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How To Break Into Personal Assistant Job Industry In 2022

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How To Break Into the Personal Assistant Job Industry In 2022

Personal assistants are the backbone of organizations. A personal assistant is responsible for administrative tasks that directly support an office or an individual. Taking on a variety of duties and responsibilities that support managerial staff, they keep everything ticking along smoothly.

There can be different types of personal assistants:

Administrative Personal Assistant

They often work in an office setting and support an employee or several employees within the organization.

Celebrity Personal Assistant

A celebrity personal assistant directly reports to a celebrity and performs their personal and business-related duties.

Executive Personal Assistant

They provide services to an executive-level employee in a company.

Personal Concierge

They typically work part-time and run errands for several people rather than being hired by and reporting to one individual.

Personal assistants can work part-time or full-time and may work independently, as part of a personal assistant agency, or as an employee of an organization. A personal assistant’s goal is to relieve stress related to their employer’s professional and/or personal life by performing various duties that reduce the employer’s overall daily responsibilities.

What do Personal Assistants Do?

Personal assistant duties may vary by employer. Common duties that personal assistants are responsible for include:

  • Screening and answering phone calls
  • Taking messages for the recipient
  • Greeting visitors
  • Scheduling meetings, appointments, and events
  • Responding to emails, letters, and faxes on behalf of the employer
  • Making travel, transport, and accommodation arrangements
  • Overseeing accounting and budgeting tasks for an employer
  • Diary management
  • Taking meeting minutes
  • Transcribing dictation
  • Compiling reports, presentations, and briefs
  • Maintaining databases, office systems, and filing systems
  • Collating and filing their manager’s business expenses and travel expenses
  • Researching on behalf of their manager

How to Become a Personal Assistant?

If you’re wondering just how to become a personal assistant, this guide will take you through the steps you can take to pursue a career as a personal assistant:

1. Training

The good news is that, generally, when it comes to what to study to become a personal assistant, no specific training courses, academic qualifications, or certifications are necessary.
Some companies, however, will require you to have graduated high school, while others will prefer that you have a college degree (in any subject). Additionally, a degree or diploma in business administration or a technology-related field can be very advantageous when applying for personal assistant roles.

2. Hone Your Skills

There are many skills required to be a successful personal assistant. Some of the most important skills you should possess include trustworthiness, organization, communication skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills and flexibility. Take time to regularly practice these skills so that they become second nature to you.

3. Gain Experience

Having previous work experience in office administration or experience as an office clerk is also a huge benefit during your search for a personal assistant role. If you don’t have experience, it’s worth completing a secretarial course or diploma to gain the necessary training experience.
Administrative positions are a great way to get hands-on assistant-related experience and will show hiring managers that you have the skills needed to be a personal assistant.

4. Take an Online Course or Obtain a Certification

You can also obtain a Certified Administrative Professional certification through the International Association of Administrative Professionals or a related certification to set yourself apart from other candidates.

Personal Assistant Skills

1. Communication Skills

Personal assistants are responsible for organizing the day-to-day life of their managers, but to do this, they’ll need to be effective in creating partnerships with people across several departments, as well as with clients.
They’ll also need to be adept at relaying often complex and time-sensitive information to managers and other personnel, as well as being able to absorb and disseminate information.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Personal assistants need to be skilled in interacting with a range of different people such as the office manager, executive secretaries, and clients. From making travel arrangements and managing diaries, interpersonal skills are crucial in helping to support their managers with everything they need to be effective.

3. Time Management Skills

Personal assistants juggle many plates for their employers, and knowing how to organize and manage their time is a key quality of any effective personal assistant. Ultimately, they’re responsible for both managing their own time and their employer’s time.

4. Strong Organizational Skills

Organizational skills are one of the most important skills for a personal assistant. Because of this, they’re able to adapt to shifting and competing priorities with ease and maintain databases, filing systems, and emails.

5. Ability to Multitask

Between administrative support, scheduling, and answering emails and phone calls, the ability to effectively multitask amidst so many competing priorities is a skill to have on any personal assistant resume.

6. Attention to detail

Personal assistants are known for being scrupulous. They know the ins and outs of their employer and the organizations. When making travel arrangements, for instance, they can plan accommodation and transport while also complying with the organization’s travel expense policies.

Tips for Becoming a Personal Assistant

Here are a few key tips to follow when pursuing a career as a personal assistant:

Make Soft Skills a Priority

While being a personal assistant does require some hard skills depending on your place of employment, most personal assistants must possess several soft skills regardless of where they work. These soft skills include communication, problem-solving, customer service, and attention-to-detail skills. Having these skills will support you throughout your career as a personal assistant and help you stand out among other applicants when applying for jobs.

Practice Being Proactive

Most employers who employ personal assistants look for employees who can meet their needs without being asked. For example, rather than wait for your employer to ask you to prepare a document that you know you’ll need to prepare eventually, you could have the document ready before the employer even asks.
This proactivity is highly sought after by employers and can help you land and hold a job as a personal assistant.

Be Open to New Tasks and Roles

A personal assistant often plays many roles for an employer. The better able you are to remain flexible and open to new assignments the more likely you will grow in your position.

Brush up on Your Hard Skills

If you want to stand out, it’s a good idea to brush up on any skills that you may not have updated in a while. For example, there may be some new features with the Microsoft Office suite (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) that you could learn to master and bolster your resume.

Know More About the Industry You Want to Work In

While there are standard personal assistant skills and qualities, certain industries will require more specific, specialized skills, such as social media skills, administration skills, or experience managing budgets. The more you can show how much you know about the industry or type of company you want to work for, the better your chances of landing a personal assistant role.

Apply for Jobs

If you already have these personal assistant skills under your belt, you can now begin applying for jobs as a personal assistant. If you are new to this career, it’s important not to give up when looking for jobs and to continue applying until you find a position that best suits your skills and interests.

Don’t Forget Your Own Needs

Being a personal assistant often means tending to every need of an employer, and it can be easy to lose yourself in this type of job and look over your own needs. While you should prioritize your employer’s needs while at work, you should also make your own needs and well-being a priority both during and after work hours to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Riveter Consulting Group seeks out and retains exceptional individuals with a proven track record. If you want to hire a personal assistant and don’t know exactly where to get started, get started by filling out our contact page, or, call us at 1 855-444-2515 to tell us more about your needs and get advice about the next steps from one of our friendly staffing experts.


Riveter Consulting Group
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