Using the Quarantine to Improve Your Executive Assistant Skills

COVID-19 changed the business environment as much as any other aspect of everyday life. With more employees working from home, and less facetime with your executives, improving your executive assistant skills presents more challenges than ever.

The work from home (WFH) trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing, either. As much as half of America’s population moved to a telecommuting role during the pandemic. Though those numbers will likely decrease as we become more equipped to deal with coronavirus and the health risks of working in an office, the WFH trend isn’t new.

Over the past few years, telecommuting has consistently been the fastest-growing commuting method. And according to a Forbes survey, one in five top CEOs plans to keep at least 20% of their workforce working remotely. With the increase in telecommuting, executive assistants must adapt and learn how to sharpen their executive assistant skills from their homes’ comfort.

But while you’re in quarantine, where can you find the right resources?

Honing Your Executive Assistant Skills In a Changing Business Environment

If you’re wondering how it’s possible to develop executive assistant skills during a pandemic, begin by simplifying which skills are most crucial. Because many of your interactions will be digital, you must get creative with technology to make administrative practices easier.

As Dorothy Connell, Executive Assistant to the CEO at Agilent Technologies, told ChiefExecutives.net, “Mike Mcmullen (CEO) and I communicate regularly via email, text messaging, and WebEx messages.” 

To Dorothy, success during quarantine depends on making sure that she plans all of her interactions with the CEO. Executive assistants can no longer rely on spontaneous communication with their bosses.

Since most executives were frequently on the road before the pandemic, executive assistants should be able to pivot and use the skills they learned from coordinating a travel schedule. Assistants won’t catch executives on the fly in the office anymore, so scheduling daily Zoom or skype meetings is the most effective strategy to stay on top of communication.

Showing Executive Assistant Skills On Your Resume

An estimated 30 million positions disappeared this spring as a result of coronavirus. This statistic means the job market is full of competition.

Because competition will be high for the foreseeable future, resume skills for executive assistants are more vital than ever. Candidates must be able to jump off the page and appeal to executives’ needs. So, how do you separate yourself from others on your resume?

When creating your resume and developing your executive assistant skills, you need to display a wide array of soft and hard skills. These skills include proficiency in technology, organizational aptitude, and expert communication.

Researching which administrative technology tools best serve companies is an easy way to set yourself apart from the competition. Apps such as WhenIsGood make scheduling easier for executive assistants, And an app like TripIt is an excellent way to manage trip accommodations.

The more tech-savvy and current you are, the more attractive you will be to companies. 

Which Executive Skills Mean the Most?

According to CareerQuest, the three more important skills to highlight on your executive assistant resume are leadership qualities, project management and event planning, and technology knowledge.

Improving Leadership Qualities-

CEOs aren’t looking for assistants they can easily boss around. They want candidates who take the initiative, someone who can think on their feet and solve problems.

If you already have an executive assistant position, look for ways to solve problems the pandemic created. Devising a communication plan with your executive is an easy way to add value to your position.

Project Management and Event Planning-

Part of taking the initiative is showing that you can plan large projects and follow-through. Adept project management and event planning require organizational and time management skills.

Improving your time management skills by studying how long each meeting takes and planning more efficiently is an easy way to impress executives.

Technology Knowledge-

Expanding your technology knowledge is the most important and the most accessible skill to work on while quarantining. More executive assistants are working from home as a result of the pandemic. Because more professionals are working from home, executive assistants need more creative solutions to everyday business problems that used to be solved in person.

Software and applications for scheduling, data-recording, and client information databases are all proven methods to make the transition from in-office to telecommuting smoother.

Become a Better Executive Assistant Candidate By Improving Your Skills

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting or you’ve been an executive assistant for 20 years; the quarantine has drastically changed your job description. To prepare yourself for success, you need to be willing to adapt to the obstacles quarantine presents.

Making sure your resume reflects leadership, time management, and technology skills ensure you stand out amongst the competition. Improving those skills while working remote builds value among executives and shows your company you’re an integral component of its success.

C-Suite has been pairing executives with the right assistants for over twenty years and has enjoyed a reputation as one of the country’s leading recruiting firms. Start your path to becoming an executive assistant and find the best fit possible today!

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