03 May 2016

Start A Career As An Executive Assistant

Business and Management

An Executive Assistant carries a high level of accountability and responsibility with a company.

Discover what an Executive Assistant does each day - and how to get involved.

The job of an Executive Assistant

With increasing pressures on people’s time and performance, an Executive Assistant (EA) is responsible for keeping the boss organised. Supporting high level executives, CEOs and company managers, and Executive Assistant’s tasks are purely business oriented.

An Executive Assistant needs to be dynamic, flexible, friendly, personable and able to multi-task. They interact with a range of stakeholders on a daily basis - from upper level management to suppliers and clients - and need to be able to effectively communicate and work with all of them.

Duties will vary between employers and industries, but generally include managing schedules, transport and travel arrangements, screening and responding to correspondence, drafting emails and memos, and other general clerical tasks. EA’s will also often attend business meetings to set agendas, take notes or minutes and prepare or assist with presentations.

Executive Assistants may also have to handle budgets, purchasing and leasing, and may even handle some HR responsibilities. Time management is an integral part of the job - tools of the trade may include a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop, all synced together in organisational harmony. Discretion is also paramount, with many EA’s privy to confidential corporate, and even personal, information.

Recruitment expert Julie Sattler believes Executive Assistants are a necessity for bosses these days.

“The reality is that many bosses would be lost without their executive assistant,'' she told CareerOne.

How to become an Executive Assistant

Julie Sattler says many leaders these days are looking for well qualified executive assistants. Knowledge of e-commerce, health and safety, public relations and project management is looked upon as favourable assets.

Do some research before applying for an Executive Assistant position – check the company website (particularly any blogs or company news), LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The more you know about a company, the more you can determine the skills and knowledge to prioritise. Be ready to use that knowledge in your interview, as attention to detail is a positive attribute for an Executive Assistant.

When applying for an EA position, structure your description of previous roles so that each task remains clear and distinctive, rather than copying and pasting the same description for each. Let the employer know what benefits you can bring to the table as their Executive Assistant – and steer clear of listing skills that have nothing to do with the position.

What you can earn as an Executive Assistant

As an Executive Assistant, you can expect to earn around $68,125 on average, depending on the company and the rank of the manager in charge. According to PayScale, Executive Assistants in Australia can earn as much as $86,679, with the possibility of bonuses and profit sharing.

Think you have what it takes to become an Executive Assistant? Check out Foundation Education's BSB40120 Certificate IV in Business (Business Administration). Call 1300 616 197 today.

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