Administrative assistant job descriptions should be tailor-made to the needs of the person and organization they will be assisting. They should take some careful thought and planning, especially since it can be considered a legal contract. A good description gives a detailed to-do list and benchmarks for the administrative assistant to work by.
Outline the basic categories for the job. These should include the title (i.e. Administrative Assistant to the VP), department, direct supervisor, general areas of oversight, tasks, employment terms and qualifications.
Make clear exactly whom the employee is to assist. This will prevent any possible office conflicts in the future. If this assistant serves a pool of positions, make that clear. Put in writing if this assistant is employed fully at the discretion of one executive. Also indicate chain of command and proper reporting structure.
Define the primary tasks. Be careful of lazy, catch-all phrases for the job description such as "all necessary tasks." Be specific. Will the administrative assistant be scheduling travel, booking lodging, taking dictation, taking minutes for meetings, managing a calendar schedule, organizing file systems or overseeing other assistant staff? Include these in a bullet list with each bullet beginning with an action verb (maintain, sort, oversee, create, define, remind, etc.).
Define the necessary characteristics for excellent performance. These should be as specific as possible as well. For example, ask for expertise in Word, Excel and Photoshop rather than computer literacy.
Establish an appropriate level of education and experience. This should be based on the specific duties required. For some administrative-assistant positions, nothing more than a high school diploma is required. However, a college degree in business administration or some other official secretary training may be desired. For high-level administrative assistants, prior experience is a must.
Be careful to screen the job description for any statements that could be viewed as prejudicial or illegal.