Secretaries work behind the scenes to make sure that senior executives have the support they need to work efficiently, as well as providing admin assistance for the rest of the business.
Secretary job description and responsibilities
Secretarial roles can involve everything from office administration and reception duties to diary management and screening calls, but their main focus is the production of materials. They are relied upon for their formatting skills and should be able to create reports and documentation from collected minutes, supported by audio typing and copy skills.
At a senior assistance level, they are responsible for organising meetings and advising on practice, governance and legal requirements.
Secretarial duties include:
- Creating business documentation
- Audio typing copy
- Taking meeting minutes
- Distributing documentation for meetings
- Diary management
- Making travel arrangements and facility bookings
- Basic administration
- Filing documentation
- Taking, redirecting and screening calls
- Reception duties (greeting visitors and maintaining front-of-house)
- Advising the management committee
Secretary job qualifications, skills and experience
A degree isn’t always required for secretarial roles, but many employers will be looking for previous office or administrative experience. Professionals can opt to undertake specialist secretarial courses to increase their job prospects, such as CILEX for legal secretaries.
Key skills for a secretary are:
- Advanced knowledge of Microsoft software packages (Word, Excel, Outlook etc.)
- A minimum of one year’s relevant industry experience (for specialist roles)
- Audio typing experience
To complete secretarial tasks effectively, professionals should have several of the following personal qualities:
- Good attention to detail
- Ability to multitask
- Work well under pressure
- Excellent verbal and written communication
- Flexible approach to working
- Ability to work with discretion
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