A successful business can only function as well as its systems, so we assume you’re reading this guide to determine exactly how you can find the most effective, organized administrative assistant for your office. You need someone who knows how to balance the daily schedule, without losing sight of the big picture, and who isn’t afraid of some lighthearted banter with clients. Most importantly, you want an administrative assistant who’s detail-oriented, proactive, and happy being the glue that holds the office together.
So, you know what type of person will thrive in the position, but how do you attract the best candidates to apply for the job?
Thankfully, we’re here to help you answer that question. Throughout this guide, you’ll find sample administrative assistant job descriptions, along with tips and advice on how to write a job description that zooms in on all the ways you stand out from the competition!
Job details: Artistic Expressions is a family-run and operated visual arts academy serving Bostonians since 1978.Though our business is thriving and serving a diverse crowd of more than 500 children and adults, we can’t seem to manage our calendar or figure out how to use any of the fancy software most businesses seem to be using these days.
We’re hoping to find an administrative assistant who can do it all—run the office Monday through Friday, and drop by for our famous family picnics on weekends. In this position, you’ll run much of the day-to-day operations, from answering phones and clients' questions to scheduling team meetings and developing an online calendar for students. Historically, we’ve been a pen and paper business, which doesn’t bode well for us because we easily lose track of both our pens and our papers. Overall, we need an administrative assistant who can help us enter the 21st century.
About the company: Artistic Expressions seeks to help every person express their creativity and personality through visual arts in any media they wish to work with. We like to think of the work culture as one centered on personal and professional growth. We’re not afraid to celebrate the milestones of the academy and our staff, so don’t be surprised when we throw you a party for adopting a new dog or closing on your first house!
Many of our academy students think of Artistic Expressions as the heart of Somerville: a place to relax and break away from the competitive academic environment of the area. Though many of our student’s works are featured in the rotating exhibit at the Harvard Art Museum nearby, we strive to put the focus on self-development for the joy of it, rather than for a competitive edge on college apps. Since we’re not business-oriented ourselves, we’re hoping you can bring joy and creativity to the art of business administration here at Artistic Expressions.
Job details: UpCycle Interior Decorators started as a passion project for our founder, Kendra Bloomberg. What was once just a pipedream, has become the second largest sustainable interior decorating company in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve set out to prove to the world that environmentally-friendly homes are the future of design for every budget.
We count our lucky stars that our work is so valued in the Bay Area. We actually had to stop adding clients to the waitlist, because this three-woman company is operating at maximum capacity. We need a talented administrative assistant who can tackle all of the business side of our company, so the three of us can focus on design and resourcing materials. Our senior administrative assistant can expect to liaison with our current two overloaded but very appreciated admin. assistants and clients/vendors/contractors. You'll research grant opportunities, invoice clients, respond to emails, and lead in managing our busy schedules for optimum efficiency.
About the company: UpCycle first opened its doors in 2012, and has since continued to grow while maintaining a core vision of sustainability. Most of our competitors drive gas-guzzling SUVs, while we’ve strived to maintain an all-electric fleet and solar paneled roofing on our office. We avoid fast home fashion trends like the plague by designing residences that stay in vogue for a lifetime. Also, we reject the notion that there should be a price barrier to achieve sustainability, and we work with clients to access grants and funding to reduce their carbon footprint. Joining our team is more than just joining a company—it’s about working toward a vision for a greener future.
Job details: Reynolds and Bird of Manhattan is proud to be called one of the Best of: New York’s top five Legal Entity Firms of 2020. As you may already be aware, firms across the board have experienced surging demand, compared to pre-pandemic levels, and ours is no exception. Demand for our services has soared to nearly 75% above 2019 levels. It goes without saying that we need a skillful executive administrative assistant to investigate where we’re losing efficiency and how we can grow our client base without doubling the number of attorneys we need to hire.
We’re seeking an executive administrative assistant who can utilize data-derived information to streamline our systems, coordinate with clients, and cement our reputation as a staple of the New York litigation landscape. The ideal candidate is a true professional who’s brain naturally organizes their thoughts into color-coded filing cabinets. At the end of the day, we need someone who’s dependable, reliable, and who can act as the anchor that keeps this boat (our firm) from being set adrift.
About the company: Reynolds and Bird was founded in 1971, and has since grown from a two-woman operation to a booming firm with 8 partners and a total of 18 lawyers on payroll. We’re proud of our roots as the first female-operated firm in New York City, and we’ve continued the tradition of inclusion and representation to today. The culture here is one of respect, and the highest level of professionalism, both in our communications internally and in how we represent ourselves to clients. We’re a no-drama group that welcomes candid, open conversations that help drive us to be better each and every day.
If we’re being honest, we’d say upwards of 70 percent of job descriptions fail in several significant ways. They’re so generic that most applicants have no idea whether or not they’re qualified, the work environment isn’t highlighted, and the day-to-day life at the job isn’t touched on.
But, the biggest failing is that most job descriptions out there seem to assume they can be so boring that watching paint drying seems like an entertaining alternative. If you value your administrative assistant (as you should), take the 30 minutes or so it takes to write a compelling, engaging, and informative job description. Put your best foot forward to create the strongest first impression for your future administrative assistant.
Notice how the job description samples above focus on the why? For example, our executive administrative assistant job description lets potential employees know right from the start that they need to hire someone who can help streamline their systems in the face of unprecedented growth. In our first example, the company made it clear that they need help modernizing their business away from paper notes and bookkeeping. Tell administrative assistants exactly why you need help; they’ll appreciate your candor. Being open and honest at the beginning of the recruiting process is critical to finding the right candidate.
We ask a lot of our administrative assistants, so make sure you keep these values in mind while you write your job description:
A polished job description is harder to write than many give it credit for. A standout job description should be interesting, answering enough questions to let candidates know whether or not they’d like to work for the company, without taking up too much of their time. It’s somewhat similar to how a well-staged open house leaves you fantasizing about how great your life would be in that home. A great job description requires precision to spark a similar sensation in job seekers.
Achieving this takes forethought and a series of careful revisions. Writing is actually the easy part—it’s careful editing that makes for an enjoyable read. If you glance through a candidate's resume and spot a typo, you’re probably quick to move to the next resume. Similarly, your job description needs to be proofread with a fine-toothed comb if you want the right administrative assistant resumes to roll in.
At this point in the guide, you’re probably gaining a newfound appreciation for just how important your job description is. After all, without a high-quality job description, you won’t be able to hire a high-quality administrative assistant. Fortunately, there’s no need to stress. Use this outline as your one-stop shop for creating a standout job posting that finds the most qualified admin. assistant for the job.
Job details: Take a sentence or two to introduce your company, before moving on to let candidates know why you need to hire someone, who the ideal candidate for the job is, and the work they’ll be expected to accomplish. Reading about job details can be dull at the best of times, so if you can find a moment to highlight something unique and interesting (and relevant), go for it! This will hint to potential employees that even the mundane can be enjoyable at your company.
What you’ll be doing/Roles/Responsibilities/Requirements: Ugh, nobody on the job hunt wants to waste their time with non-specific work responsibilities that tell them nothing about what the company is actually looking for. Some potential employees admit that they’ll gauge whether or not they’ll actually read this section based on the first job responsibility listed. If you want to ensure this section is meaningful and helps you stand apart from the crowd, focus on listing a specific requirement, followed by an example of how it can be achieved.
Qualifications: If a candidate lacks the required qualifications for the job, they have the right to know this right away. Make your qualifications section clear, including all the essentials, so no one's valuable time is wasted.
Benefits: When you hire someone, you’re making an agreement with them to take up a portion of their lives. Be upfront and clear about a range of salaries they can expect to earn, and let them know about all the basics, such as medical coverage and paid parental leave. You should also take the time to mention any unique company perks, such as gym memberships, social events, or access to daycare services at a reduced rate.
About the company: If you didn’t mention the job location in the job description, make sure you do it here. This space is a great place to give job candidates a feel for the company culture, and it gives you an opportunity to briefly give some background on the business and work environment.
An administrative assistant is a fundamental part of many types of business, from a successful plant nursery with five employees to a top-tier law firm with 200. It goes without saying that administrative assistants wear many hats. Though not every role we describe will apply to every administrative assistant, those below are a sampling of the functions an administrative assistant might perform.