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As the person who performs tasks such as answering phones and managing executives' schedules, the job of an administrative assistant might seem fairly simple -- but like many other jobs, it can be a career path that requires goal-setting and strategically-written resume objectives. Whether you're applying for a job as an administrative assistant or you're already working and need to create career goals, the key is to understand the needs of the company.
Writing an Objective Statement
A one- or two-sentence objective statement on your resume can demonstrate that your work goals are aligned with what the employer is seeking. Review the job posting carefully and look for words that describe the key tasks or qualifications and traits necessary for the job, and then use some of those words in your objective statement. Also include the job title you're seeking. If the employer is looking for someone who's mastered presentation software and can also handle complex accounting, for example, you might write "Objective: To use my advanced accounting skills and knowledge of PowerPoint and Keynote in a position as Administrative Assistant for X Company." This statement is typically placed near the top of the resume.
Writing a Pre-Job Goals Statement
Your resume can also contain a "Career Goals" section after the Objective. Once again, look to the job posting for key details the employer wants. Research the company's staff structure on its website or LinkedIn to find out what opportunities for advancement might be available. Then write a short-term goal that pertains to the job, as well as a goal for the future. If the admin job will include developing marketing materials, for example, you could say "My goal is to develop innovative and attractive flyers and social media postings for the business in my role as administrative assistant. My long-term goal is to learn as much as I can about marketing, to advance to a marketing management role." It's also OK to use bullet points to list your goals.
Creating Goals on the Job
Your job as an administrative assistant might feel like it's a static one, but it's not -- it's a career path, writes executive coaching firm leader Stefanie Smith on the American Management Association website. Use the "SMART" goal setting model to set short and long-term goals that are "specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound." A short term-goal might involve getting proficient at a certain type of software, or producing more documents each week. In the SMART model, "mastering X software by June 1" would be the specific goal. By adding the date, you've made it time-bound. Break the goal into small increments, such as mastering one chapter each week, for example, to make it measurable, attainable and realistic. Do the same for long-term goals, such as completing your business degree, for example.
Developing a Job Description
If you're tasked with developing a job description for an administrative assistant, start by brainstorming a list of tasks the admin will perform. Job descriptions typically include several key elements, including the job title, a summary of the job, the job tasks and responsibilities, the qualifications necessary, a description of to whom the person reports, the conditions in which the person will work, and the salary and benefits. Typical duties for an administrative assistant include filing, handling correspondence, managing staff calendars and planning meetings, but you can get other ideas by checking out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' description of the position, or by browsing the job postings in your local classifieds or on sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed. If you have existing administrative assistants, they can also help you develop an accurate description that will help new admins learn their roles more quickly.
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- Live Career: How to Write a Great Resume Objective
- The Thriving Small Business: Example Business Goals and Objectives
- Purdue University Extension: Developing Effective Job Descriptions for Small Businesses and Farms
- American Management Association: Admin Admired: Creating Your Professional Development Plan
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.