A good secretary or administrative assistant allows the executive decision-makers to be efficient
by providing those supporting services that will save time and provide organization of the work.
Much of the work of an administrative assistant or executive secretary is routine, but often
highly important. Listed below are some of the secretarial tasks of those presently working in the
1. Sorts mail and often responds to letters that are of a routine nature.
2. Maintains a schedule of appointments for those for whom she or he is directly
3. Takes dictation and transcribes it.
4. Does preliminary interviews of job applicants.
5. Maintains office efficiency by ordering supplies and being prepared for rush jobs.
6. Types financial reports.
7. Sets-up meetings.
8. Often will organize social affairs for the company.
9. May be responsible for the care of personnel records, including the coordination of
10. Types various kinds of contracts and proposals.
11. Meets and welcomes guests of the company.
12. Handles correspondence.
A high school diploma appears to be an absolute necessity. In addition, a strong background in
the basic secretarial skills is mandatory. This includes shorthand, transcription, typing,
understanding business machines, and a strong working knowledge of English grammar and
Background training in business administration as the result of attendance at a junior college or
school of business would also be helpful. Beyond these basic skills, however, is another
important feature, namely attitude and grooming.
It is often true that the secretary will establish the basic tone of the office. In this regard a
secretary must consider his or her attitude and grooming as an integral part of their career
pattern. They must develop those personal skills and habits that have a positive effect on a
variety of different people.
People under pressure need support, and the secretary/administrative assistant is often the best
person to provide that necessary lift to make a working day more pleasant and profitable. Human
relations skills, then, are no less important than the more mechanical skills of an efficient
Job conditions are generally good, though on occasion hectic. The rewards, however, are quite
good with salaries at or well above those paid by other industries.