Executive Assistants play very crucial roles in any organization. They are a part of the larger Administration umbrella and cater for the executives as their name implies.
Executive Assistants are also known as Executive Secretary, Corporate Assistant, Personal Assistant, Committee Secretary.
Executive Assistants Job Description
Executive Assistants are the right hand of politicians and executives of any type of company, since they provide them with direct support, manage their agendas and take care of their appointments. In addition, they plan, organize, coordinate and control all activities, procedures and documents, both administrative and operational.
Unlike an Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistants offer professional advice and guidance, in addition to carrying out their administrative duties. They can also act as representatives of the executive for which they work by acting on their behalf in front of third parties or other organizations and coordinating public relations activities when necessary.
We must emphasize that the term “Secretary” has been slowly replaced by “Assistant” over the years, since the former is considered, at present, as an inappropriate and outdated term.
Principal Functions of Executive Assistants
Here are the most common functions of an Executive Assistant:
- To be the first point of contact and the link between the executive and his clients, third parties, suppliers and other employees, interacting with them in a professional and effective way:
- Respond to requirements, prepare the necessary documents and follow up accordingly.
- Meet with third parties, interest groups, among others, on behalf of executives to discuss any problem and offer recommendations or solutions.
- Manage all calls, emails, correspondence and faxes, both incoming and outgoing:
- Monitor memos, deliveries and incoming and outgoing reports.
- Coordinate the courier and courier services.
- Monitor, reply and forward incoming emails constantly.
- Update and maintain existing contact lists.
- Write and review written communications, reports, presentations and spreadsheets:
- Collect information from different tools in order to study the data and generate the corresponding reports.
- Deliver reviews and reports to executives, committees and boards of directors.
- Manage the professional and personal calendar of the executive, as well as the requirements for meetings, coordinating their appointments to ensure effective handling of events:
- Ensure that all projects and tasks are carried out on time.
- Book conference rooms or other venues.
- Confirm the reservation of rooms or premises and coordinate the meal, in addition to taking care of the logistics of the event.
- Manage meeting agendas ensuring the highest possible efficiency.
- Take notes during the work meetings, generate a summary and distribute it among the corresponding people.
- Take care of executive travel arrangements.
- Archive and organize documents in both physical and digital, such as emails, reports and other administrative documents:
- Scan documents in physical form to back them up digitally.
- Provide assistance recording information and performing database maintenance.
- Request new supplies and take over the inventory, replacing materials and equipment when necessary.
- Internalize and be aware of the organizational structure of the company or organization, its policies and objectives.
- Manage and make expense reports:
- Perform accounting tasks when required, such as accounting and billing.
Daily tasks of Administrative Executives
- Manage all calls, emails, correspondence and faxes both incoming and outgoing.
- Manage the executive’s agenda, setting both personal and professional appointments.
- Be the first point of contact and the link between the executive and clients or organizations.
- Archive, organize, save and review all types of documents.
- Process and record information by updating databases or computer files.
Administrative Executives Required Skills
- Organized and able to manage your time effectively:
- Be organized and detailed, able to prioritize tasks properly.
- Being able to handle several tasks at the same time and work under pressure in a dynamic and active environment.
- Telephone exchange management:
- Have a clear speech.
- Handle calls respectfully, eloquently and effectively.
- High levels of initiative, flexibility and receptivity:
- Being able to adapt to different situations effectively.
- Detailed and meticulous.
- Excellent communication skills, service vocation, customer orientation and proactivity:
- Communicate clearly, both in writing and verbally, to cultivate and maintain good professional relationships with third parties, customers and other employees.
- Have customer service skills, be patient and protocol.
- Being able to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
- Analytical ability and ability to resolve conflicts:
- Resolve conflicts efficiently and quickly.
- Administrative Capabilities:
- Being able to process texts, use spreadsheets and manage databases.
- Type 40 to 60 words per minute.
- Know how to use and manage office equipment (photocopiers and printers).
- Honest, discreet and with high levels of integrity:
- Being able to handle confidential and sensitive information.
- Inventive and ingenious, punctual and reliable.
- Have a good presence.
Executive Assistant Requirements
- Executive Assistants should pay special attention to the way they are perceived by other people, therefore, it is essential to have excellent customer service skills.
- The perfect candidate must be polite and protocol at all times, smiling and demonstrating a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
- The minimum educational level to obtain the employment of Executive Assistant is to have finished high school. However, nowadays, more and more employers tend to prefer candidates with degrees in Administration, Communication, Business Administration or related careers.
- Most Executive Assistant jobs require 3 to 5 years of experience in the area, especially as an Administrative Assistant, and a mastery of the Office package (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
- Mastering a second language such as English can be very beneficial for the candidate who applies for this job.
- Executive Assistants should be willing to work irregular schedules and get out of their job description since they will probably be required to complete other tasks and work overtime.
- In addition, they must be available at all times, that is, their working hours will depend entirely on the executive for whom they work and may vary from one company to another.