Skip to Main Content

What Is an Executive Assistant and How to Become One

Executive Assistant

What Is the Job of an Executive Assistant?

Executive assistants provide administrative support to upper-level executives. This support includes basic clerical duties, such as answering phones, taking messages, directing calls, welcoming visitors, scheduling meetings, reviewing reports, and making travel arrangements for out of town events. Beyond these daily duties, executive assistants may also perform market research and train and supervise other clerical staff and administrative assistants.

What Are Executive Assistant Job Qualifications?

Executive assistants typically have at least an associate degree, though many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree. Previous administrative or secretarial experience is required. Obtaining a master’s in business administration (MBA) may be required when seeking positions with larger companies that allow for greater responsibility and a more integral role related to the operation and performance of a business.

Top 10 Skills Needed for Executive Assistants

Do your skills line up with what hiring managers are looking for when they are reviewing resumes for an Executive Assistant position? ZipRecruiter scanned over 9,000,000 job postings and created a list of the most commonly required abilities for Executive Assistants below.

Based on our assessment, mastering the skills below and listing them on your resume is critical in getting your Executive Assistant job application to the top of the stack.

  1. Executive Assistant Experience
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Scheduling
  4. Coordination Experience
  5. MS Office
  6. Attention to Detail
  7. Administrative Experience
  8. Travel Arrangements
  9. Expense Reports
  10. Secretarial Experience

What Are Other Job Titles for Executive Assistant?

Other common job titles for an executive assistant include executive secretary and executive administrative assistant. There may also be specifics added to the title, such as executive assistant to the CEO or the President

How Can I Be the Best at My Executive Assistant Job?

A high-level executive assistant must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and can prioritize and complete tasks efficiently. Market research skills in the field you are working in, as well as proficiency in Microsoft Suite and other administrative computer programs, are essential assets of successful executive assistants. You must also have a solid understanding of standard office processes and procedures, and be able to quickly gather a clear understanding of executive needs and goals so you can ensure progress towards that goal.

Executive Assistant Job Description Sample

With this Executive Assistant job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Executive Assistant role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an Executive Assistant to provide administrative support to upper management. Your daily responsibilities will include conducting research, preparing statistical reports, entering data into our system, running reports, and handling information requests. You will also perform clerical duties, such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, scheduling meetings, setting up travel arrangements, and taking notes at meetings. Our ideal candidate can manage a large, diverse workload and knows how to prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Answer phone inquiries, direct calls to the proper department, and provide basic company information
  • Take memos, maintain files, and organize, photocopy, fax, and collate documents as needed
  • Arrange travel, accommodations, itineraries, and all correspondence related to arrangements as needed
  • Plan, organize and implement events, such as meetings, business luncheons, or client dinners
  • Manage executive schedule and act as a liaison for the executive team
  • Prepare reports, presentations, and data, as well as maintain files, records, and correspondence for meetings

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent; post-secondary degree a plus
  • 3+ years of experience as an Executive Assistant or a similar role
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
  • Experience scheduling appointments and updating calendars
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Valid driver's license and safe driving record preferred