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An executive personal assistant plays a key role in helping a business run smoothly. Company executives are stretched in many directions and need someone behind the scenes who can keep everything in order. Executive personal assistants take on many tasks, from administrative to private. These positions usually require at least a high school diploma or equivalent and could demand a bachelor's degree and personal assistant experience in some cases.
Focus on Administration
Executive personal assistant job descriptions focus on administrative duties. If a personal assistant works in the executive main office, these duties will be more obvious than perhaps out of a home office. In general, answering the phone, taking messages, preparing reports and updating spreadsheets are some of a personal assistant's duties. Executives are in charge of many processes within a company, and personal assistants oversee administrative tasks to help complete these processes efficiently.
Focus on Organizing
One area that can fall behind when a business executive is busy with company matters is staying organized. The personal assistant ensures that the executive's life runs smoothly. This typically involves not only keeping files and desktops organized but also planning trips and scheduling the executive's time to the minute. An executive personal assistant might have a week's worth of paper and scheduling dumped on her desk first thing in the morning. A personal assistant needs to be able to think through matters in an orderly fashion to help an executive smoothly get through his day.
Focus on Personal
Since "personal" is part of the job title, an assistant can expect to attend to an executive's private issues. The assistant may have to run shopping errands, let a repairman into the executive's home or pick up dry cleaning. Discretion is of the utmost importance for an executive personal assistant. Executives open up their lives to their assistants and need to be able to trust them with any private matters that arise.
Focus on Relationships
An executive personal assistant must focus on maintaining positive relationships on behalf of the executive. Personal assistants have to strike a balance between being firm and personable. They need to accomplish many things in a short time, and executives will turn to them during crunch times. Personal assistants need to know how to talk to people to get what they need. They should have excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as the ability to negotiate.
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