The single best administrative assistant résumé tip (backed by stats!)

April 18, 2018 Categorized in: Personal Development

by Bart Turczynski, Zety

They say writing a good admin assistant résumé is more of an art than an exact science.

They aren’t right.

See, there’s enough recruitment and hiring statistics out there to understand what recruiters, hiring managers, and companies want to see on a résumé.

So, first off, have a look at these administrative assistant résumé examples and learn how they make use of the advice I’m about to share with you.

The one thing that makes all the difference

A CareerBuilder study discovered that one in three hiring experts complain about receiving generic, one-size-fits-all résumés.

Complain is an understatement: they reject such résumés with cold blood.

If you really want to make it past the applicant tracking system and the recruiter (tired with looking at administrative assistants’ résumés that all look the same), you need to tailor your résumé to the job description.

This infographic will show you how:

How does that work for administrative assistant résumés?

First, read the job description. Note keywords that show up in the ad. Focus on the requirements section.

Then, revisit your résumé. Think about each job responsibility and achievement and see if it connects to any of the résumé keywords from the job offer.

Now it’s time to cut anything that doesn’t link directly or indirectly to one of the requirements.

Does you résumé look a tad too slim?

Don’t worry. Think about each job and come up with tasks, responsibilities, and achievements that involved mastery of any skills from the job ad.

You should be able to add a few bullet points to each position you’ve held.

Running on empty?

You aren’t thinking hard enough.

Still nothing (besides the headache from all the thinking)? Chances are, this job isn’t for you.

I know this sounds depressing, but cut your losses and move on to the next job ad.

You don’t need to meet all of the requirements, but if only 50% of your experience overlaps with what’s in the job posting, you might want to reconsider.

Sure, a less than perfect résumé sent is better than a perfect résumé only drafted, but tailoring only makes sense if you target a job you can actually get.

Customizing your résumé isn’t just about the experience section

Refine your skills list, too. Remember, if you make it too long, companies won’t believe you. Make it too short, and you’ll look like an amateur.

Now that you’ve customized most of your administrative résumé, there’s one final step:

Optimize your résumé professional summary or career objective.

Technically, there’s a difference between the two. Professional summaries are for administrative assistants with plenty of work experience.

Career objectives are for entry-level candidates and career changers.

Some experts hate résumé objectives. But that’s because most objectives are about me, myself, and I. they’re about what you want from the job, not what you can offer.

However, you can make a résumé objective read like a résumé summary. Just talk about transferable skills and your most impressive yet relevant achievements.

How to pick the right things?

Remember: You’re tailoring your administrative assistant résumé to the job description. Double-check and make an informed guess as to what makes the best additions to your résumé profile.

Pro Tip: Want to show that you really read  the ad? Include the prospective company’s name.

Here’s an example of an admin assistant résumé objective for a recent grad:

English graduate with proven communication, travel planning, and email management skills. Seeking a position as an administrative assistant at Acme Inc., to leverage organizational and research skills to support internal and external communication.

Just make sure you cover such achievements in the rest of the résumé as well. And don’t worry, you can still land a job without boat loads of experience. Here’s what hiring managers look for in graduate candidates and advice on landing an internship.

A final word of caution

Yes, you need to pick the right résumé keywords and sprinkle them in throughout your résumé.

Just be warned: you can’t simply copy and paste exact phrases. Nor can you over-optimize your résumé.

The same study found that doing so is another dealbreaker. Sure, particular words and some phrases can’t be modified. But other than that, simply follow the general advice on paraphrasing to make your résumé sound natural and still highlight everything that makes you the perfect candidate.