Feb 27 2018
Lauren Hamer
3 Minutes to read

“Thank you for your application. We received a lot of qualified applications, and while we were impressed with your background, we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate.”  

It’s easy to become frustrated after receiving two or three of ego-bruising rejections from employers. Given your accomplished work history, you’re pretty positive your application woes have nothing to do with your qualifications, but rather your resume. But if writing a professional resume was easy, you wouldn’t be reading this article. You need an administrative assistant resume that will land you more interviews. A resume that describes your experience in a way that gets you any job you want.

CareerBuilder says 29% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing each resume they receive. But they’re 60% more likely to hire someone who has customized their application to the open position — including a well-planned cover letter. This means you must stand out from the crowd. Writing a professional resume requires hard work and honest, personal inflection. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s a trick to resume writing, and learning it will set you up for a successful career.

Read on for tips for writing a professional resume and a sample resume for administrative assistants. The resume is ready for you to slice and dice as you please.

How to write a professional resume.

Writing a Professional Resume That Won’t Fall Into the Black Hole

Writing a professional resume is a learned skill. We’ll break down the process step by step so you can craft a striking resume that outshines the competition.

Section 1: Rev Up Your Summary Statement

Hiring managers are sifting through mountains of applications, and you must adapt your summary statement to the demands of the situation. The objective statement was once a resume standard. But today, they are being replaced by more effective summary statements that grab a reader’s attention and qualifies your experience right away.

A good summary statement cuts to the chase, delivering a concise highlight of your achievements and skills as an administrative assistant.

  • Organized, engaging, and proactive administrative professional with seven years’ experience supporting business operations via exceptional relationship management, team communications, and a meticulous attention to detail. 
  • Known for promoting accountability and collaboration in the workplace. Specific expertise in accounting principles and budgeting & forecasting. 

The best office managers are organized, meticulous, independently motivated, proactive, and engaging. Think about what characteristics you bring to the table that others do not. It helps to think about how colleagues would describe your strengths, or what kudos they’ve given you in the past.

Craft a paragraph that entices them to read more about your professional accolades.

Section 2: Have Pride in Your Professional Experience

Organize your employment history in a way that is easily understood by all readers. List your past employment in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position first. Keep non-critical or routine tasks/responsibilities to a minimum and list achievements instead. Drop all mention of “responsible for…” in your resume and replace this phrase with active verbs like “transformed, persuaded, refined, or negotiated” that better describe your efforts.

When writing employment sections, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What were your main responsibilities and major accomplishments in this position? Brainstorm examples of goals achieved, ways you saved the company money, processes made easier, or problems solved as a result of your efforts. Show this off every time.
  2. Can you quantify your achievements with numbers and figures?
  3. How did you go above and beyond in your role that others did not? What are you most proud of and how would your colleagues remember you if you left?

All bullet points should overflow with value. For example:

  • Saved $3,000 a year in office supplies after negotiating a new 2-year deal with current supplier.
  • Invited to support four high-performing account managers by creating quotes and sales contracts after demonstrated efficiency navigating CRM systems and accounting software.
  • Drafted new client services SOP that reduced customer escalation process from 5 steps to 3 and cut total issue resolution time by 20%.

A resume is not a complete autobiography, but merely a summary of your greatest achievements. Therefore, your resume should never exceed two pages.

Chronicle only 10 to 15 years of your professional experience. Any job you worked prior to the year 2000 is likely irrelevant to today’s hiring managers.

Section 3: Edge Out Your Competition with Your Education, the Right Way

The education section on your resume should list more than just a degree, date, and school’s name. Start with your most recent degree and work backward. If you’re a recent graduate, additional details like a near-perfect GPA or relevant coursework can go a long way in further demonstrating desired job skills. Tally any and all types of continuing education, professional affiliations, and certifications relevant to the office environment here, too.

Section 4: Show Off Your Skills

A skills section can be an easy way to incorporate relevant keywords into your resume. Tip the scales in your favor by listing a few specific skills in a separate section either beneath your Summary Statement or your Education.

But don’t list them haphazardly. Tailor the list to keywords present in the job description and similar ones like it. Consult the sample resume as a guide to writing a professional resume.

Section 5: Bring It Home

The CareerBuilder survey cited earlier found 35% of hiring managers are more inclined to hire someone who’s involved in their community. Volunteer experiences and outside hobbies can help paint a more well-rounded picture of you as a person, not just you a job candidate.

Include less-traditional resume fields near the bottom of your resume to differentiate yourself from the countless applicants competing for the same job. But remember, every single detail listed on your resume must serve you. Don’t list anything that won’t help make your case for hire.

Examples of relevant fields that can boost your desirability:

  • Technical Proficiencies
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Additional Languages
  • Hobbies & Interests

How to write a professional resume.

Three Resume Tips (Memorize Them)

Tip #1: Administrative assistants are required to have unmatched attention to detail. Resumes with poor formatting, typos, and grammatical errors will be the first to go when you’re competing with some 300 applicants who submitted immaculate resumes.

Tip #2: Use a resume template that’s clean, organized, and easy to read. A template with a modern font and a reasonable amount of white space pleases the eye.

Tip #3: Save your resume in multiple formats. Word documents are useful for online application portals and for Applicant Tracking Systems, which scan your resume for important information. PDFs lock various formatting designs in place and are easily read on mobile devices, which is how most hiring managers check email nowadays.

Sample Resume for Office Admins

Check out this sample resume for office admins

A resume is your most effective marketing tool. If done right, it’s your first-class ticket to landing an interview with your dream company. All it takes is a bit of honesty and inflection about your strengths to write a professional resume that clearly demonstrates your worth.

Learn how to write a cover letter to accompany your new resume here. Then, craft a unique and professional summary of your admin experience for LinkedIn using these tips here.

Key Takeaways
  • An error-free, organized, and easy-to-read resume format will help distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Focus on personal achievements that prove you’re worth interviewing.
  • Add other relevant sections to your resume to further demonstrate your professional qualifications.

Learn how to write a cover letter to accompany your new resume


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Written by:

Lauren Hamer

Lauren Hamer is a North Carolina based writer and career expert. She’s spent years crafting content for high-profile publications about office management, career, personal finance, and disability in the workplace topics. When she’s not writing, she’s still writing, usually creating killer resumes for job warriors as the Founder of LaunchPoint Resume.

Posted in: In the IndustryOffice Management

Tagged with: Job Success, Office Management