Glossary of Job Descriptions For: Secretary/Executive Assistant/Administrative Assistant
Glossary of Job Descriptions
Executive Assistant – Performs administrative duties for executive management. Responsibilities may include screening calls, making travel and meeting arrangements, preparing reports and financial data, training and supervising other support staff, and customer relations. Requires strong computer and internet research skills. Also calls for flexibility, excellent interpersonal skills, project coordination experience, and the ability to work well with all levels of internal management and staff, as well as outside clients and vendors.
Senior Executive Assistant – Duties include those described for the executive assistant but require stronger work experience within each function. Supports the most senior executive, particularly in large corporations. May supervise other administrative staff. Possesses advanced computer skills along with the ability to train others on system usage. A premium paid for specific industry or market experience.
Senior Administrative Assistant – Duties include those described for administrative assistant but require stronger work experience within each function. Supports senior level managers and may supervise other support staff. A premium is paid for specific industry or market experience. Advanced computer skills with the ability to train others in system usage is preferred.
Administrative Assistant – Performs administrative and office support activities for multiple supervisors. Duties may include fielding telephone calls, receiving and directing visitors, word processing, filing, and faxing. Extensive software skills are required, as well as Internet research abilities and strong communication skills. Staff in this category also may have the title of department assistant, coordinator, or associate.
Entry-Level Administrative Assistant – Performs a variety of Internet research functions and uses word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. Duties also include fielding telephone calls, filing and data entry. May assist with overflow work from administrative and executive assistants, and fill in for the office receptionist as needed.
Senior Office/Facilities Manager – Responsibilities include those described for office manager, but this position requires more extensive experience and management skills. Duties may include selecting office vendors and supervising purchasing processes, directing mailroom and maintenance staff, and coordination of regular building maintenance staff. Solid communication and staff management skills are required, as well as some accounting knowledge.
Office/Facilities Manager – Coordinates various office support services, including purchasing and facilities management. Requires strong communication skills and some accounting knowledge. May include supervision of office administrative staff.
Human Resources Assistant – Responsibilities may include screening telephone calls, scheduling interviews, researching the Internet to locate potential job candidates, scanning resumes, and assisting with planning new employee coordination meeting, compiling materials and maintaining employee database records. Strong computer skills required, as well as sensitivity to confidential matters.
Marketing Assistant – Duties include those described for administrative assistant, but this position typically supports a marketing department exclusively. May assist both fulltime employees and consulting or freelance staff. Additional duties include assisting with trade show and event planning, creating or updating presentation software files, tracking budgets and expenses, and communicating with external creative service providers.
Sales Assistant – Duties include those described for administrative assistance, but this position supports a sales department exclusively. May assist regional sales staff based in remote locations (i.e., not in the central office). Additional responsibilities may include processing expense reports, coordinating the submission of proposals, planning meetings, tracking sales progress, troubleshooting minor technical problems, maintaining department database records, and serving as a liaison between traveling sales representatives and staff based in the home office. Strong computer and organization skills are required.
Project Coordinator – Works with internal and external parties to organize the various components needed to initiate, run and conclude major projects. Duties include coordinating schedules and activities, placing orders for supplies and services, and tracking progress and results. Requires excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge of database and project management software. Often reports to product development, project management or marketing executives. The position is especially prevalent in construction, transportation and technology industries. A premium is paid for the industry experience.
Presentation/Graphics Specialist – Duties include using presentation software programs (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) to create presentations for meetings and events. Also may edit material and provide basic instruction to presenters on how to use a particular program.
Logistics Coordinator – Responsible for the logistical processing of customer orders, includes coordination with vendors, sales staff, customer service representatives, billing representatives, warehouse and shippers. Arranges shipment of requested items, goods or merchandise. Some background experience in purchasing, inventory control, transportation and warehousing functions is needed. Computer proficiency also is required.
Front Desk Coordinator – Manages the company’s lobby area. Greets and directs all visitors, including vendors, clients, job candidates and customers. Ensures completion of paperwork, sign-in and security procedures. Handles special administrative projects, as well as overflow work from department and executive assistants. Depending on the size of the firm, also may answer incoming calls.
Receptionist – Greets visitors, handles incoming calls and performs general administrative duties. Also may assist other administrative staff with overflow work, including word processing, data entry and internet research tasks.
Switchboard Operator – Places, receives and routes a high volume of calls through an electric switchboard. Supplies information to callers, relays messages and announces visitors.
Office Assistant – Performs basic clerical tasks. Operates basic office equipment. Sorts and routes incoming materials. May require computer and data entry skills.
Mail Assistant – Sorts and distributes incoming and outgoing mail. Operates manual and electrical mailing equipment. Position usually found in larger companies.
File Clerk – Performs basic clerical tasks, such as systematically arranging letters, memoranda, invoices and other indexed documents according to an established system. Operates office equipment and completes general office work. Sorts and distributes mail. Required proficiency in basic word processing, spreadsheet and database programs. Additional duties may include answering telephones and some data entry.
Imaging Specialist – Sorts and prepares documents for imaging correctly and accurately indexes images. Must have knowledge of document imaging/scanning hardware and software, and experience creating electronic copies of documents. Strong computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office and document creation software such as Adobe Acrobat, are required.
Senior Data Entry Specialist – Prioritizes and batches material for data entry. Completes information analysis for procedures and reports. Requires knowledge of technical material and the ability to train and supervise others. Capable of high volume data entry.
Data Entry Specialist – Inputs information from a variety of sources into a computer database. May take customer orders and enter them into a pre-established tracking system.
Customer Service Manager – Hires, trains and manages member of the customer service department. Resolves difficult issues regarding client complaints and other matters. Works closely with managers in other departments, such as sales, on updating policies and procedures for client services.
Senior Customer Service Representative – Duties include those described for customer service representative but require stronger work experience for each function. Additional duties may include proactive communication with customers and client via telephone, e-mail, or regular mail; managing database records; drafting status reports on customer service issues; and supervising staff.
Customer Service Representative – Duties include receiving and placing telephone calls. Maintains solid customer relationships by handling their questions and concerns with speed and professionalism. Performs data entry and uses software programs. Also may require research skills to trouble shoot customer problems. Excellent communication abilities are essential.
Source of “Glossary of Job Descriptions”: OfficeTeam
Sample Job Description
Professional Secretary/Executive Assistant/Administrative Assistant
- Relieve management of administrative detail, all projects
- Coordinate work flow
- Update and chase delegated tasks to ensure progress to deadlines
- Take initiative in manager’s absence
- Keep projects on schedule
- Maintain procedures manual to ensure consistent performance of routines
- Compose correspondence/reports for own or manager’s signature
- Arrange essential mail in priority action order for boss
- Check deadlines on incoming requests and put preliminary work in play
- Process replies on own initiative or from bosses’ dictation or notes
- Research, draft or abstract reports
- Handle all inquiries within my capacity
- Arrange “callbacks” to protect boss’s time
- Provide back-up materials for callbacks
- Route calls elsewhere as needed
- Do phone surveys/inquiries as needed
- Maintain calendar; ascertain which events require boss’s presence
- Fix commitments to maximize boss’s time efficiency; Allow decision/desk time
- When boss chairs meetings:-Prepare agenda in advance
-Arrange meeting facilities
-Act as recording secretary; prepare action minutes
- Perform to earn boss’s full confidence
- Assure discreet handling of all business
- Screen to control interruptions
- Provide back-up data as needed
- Arrange amenities as needed
- As arranged, “rescue” boss from laggards
- Schedule visits away from boss’s area to protect priority/private tasks
- Arrange travel through internal or outside agents
- Arrange travel cash in advance
- Prepare itinerary, trip file and supplies
- Prepare expense report tools for boss
- Complete expense reports after trip
- Improve/tighten storage/retrieval systems
- Update and manage index
- Update secretarial/clerical desk manual
- Set up “tickler” system
- Set up “exception reporting” system to handle routines without supervision
- Routinely re-order department supplies
- Update mail/phone directories
- Make these available to trainees
- Handle administrative detail, all projects
- Seek greater role in projects within administrative and other areas of competence
- Seek training on projects outside my range
- As required, recruit, hire, train and supervise part-time or full-time, paid, or unpaid/volunteer secretarial or clerical staff
At the advanced levels, office administration is about METHODS for handling work; it requires a constant audit of the way a company does things, and willingness to rock the boat for greater economy and efficiency in getting work done. Here are some typical tasks:
- Study and review company or department procedures
- Recommend management action to improve standard operating procedures. Present comparisons on costs, risks, and benefits
- Develop and test new procedures
- Take part in any administrative meetings to assure secretarial follow-through
- Take initiative on requests and inquiries of administrative nature, especially when bosses’ specialty is not administrative
- Prepare and control administrative budgets
Some Administrative Assistants perform only the duties listed above. Others perform them along with their secretarial duties. Still others specialize in Finance, Marketing, Personnel, or Engineering, for example, and their title should clearly express their special area of concentration.
The more clearly your title informs callers and correspondents about what you actually DO and CAN DO for your team, the better.
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