brief; six bullet points is fine.
- Include achievements that can be easily quantified; for example, identify any budget savings you’ve made thanks to your efficiency.
- Remember to mention anything that made the running of your department smoother; the introduction of new software, a new administrative process or office system for example.
- Show how you’ve handled changes beyond your control; organisational structural changes or software migration, for example.
- Negative situations can be turned into positive ones too and used to demonstrate how you coped in a crisis; staff sickness or technical failure, for example.
- Were any of your recommendations adopted by others? Did you receive any praise or commendation from a manager or client?
- Were there occasions when you demonstrated leadership skills or management of staff; if so, provide examples to illustrate what you did.
- List your career history in reverse date order, including your job title and employer’s details.
- For the three most recent positions you could include a bulleted list of all your main duties describing how you carried out the tasks and what skills you used. Remember to make this relevant to the requirements of the position you’re applying for.
- Employers value flexibility and adaptability so make sure that you include any ad hoc tasks you undertook as well as the routine day-to-day ones.
When describing your duties, use active language to make everything you did sound interesting. If you get this right, a sense of who you are as a person can be portrayed rather than just a job description.
Qualifications and Training
When listing your qualifications, include only what’s relevant to the administration role. For example, if you have multiple GCSEs, only mention the subjects and grades of those relevant; English, maths and IT, for example – a grade ‘A’ in cookery is of no interest to the recruiter!
Obviously, qualifications awarded by Pitman Training, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and City & Guilds that are directly relevant to your administrative role should be mentioned in more detail.
Be honest. When you give details of your typing, shorthand and audio transcription skills, don’t be tempted to exaggerate your typing speed or abilities; most employers recruiting secretarial and administration staff will test these independently, before they make a final decision on which candidate to hire.
The way you present your resume for any job application is crucial, but especially so if you are applying for an administration role. There must be absolutely NO typos or grammatical errors and your presentation must be immaculate and consistent throughout the document.
As an administrator, your resume is very much the shop window for the quality of your work, so take the time to get it right and always ask someone to proof read it for you at least twice.
By being well-organised and planning your content, you can produce a really impressive resume geared specifically to an administration position. By emphasising the exact skills, work experience and abilities that recruiters are looking out for, you make it easier for them to zone-in on you as the perfect candidate for the role.