In a typical office setting, each employee must perform specific functions and carry out certain objectives to ensure that business runs smoothly. Administrative and organizational tasks, such as scheduling and filing, are traditionally handled by an office's support staff, which is usually headed by at least one secretary. Key traits for secretaries or administrative assistants are organizational skills, communication skills and technological "know-how."
Use of Technology
A key aspect of a secretary's job is to organise information and disseminate that information to other employees, clients and executives. If a secretary takes notes from a meeting, that secretary must use computers to organise the notes and either print a memo or send a mass e-mail. Understanding how to use word-processing software, fax machines, copiers and other office software is essential for a secretary to succeed.
Increase Office Efficiency
Another common secretary objective, according to preferredresumes.com, is to increase office efficiency while decreasing office costs. This requires some careful decision-making and an ability to manage budgets. Printing memorandums for every little decision, for example, may keep the office "in the know," but it will increase office costs for paper, ink and manpower. Balancing office needs against costs is an everyday duty for most secretaries.
Secretaries must be able to juggle several things at once. For instance, a secretary must be able to schedule meetings that do not conflict with other office events or other meetings. They must be able to organise information and office events, while at the same time handling calls or visits from clients and other employees.
Advanced Objectives Such as Employee Training
Some secretaries, such as legal secretaries or medical secretaries, may even conduct and analyse research to be used by lawyers or doctors whom they serve, according to careeroverview.com. Secretaries may perform functions that were traditionally left to executives, including checking citations in reports (especially true for legal secretaries) and searching and editing resources for other scholarly papers (for research secretaries). Additionally, executive secretaries may conduct employee training sessions about new technologies or new office procedures.