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How to become an Executive Assistant?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered October 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
The minimum educational requirement for the Executive Assistant position is a high school diploma. However, increasingly more employers are now seeking candidates who have completed post-secondary courses or have earned a higher academic degree, such as a college or university degree in Administration, Business, or Secretarial Studies.   
In today’s job market, Executive Assistant positions require between 3 and 5 years of experience working in an office environment, preferably as an Administrative Assistant. Having a basic knowledge of the sector in which the applicant wants to work is always a must.    
Executive Assistants must also be willing to step outside of their job description, meaning they will often be required to take additional responsibilities. Working irregular and extra hours is almost a requirement in many industries, and so too is the expectation of being always reachable. In other words, their work schedule is dictated by the executive they assist and may also vary from one company to another.  
Lastly, Executive Assistants need to pay attention to how they come across. Understandably, outstanding customer service skills are essential to this job, but a successful candidate must also always remain polite, continuously smiling, and conveying a positive, can-do attitude.    
What can help you become an Executive Assistant
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills:     
Executive Assistants should prioritize and plan their work activities to efficiently use their time while handling a large, diverse workload. The ability to multitask is paramount, and working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment should come naturally.      
  • High levels of initiative, flexibility, and responsiveness:     
Professional assistants to executives should be able to learn and adapt while facing changing demands. Executives’ schedules are reasonably busy and demanding, and this spills out into the jurisdiction of the Executive Assistant to manage with ease, which is easier said than done. By demonstrating excellent attention to detail and high levels of thoroughness, these professionals will have the professional capacity to jump through the daily hurdles that present themselves.     
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills:     
Executive Assistant roles require clear communication strategies, both written and verbal, to build trust and cultivate relationships with clients, coworkers, and executives. This will also come through when communicating with clients and colleagues. They should display an impeccable and professional phone demeanor, have a friendly and engaging personality to foster and maintain positive relationships, and display strong customer service skills to anticipate others’ needs and handle their requests proactively, diplomatically, and tactfully.