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How do you become the perfect candidate sought out by all recruiters? Here are 5 qualities that make you the ideal assistant.
Strong administrative skills, good language proficiency and customer service are the basic skills of every assistant. But what exactly makes the difference between a good assistant and that ideal candidate sought out by all recruiters? Here are the qualities that make you the ideal assistant.
1. You work efficiently and are quick to set priorities
As an assistant, you are constantly at the service of others. There is always someone who needs something from you or wants to ask you something. And although you cannot say ‘yes’ to everyone, your capacity to handle a large workload efficiently remains a major asset in the workplace. Being able to quickly assess what is important or what cannot wait for another reason, in other words setting priorities, is a must.
Tip: Efficiency is not something you learn in class, but that you can practice. Check your to-do list every morning and assign priorities. Give priority to requests from your CEO, your own manager or colleagues in your department. If you have a colleague who works super efficiently, observe carefully his or her work method and learn from it. Over time, you learn to assess the urgency and the importance of tasks more easily, and prioritization becomes a habit.
2. You are discreet and honest
A good assistant knows a great deal – about clients, managers and colleagues, about confidential professional cases and personal matters – but handles all this sensitive information discretely. Use your common sense, share only the information that is relevant, always take into account the interests of your manager or your immediate colleagues and always be honest and helpful. Even though you will certainly obtain some insight into office politics, remember that a neutral, professional attitude is the best way to further your career.
3. You get things done, with a smile
Your manager and your colleagues count on you to jump into the breach when needed to help make their job easier. The ideal assistant is therefore always ready to help. If you cannot do something yourself, you may be able to turn to a third party for support, but never say ‘that is not my job’. Take your responsibilities and do what you have to do. Without muttering under your breath ... and if possible with a smile.
4. You understand the business in which you work
Even though, as an assistant, yours is primarily a support function, having a good knowledge of your sector and company will help you do your job even better. Learn how the company functions and how you can use your administrative skills to improve this organisation. Find out what the priorities are, what your employer thinks is important and how you can best serve your customers. If you manage to improve the internal and external services, even more, you will certainly be the ideal assistant for your employer.
5. You are a quick learner
Being proficient in all current Office programs and CRM system is, of course, a great basis. Considering the fast-paced technological changes, however, you really are the perfect assistant if you are capable of mastering new applications just as quickly. From accounting programs and CMS systems to time management apps or social media: an assistant who uses them effortlessly and may even be capable of training or assisting other colleagues is invaluable for a company.
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