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Duties and Attributes
If you are considering a career as a corporate Personal Assistant, Senior Secretary or Administrative Assistant you will find the following outline of typical skills, goals, objectives and Personal Assistant duties useful. These are the attributes and traits hiring managers and employment agencies look for when filling PA positions, especially PA jobs that command a high salary.
The attributes of a good PA are:
- a good communicator, and
- IT literate.
PAs manage and source resources and conduct research, so they need to be well informed, and internet savvy. They also need to keep up to date with the latest office gadgets and industry practices.
Personal Assistants are calm under pressure and capable of thinking on their feet. They typically support senior managers, executives and teams, and, of course, Celebrity Personal Assistants work with VIP's. PAs are increasingly required to work for more than one person. Consequently, the PA role has become a highly stressful one, particularly for Executive PAs, as PAs generally have their own workload and special projects to deal with.
PAs need to be capable of competently dealing with situations in the boss’s absence, and should be confident enough to commission work on their principal's behalf. Maintaining confidentiality is a fundamental requirement for any PA.
PAs need to keep abreast of organisational issues and have a good understanding of the organisation's aims and objectives.
Above all, a PA's role is to support her principal in his efforts to reach his targets and deliver on his strategic goals.
Corporate Personal Assistant positions demand competence and skill at performing the following duties:
- reading, monitoring and responding to the principal's email,
- answering calls and handling queries,
- preparing correspondence on the principal's behalf,
- commissioning work on the principal's behalf,
- liaising with staff, clients, etc.,
- managing the principal's electronic diary,
- booking meetings,
- organising travel and preparing complex travel itineraries,
- writing minutes,
- taking dictation,
- planning, organising and managing events,
- managing a budget,
- attending events/meetings as the principal's representative,
- conducting research on the internet,
- writing reports, executive summaries and newsletters,
- preparing presentations,
- preparing papers for meetings,
- managing and reviewing filing and office systems,
- updating websites,
- typing documents,
- sourcing and ordering stationery and office equipment,
- managing projects,
- managing an Assistant.
If you were drafting a Personal Assistant resume, you would find that the Executive PA role is similar to the Executive Assistant role so these titles are often used interchangeably. Generally, in addition to the above duties and attributes, the EA role also commands a good grasp of operations and business practices; a solid understanding of the company's goals and strategies, and good project management skills.
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