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Receptionist Duties & Responsibilities

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A receptionist is an important part of any business or company. Receptionists have a variety of clerical duties in addition to running errands and supporting those working in other positions throughout the company. The receptionist must be able to prioritize work assignments and be involved in a variety of tasks while interacting with many people.

Greet Clients and Visitors

The receptionist provides a first impression of the company in the way she greets visitors, applicants and vendors. She must have a neat and professional appearance, make eye contact and greet each individual upon arrival. At many larger companies, no one sees or talks to upper management or CEOs without first going through the receptionist. This is called being the gatekeeper. As the gatekeeper, the receptionist helps those above her in keeping their busy schedules flowing smoothly and with minimal interruption.


Communication is important and takes up a large part of the receptionist's day. The receptionist answers the phone, which often involves the use of a phone system with multiple lines, and also makes return phone calls for management or other office staff. Written and e-mail correspondence are also part of her job. The receptionist must know how to write a business letter and create a professional e-mail for company clients or employees.

Record Keeping

Record keeping is another part of a receptionist's job. This involves maintaining sales and purchase records, taking meeting minutes, filing company communications and recording staff requests and client information. The receptionist must work with word-processing programs, databases and spreadsheets. Highly sensitive records must be handled by the receptionist in a manner that keeps the information confidential.


Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.