Executive assistants are often the unseen right-hand woman or man to a high-level executive.
They are often tasked with scheduling, handling correspondence, providing reminders of important information, and in general, multitasking so that the execs’ day runs seamlessly.
Suppose you are looking to become an executive assistant or looking to move up to work alongside a higher executive or at a more prominent company. In that case, your resume will be critical to securing that post.
Resume objective for an executive assistant
The first section of every stellar resume is going to be your objective statement. An objective statement should highlight what you’re best at and why you should get the job.
According to Career Quest, the three most essential skills for an executive assistant are leadership, project management, and technology knowledge.
Executive assistants do much more than schedule and handle phone calls; they need to be able to take the initiative to get work done and know when and who to delegate additional work to.
As an executive assistant, you will be planning meetings, but there is much more involved than securing a room. It is often expected that food will be ordered, invites sent out and confirmed, equipment reserved, etc.
To accomplish all of the above, you will need a strong background in technology such as computers, phones, tablets, various word processing programs, and work-based applications.
5+ years working as an executive assistant in a fast-paced company. Proven ability in multi-tasking, project management, leadership. Possess excellent communication skills and have a strong background in Microsoft Office, WordPress, and Google Docs.
Resume skills for an executive assistant
Your skills section on your executive assistant resume is the place to highlight specific talents, programs, and abilities that you have.
In some cases, knowledge of a second language may prove useful if the company performs a lot of business with a particular country or region.
Other skills that are somewhat unique to this position include organizing travel arrangements, writing or overseeing a company newsletter or blog, and planning and managing events.
Skills that are more mainstream but utilized daily by executive assistants are organization, working under pressure, creating expense reports, client relations, and taking minutes for meetings.
The balance careers website points out that an executive assistant’s job is to support someone else’s work. Therefore, any skills you have that can make an executive’s day run smoother are beneficial to have!
Proficient in German | Conversational in Spanish | Microsoft Office Suite | Google Docs | Google Slides | Google Sheets | Travel Planning | Event Planning | WordPress | Bog Writing | Expense Reports
Executive assistant work experience
Individuals do not start at the executive assistant level. It often takes many years of administrative work, but any experience you have in business, management, and administration will help get you there.
Your job history is likely to follow a path of administrative and customer service work showcasing your ability to work with clients, business partners, plan and manage and work independently.
Many people do not set out to become an executive assistant, so it is ok if your career history is varied.
Many people who end up taking this path are interested in business and maybe have worked in various administrative and support roles.
USe your job history to point out the skills and dedication you possess when it comes to helping the company thrive.
Sample Work Experience
Total Care Services
Executive Assistant, 2012-2020
Worked collaboratively with the Executive Director to support the management of all essential departments. Served as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on matters pertaining to the Executive Director’s Office.
- Planned and coordinated the Executive Director’s daily schedule
- Researched and prioritized incoming issues
- Managed special projects concerning the Executive Director
- Completed a wide range of administrative tasks daily
Office Administrator, 2005-2012
Managed the CEO’s and C-level executives’ calendars and daily schedules, including travel, internal meetings and appointments, and external events.
- Event planning including catering orders and conference room set up
- Conducted follow-ups with contacts on behalf of the CEO and executives contacts
- Conference room calendar management
- Monitored credit card expenses and expense reports related to travel
Office Assistant, 2000 -2005
Assisted with the organization and day-to-day running of the company and performed administrative duties as assigned.
- Sorted and distributed communications efficiently
- Maintained positive relationships with suppliers, colleagues, and customers
- Utilized various pieces of office equipment
- Monitored supplies and inventory
Executive assistant education
It may be challenging to seek out a program designed for those wishing to become executive assistants, but some colleges offer associate degrees and certificates.
In some cases, your work history may be enough to secure the position without any formal education, especially if you have a long work history in administration.
However, if administrative work is of interest to you, having a degree in a business or communications-related field could prove useful.
As the website girlboss says, employers are likely to favor college graduates and those who have project management experience.
University of Arizona
Master of Organizational Management, 2002-2005
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, 1998-2002
As we have seen, executive assistants are required to be proficient in a wide range of skills. Some of these skills will be learned via education, and some will be on the job.
For those who want to advance their skills more quickly and take matters into their own hands, there are a wide variety of courses to take online geared specifically for administrative and executive assistants.
If your job experience and skills section already highlight these abilities, there is no need to list the courses below. But, if you have become knowledgeable or skilled in an area not yet highlighted, listing them can’t hurt.
- Assistant Essentials
- Management Skills for Administrative Professionals
Certifications Sample Certifications
There are no required certifications to work as an executive assistant.
There are, however, certifications in various programs, such as PowerPoint, Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc., that you can earn.
As technology becomes an even bigger player in the business world, moving into 2021, executive assistants will need to become increasingly tech-savvy.
Some companies and organizations offer executive assistant certifications, but you will need to weigh out your experience and skills to decide if that is a must or bonus for you.
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals
Complete executive assistant resume sample
We have covered the information that should be included in your executive assistant resume. We are now going to look at a job posting for an executive assistant to the CEO posting.
Following the posting and a summary of the job requirements, there will be a complete resume example.
The position calls for many of the skills mentioned throughout this article. What is not seen in this photo is that they are asking for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
This posting also emphasizes meeting and event preparation, so the more a candidate can showcase their expertise in that area, the better.
Detail-oriented and organized individual with 10+ years working as an executive assistant and over 20 years in administration who can handle the demands of a busy executive’s schedule. Skilled in event planning, meeting planning, creating presentations, and handing schedules.
PowerPoint | Google Slides | Canva | Microsoft Office | Google Suite | Trello | Slack | Asana | Proficient in Japanese | Salesforce | Event Planning | Making Travel Arrangements | Taking and preparing minutes & notes
Executive Assistant, 2009-2020
Responsible for supporting the company president in all administrative duties. Organized workflow and calendar to ensure efficiency. Handle written correspondence and phone calls.
- Interacted with staff in place of the company president
- Utilized Microsoft Office and Quickbooks daily
- Anticipated and completed tasks for the president
- Organized travel for the company president and airport pickups and for guests of the company
Pinnacle Advisory Group
Office Administrator, 2002-2009
Provided support for the firm’s general business operations and clients, addressing inquiries, and assisting with client meetings and requests. Executed tasks related to new client onboarding and other workflows and consistently maintain client records in Salesforce.
- Oversaw all printed materials in preparation for meetings and events
- Maintained copy and conference rooms
- Managed the scheduling of meetings, phone calls, and correspondence for executives
- Responsible for office inventory
Administrative assistant, 1998-2002
Provided generalized office support for the manager and other heads of departments.
- Coordinated meeting and travel arrangements
- Prepared presentation materials
- Prepared communication and correspondence for various departments
- Collected data and ran finance reports
- MS PowerPoint Certification
University of California San Diego
Bachelor of Science in Management Science, 1994-1998
- Minor in Japanese Studies
Working as an executive assistant is not for the faint of heart. This role demands a tough, quick thinking individual who can skate through rapid and multiple changes daily.
A background in business, communications, project management, or administration is likely to set you on the path to this career choice as they all provide valuable skills needed by an executive assistant.
- College is not required but strongly recommended
- Multi-tasking, handling pressure well, and problem-solving skills are crucial
- There are many pathways to this degree, and while demanding, it can be rewarding
Tips from Experts
“In my line of work, I frequently communicate with CEOs and their executive assistants, and nowhere is the need for gratitude more clear.” -Mark Goulston, Executive Business Coach & Consultant
“A top-notch assistant is crucial to being productive.” – Robert Pozen, Financial Executive, and Lecturer
“A spectacular executive assistant can defy the laws of the physical world. she [or he] can see around corners.” – Donald J. Gogel, President, and CEO of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC
Executive assistants are the people CEOs, company presidents, and other business leaders rely on to keep them organized and on task. As the saying should go, behind every good leader, there was an excellent assistant.
Working as an executive assistant can prove a solid career choice with a stable salary and benefits. It also provides individuals a chance to flex their musicals in a variety of areas and skillsets.
Executive assistants may not share the limelight or the salaries of the business leaders they support, but they are much needed to keep the world running.