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  • Lori A. Jazvac

The demands and rewards of a fast-paced administrative career

April 27th marks an important day to widely recognize Administrative Professionals of all backgrounds. On that note, Happy Administrative Professionals Day to all professionals who fulfill the administrative needs of an organization!

As many as 500,000 administrative professionals are employed throughout Canada's private and public sectors in both small and large organizations.

If you are an administrator, you may have been recognized as the “executive”, excelling at managing and organizing data, processes, and people. Contrary to popular belief, administrative professionals are more than just receptionists, office clerks, or data processors.

Administrative professionals serve in high-level roles for employers, delivering key support to the organization and are accountable for managing the entire office as well as various aspects of the business. They represent the first point of contact for the organization, which signals a need to present a professional and poised image at all times. Administrators perform important jobs every day to maximize operational efficiency and customer service, ensuring that business stays afloat and reflects the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and customer service excellence.

Many administrators in high-level roles are paid well and enjoy opportunities for advancing in the organization. Most jobs do not require working night shifts and offer fairly a reasonable amount of stability and structure. Administrative roles offer the opportunity to work with different personalities and hone a diverse skill set , especially for quick learners.

Restructuring in different industries combined with projected job growth, advancement, and a relative stability in the public sector are prompting many professionals to change careers. I frequently encounter clients wanting to make a career change into an administrative-related role, especially in the public sector or large corporation, due to the need for a family-work balance and a stable 9 to 5 job.

Often, the role that a client wants to transition into may involve a fair amount of detailed administrative work and meeting timely deadlines. Staying organized and thinking on your feet while multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment are keys to success in this role. Ultimately, you must have a passion for administrative work and be committed to meeting the strategic goals and mission of the organization you are employed with.

Resumes for administrative professionals need to reflect relevant key words. Administrative resumes are skills-based, but equally need to reflect important accomplishments to show both quantitative and qualitative results.

Here are some tips for creating a strong administrative-targeted resume:

  • Realize the demands of the administrative position. Many administrative positions involve extensive multi-tasking, streamlining processes and procedures, and a masterful ability to juggle many tasks.

  • Research your job target, the industry, and company in detail. Identify skills and qualifications required from the job posting to ensure that your offerings align with the respective job criteria.

  • Identify transferable skills from other roles. Transferable skills are invaluable to the administrative role such as technology skills. Note skills developed from other arenas such as community leadership/volunteering or projects.

  • Utilize a hybrid format to feature skills, tasks, and accomplishments.

  • Capture the employer’s attention with a brief and eye-catching summary to showcase administrative skills. You only have 6 seconds to impress the employer with your resume.

  • Improve your “marketable skills” through continued professional development and training in order to enhance and maintain your competitive edge. The labour market for highly qualified administrative professionals is competitive.

  • Consider your unique value. Consider adding to your diverse skill set with a high-level administrative credential or designation. Getting certified in administration, project management, or in a high-demand area could serve as the next step towards expanding your administrative career.

  • Join a professional association such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals to expand your network and stay current with the latest trends and career developments in the administrative sector. outlines five key areas that make a resume stand apart: initiative, technical skills, communication skills, relevant industry experience, and multilingual abilities. Being bilingual is important in order to converse with diverse professionals of various backgrounds.

I served as an administrative professional for more than 10 years for various industries and gained a broad skill set which has helped me as a resume writer and career consultant. However, a considerable part of running my own resume writing business involves keeping up with administrative-related tasks to stay organized.

Let’s commend administrative professionals for their hard work and dedication while calmly managing high-pressure roles. Administrative professionals are valued for their ability to exhibit logical and critical thinking, leadership, effective organization, and team collaboration.

If you are an administrative professional, take pride in your work! Stay updated with your skill development and invest in enhancing your marketable skills. Contact a Certified Resume Strategist/Career Consultant to have your resume updated and re-customized as well!

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