Whether you're looking for an administrative career or just want to get your foot in the door at a great company, an office secretary job can be the perfect starting point. You likely have many of the organization skills you need to jump right into this job so all that's left to do is prove that you're the right fit for the employer's opening. That's where a great office secretary resume comes in. This document will help show your previous experience to win over the employer and beat out the other candidates.
Luckily, you've come to the right place. With 300+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides, Resume.io is a resource for job seekers in all fields and experience levels.
This guide, along with our office secretary resume example, will show you to how:
- Craft a resume sample with all the important sections including summary, employment history and education
- Format a resume that showcases your skills and experience
- Create a layout and design that catches the hiring manager's attention
What does an office secretary do?
Office secretaries provide administrative and clerical support in offices. They may work for an entire office, a department, or an individual. They seek to provide optimal support to others and work to ensure that office procedures run smoothly. Office secretaries typically handle administrative and clerical tasks and work to support office personnel. They usually are responsible for organizing schedules, making appointments, answering phones, and handling other similar support tasks. An ideal candidate should possess strong organizational and communication skills, enabling them to provide the best form of support to others.
How to write an office secretary resume
The first step to writing a great office secretary resume is knowing which sections you'll need to include. Here are the essential components of your CV:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
An office secretary resume should highlight a candidate’s ability to provide optimal support and perform secretarial duties for offices. The resume should showcase a candidate’s administrative skills, communication skills, and motivated attitude. Office Secretaries should be adept in working in fast paced environments, and have the ability to multitask and prioritize goals efficiently. The ideal candidate exhibits skills that pertain to providing excellent administrative and clerical assistance in an office environment.
Optimize for the ATS.
When applying to medium or large companies, the hiring manager is likely not the first set of "eyes" who will look over your cover letter. ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems are algorithms built into most of today's online application portals. These resume scanners search for keywords in your application and rank you against the other candidates. Only the top-scoring resume samples will be passed on to the human HR manager.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid being filtered out:
- Read the job description closely and take note of any job duties, skills or other requirements emphasized by the employer.
- Place these "keywords' onto your resume in the appropriate sections using the exact language from the job description.
- Take care not to engage in "keyword stuffing" which is when you deliberately overuse keywords in an effort to beat the bots. You might succeed against the ATS but the hiring manager won't appreciate it.
Choosing the best resume format for office secretaries
Office secretaries who have had some experience in administration or related fields should opt for the reverse chronological resume format. This structure features a prominent employment history section where you have a chance to explain your relevant skills. This is the format hiring managers expect to see and which is most easily read by the ATS.
The next best option for office secretaries is the hybrid resume format. This structure starts with a "Skills" or "Experience" section followed by a shorter employment history section. It's a great choice for recent graduates or those making a career change.
Resume summary example
The resume summary is 3-5 sentences which allow you to point out your most relevant skills, experience and qualifications. It's also a great place to add some personality to your application. An office secretary is one of the most outward-facing roles in a company, so it's important to convey your welcoming character right from the start of your resume.
Highlight your biggest accomplishments and attributes here. Remember to use as many powerful action verbs and job specific information as you can. Office secretaries play a vital role in achieving success in offices. Highlighting your key attributes that prove your qualifications and accomplishments here is crucial. Check out the summary from our resume sample below.
Experienced and self-motivated Office Secretary with ten+ years of industry experience overseeing the main offices of schools. Highly competent communicator skilled in multitasking and effectively communicating with others. Bringing forth a proven track record of successfully managing offices, and helping to lead school professionals to work toward reaching goals.
Employment history sample
The employment history section is the place to showcase your previous experience and the results you achieved. List all positions relevant to an office secretary position, starting with the most recent and working backwards through 10 years of experience (or as much as you have). Remember to use powerful action verbs and mention job specific accomplishments that prove you are an excellent candidate. Numbers and statistics can help quantify your achievements. Here's the employment history section from our office secretary resume example:
Office Secretary at The Hanover School, Rutherford
August 2015 - September 2019
- Served as a friendly and helpful first point of contact in the Administration Office.
- Directed visitors to appropriate offices and school wings.
- Answered phones and delivered important messages to school staff and students.
- Scheduled school events and created and maintained the school calendar.
- Processed payroll and distributed paychecks to employees.
- Maintained inventory and ordered supplies as necessary.
- Assisted school employees and parents of students with tasks as needed.
Office Secretary at Maxwell and Hudson, New York
November 2011 - June 2015
- Performed a variety of administrative duties, including answering phones, taking and delivering messages, writing memos, making copies, faxing documents, and greeting visitors.
- Maintained office schedules and filing systems.
- Handled office correspondence and incoming and outgoing mail.
- Managed office space and office equipment.
- Maintained work logs for office employees.
Office Receptionist at Deerfield Plumbing, Rutherford
August 2009 - October 2011
- Greeted visitors, checked them in and out, and answered all questions and inquiries.
- Handled payments and filed all financial transactions and receipts.
- Edited and proofread written advertisements and submitted them to local newspapers.
- Made copies, faxed documents, and provided optimal administrative support to employees.
CV skills example
The skills section of your CV is the place to show that you have a balance of those all-important people skills along with the technical abilities that allow you to do your job effectively. These hard and soft skills should come directly from the job description in order to help you pass the ATS resume scanners. You should also make sure to build a coherent picture with the other sections of your resume. A hiring manager looking for an office secretary is looking for an individual with superior project management and multitasking skills. Be sure to include job specific skills. Check out the CV skills example from our office secretary cover letter sample below:
- Superior Administrative Skills
- Excellent Organizational Skills
- Bookkeeping Skills Superior
- Multitasking Skills
- Prioritizing Tasks
Office secretary resume education example
The resume education section is the place to list all degrees and certifications that you may have. Although office secretaries aren't required to hold any formal training, a degree or one in progress can give more information about your background to the employer. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor degree, you may leave out your high school. See the resume sample below:
Associate of Business Administration, Hunter College, New York
August 2010 - June 2012
High School Diploma, Lincoln High School, New York
September 2005 - May 200
Resume layout and design
The layout and design of your resume speaks to the hiring manager before they've even read a word on the page. That's why it's important to make sure this section is attractive and appropriate for the look and feel of the company. A great header should catch the hiring manager's attention and convey your important contact information so that they can easily get in touch with you should they want to set up an interview.
A resume template can be a great way to get started on creating a professional-looking resume. These pre-made layouts allow you to fill in your own information without worrying about the font sizes, spacing or other concerns.
- Keep a balance of white space and text to avoid visual fatigue for the reader
- Stick with the same one or two font styles throughout your resume
- Consider using different layouts for different openings based on the employer's style
- Submit a resume with spelling or grammar mistakes
- Include your mailing address in the header when applying online
- Go overboard with too much color or cutesy icons
Key takeaways for an office secretary resume
- An office secretary resume should include the most common sections like a summary, employment history and skills component
- Your summary is the best place to add some personality to the resume which is important in a role like office secretary
- Don't forget to quantify your experience with numbers and action verbs
- Reverse chronological is the best resume format option for candidates with at least a bit of work experience
- A great layout and design says a lot about your professionalism so make sure the header stands out