Are you looking for a job in an office? While any change of career is difficult, there are enough administrative positions available to make it possible for you to get a job. Here are some tips that will help you make yourself a more competitive candidate for this type of role:
Network. Because administrative staff are privy to a lot of sensitive information, managers will only hire candidates that they know or that appear trustworthy. As a result, networking can be an effective strategy. Contact the people in your network and tell them that you are looking for a job; you never know who might send you an opportunity.
Upgrade Your Computer Skills. To work in an administrative position, you need to have strong computer skills. This includes the ability to create, format and edit documents and slide presentations, to maintain databases and websites, and to use accounting software. If you are not strong in any of these areas, it may be a good idea for you to take a course to upgrade.
Highlight Your Soft Skills. Some people are a lot more suited to administrative jobs than others. To be competitive for administrative positions, you need to demonstrate through your resume, cover letter, and interview that you have strong verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail. Employers will be even more impressed if you can prove to them through your examples that you possess these skills.
Maintain a Professional Appearance. Since administrative staff are often the first point of contact for customers, it is essential that they project a professional image. Make sure that you are clean, neat and professionally dressed whenever you are networking or making contact with a potential employer. The way that you look will have a strong impact on how people perceive your level of professionalism.
Volunteer. Volunteer work can give you the opportunity to get experience that may be difficult to attain through a paid job. The key is to make sure that the experience that you will be getting will make you a more competitive candidate for an administrative position.
Often the easiest way to get a good job with an organization is to start at the bottom and work your way up. Even if the job that you are offered isn’t exactly your dream job, any office position will give you the opportunity to enhance your skills and to make an impression on decision-makers.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn)