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Administrative Resume Example & Writing Guide

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Administrative Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Multitasking is the name of the game if you are an administrative professional, but you don’t need one more thing on your plate alone. As you begin your job search, you need an administrative resume that grabs the attention of hiring managers, but without adding a heavy load to the array of tasks you already have.

What does it take to create a resume that elevates you from the pack of administrative applicants? Start by relying on the experts. Resume.io offers a full range of resources for any job seeker, as we provide resume guides and resume examples for 300+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder.

This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:

  • What do administrative professionals do?
  • How to write an administrative resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for an administrative resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

What do administrative professionals do?

Administrative professionals keep their organizations running with their efficiency and ability to juggle multiple tasks and personalities. They may be asked to perform any task that needs attention. The umbrella category “administrative” includes:

  • Receptionists
  • Customer service representatives
  • Secretaries/administrative assistants
  • Virtual assistants
  • Medical secretaries

Unfortunately, the demand for this type of work is expected to plunge 9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts, as offices automate many functions or combine these roles with others. That means competition for jobs will be tough, so you have to be at the top of your field and have an administrative resume that proves it.

The good news is that administrative professionals work in almost every environment, so a careful job hunt and an excellent application can help you move into your next position.

Expert tip

To stay relevant in this profession, you should boost your data entry and overall computer software knowledge. 

How to write an administrative resume

Before you get into the details, you need to know what goes into your administrative professional resume. Here are the sections your CV should include:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

Especially because you may be applying for jobs in different industries, you need to be sure to address each prospective employer in your resume by tailoring your content. A little research into the staff, the industry itself and where the company is positioned will go a long way.

You should also see if you can find out who the hiring manager or your prospective boss will be and speak directly to them in your administrative resume. Try to ferret out a connection and drop a line in your resume (or cover letter) that will intrigue the person and lead to a followup within your interview.

In addition to these guidelines, keep in mind that a stellar resume:

  • Addresses the needs of your prospective employer and explains how you will fill those needs
  • Makes a remarkable first impression with a neat, professional layout and design
  • Employs targeted keywords and phrases that help you fend off elimination by the ATS.

Develop an ATS-friendly resume

Since 99% of large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems, it is likely that you will be applying through one. These software applications scan resumes into HR systems and sort them using algorithms. Only the top resumes make it into the hands of the hiring manager.

To avoid ending up in the circular file, use keywords and phrases that appear in the job listing within your administrative resume. Insert them naturally — you don’t want to end up sounding like a robot — and personalize them for each application.

There are no guarantees, but this method will boost your chances of being seen by a human being.

Choosing the best resume format for an administrative professional

The best format for almost any resume is reverse chronological order and your administrative resume is no different. In this format, your employment history section is organized from your  most recent position on back.

In the following circumstances, you may want to consider one of the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids:

  • You are new to the job market
  • You are a mature worker
  • You are a career-changer
  • You have had many different careers.

If none of those apply, stick with the tried-and-true reverse chronological order format: Recruiters prefer it by far!

Resume summary example: answer the call

Administrative professionals may be the face of the department or the organization as a whole. That means style counts! The summary in your administrative resume is the one place to really let your personality shine. Wow them with your positive nature, but also choose one or two of your top accomplishments to show off why you are the right person for the job. 

Since some administrative positions are entry level, choose to focus on organizational, time management and collaborative skills. You can take examples from your educational or volunteer experiences.

Your resume is not the time for false modesty. Play up your biggest achievement with a one or two sentence description (any longer is too long) that employs strong action words and positive descriptions of yourself. Back it up with a sentence on your working philosophy or style. Make sure you match the skills and attributes you highlight to the needs of each job.

Expert tip

Have two or three short examples of your achievements ready and plug in the one that best fits each prospective employer’s job listing. Remember, you are always answering the question: “How will you fill the organization’s needs?”

You can find a resume example for your summary section below.

Resume summary example

Highly skilled Administrative professional seeking to utilize my office and interpersonal communication skills for the betterment of a company. Adept in managing and maintaining an organized documentation system, working one-on-one with customers, and providing optimal front-end and back-end support. 

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Employment history CV sample: your career file

In the employment history of your administrative resume, you will document all the positions you have had that have led you to this point in your career. No need to go back further than 10 years since you are certainly no longer using the tools you employed more than a decade ago. Instead, focus on your current and relevant skills.

Within each bullet point, create a story of accomplishment. You didn’t merely answer the phone, you acted as the front-line for the organization and solved customer problems before they escalated.

Use data and details to back up your assertions. These give the hiring manager a better picture of you and your abilities.

Do

Supported an office of 7 lawyers and 20 paralegals, scheduling meetings and court appearances and tracking and filing all documents for the firm.

Don't

I worked in a small law office where I did scheduling and filing.

Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume example.

Employment history resume example

Administrative Assistant , Ben Goldman Attorney at Law New York
Apr 2016 - Aug 2021 

  • Worked hard to fulfill administrative and clerical duties to ensure that the office ran efficiently. 
  • Managed all office correspondence such as answering phone calls and communicating with other attorney offices,
  • Arranged travel, and scheduled meetings, appointments, and depositions for the team.  
  • Performed legal research, as needed, with help from attorneys and paralegals.  
  • Processed client billing properly.  

 

Administrative Assistant , Tigg and Bauer LLC New York
Jul 2014 - Mar 2016  

  • Managed the calendar, related correspondence, and coordination of logistics for the CEO.  
  • Managed highly confidential information with discretion and confidentiality. 
  • Arranged and coordinated travel schedules and reservations. 
  • Maintained a high level of organization, ensuring that meetings, deadlines, and duties were completed. 
  • Prepared reports and maintained tracking system.  
  • Collaborated cohesively with other administrative staff.  
  • Provided support to other executives as needed. 
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Administrative professional skills example: efficient messaging

Recruiters may glance at this section first, before they even look at your carefully crafted summary or the details of your employment history. They want to know right away whether you have the skills and attributes they seek.

So what skills does it take to be successful at administrative work? You need a core of technical abilities such as knowledge of all types of software programs, but you also need to be extremely organized and unflappable.

Administrative professionals must have the temperament and organizational skills to handle multiple requests from different personalities while problem-solving and managing their own workload. Try to create a skills section that blends both the hard, technical skills you need and the soft skills necessary to manage an office. 

Expert tip

Here are examples of  the computer skills you need to succeed as an administrative professional:

Category Example
Word processing and organization Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive, Intuit Quickbooks
Presentation and promotion tools PowerPoint, Apple Keynote
Digital publishing and design Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop, Apple iMovie
Productivity Asana, Evernote, Dropbox

Below you will find an adaptable skills resume example.

Skills resume example
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Administrative Skills
  • Clerical Skills
  • Agile Project Management
  • Self Starter
  • Strategic Planning
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Administrative education resume example

Many administrative professionals learn on the job and that’s great. That means your education section will consist of your high school diploma or GED. If you have taken any administrative courses or have a higher degree, list those here as well.

Expert tip

For more specific administrative resume examples, check out our office administrator resume example, administrative assistant resume example or our office secretary resume example . If a one-on-one position is more to your liking, try our personal assistant resume example . We also have an office manager resume example if you’re looking to move up.

Below you will find an education resume example as a formatting guide.

Education Resume Example

Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Hunter College, New York
Sep, 2010 - May, 2014

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Resume layout and design: as neat as your desk

If you are going to be the face of an office, you need to make a great first impression every day. Your administrative resume is the place to start. The layout and design are the first visual clue to your professional demeanor and personality, so you need to be as careful with these as you are with your written message.

Make sure you keep your layout neat and your font legible. You may be tempted to distinguish yourself with a creative design, but your first order of business is to make it easy on the eyes. Keep color to a minimum if you use it at all. Recruiters want to be able to find your data easily, so use standard section heading names and make sure your contact information stands out. 

Bullet lists and bold headings will help break up larger blocks of type. Varying your line lengths will serve the same purpose. 

Key takeaways for an administrative resume

  1. It’s a tight job market for administrative professionals, so you will need a resume that performs.
  2. Use your summary section to illuminate your career achievements, but also your personality, which is so important in your field.
  3. Personalize each resume to fit the job and the industry and give you a leg up against the ATS.
  4. Take the guesswork out of formatting with our online resume builder and expert-tested resume layouts.
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