Career Development

16 Administrative Specialist Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Administrative Specialist skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Administrative specialists are responsible for providing administrative support to an organization. They often have a wide range of responsibilities, from managing schedules to handling customer inquiries. Administrative specialists need to have a variety of skills to be successful in their roles. If you’re interested in becoming an administrative specialist, learning about the necessary skills can help you determine if this is the right career for you.

Planning and Scheduling

Administrative specialists often use planning and scheduling skills to keep track of their workday, meetings, deadlines and other responsibilities. They also use these skills when creating schedules for events or activities at the workplace. For example, an administrative specialist might create a schedule that details who will be in charge of each department during holidays so that someone is always available to answer questions from employees.


Organization is the ability to keep track of files, documents and other items. Administrative specialists often have many different types of paperwork that they need to organize by type or date. They also may be responsible for keeping track of records like medical files, which requires a very specific system to ensure privacy laws are followed.

Accounts Receivable/Payable

Administrative specialists often need to manage the company’s accounts receivable and payable. This involves collecting money from customers or suppliers, entering data into a computer system and paying bills on time. You can use your accounting skills to help with this task. For example, you might review invoices for accuracy before approving payment.


Billing is the process of recording and tracking payments for goods or services. Administrative specialists often use billing skills to manage their own expenses, as well as those of their employer. They also use billing skills when processing invoices from vendors and suppliers. Billing involves record-keeping, attention to detail and accuracy in data entry.


Scheduling is the ability to plan and manage time effectively. Administrative specialists often use scheduling skills when creating calendars, planning meetings or events and managing projects with deadlines. Scheduling also includes knowing how to prioritize tasks and resources, which can help you make informed decisions about how to allocate your time at work.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. Administrative specialists often communicate with clients over the phone, in person or through email. They also need to be able to explain complex topics in a way that their colleagues can understand them. Strong communication skills are essential for administrative support staff members because they use them every day at work.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. Administrative specialists often use problem-solving skills when completing tasks, such as resolving a discrepancy in an account or finding ways to save money on office supplies. You can also apply your problem-solving skills during meetings with managers or clients who have questions about company policies or procedures.


Administrative specialists often perform payroll duties for their organizations, which means they must understand how to calculate and record employee salaries. This includes understanding federal and state laws regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, taxes and other regulations that affect salary calculations. It’s also important to know how to use the software your company uses to manage its payroll so you can ensure employees receive accurate payments.

Office Administration

Administrative support staff often perform clerical duties, including maintaining files and databases, sending emails, managing calendars and scheduling meetings. They also use office equipment like computers, printers, fax machines and telephones to complete their tasks. Having strong organizational skills can help them keep track of records and ensure they send important messages.

MS Office

Administrative specialists need to be familiar with the Microsoft Office suite of programs, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These are common tools used in an office environment for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Familiarity with these programs can help administrative assistants perform their duties more efficiently.

Customer Service

Customer service skills are important for administrative assistants because they often interact with clients and customers. They need to be friendly, helpful and willing to answer questions or address concerns. Customer service also includes knowing how to handle difficult situations, such as when a client is upset or angry.


Administrative specialists often have to complete multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, they may be responsible for managing a company’s social media accounts while also responding to emails and phone calls from customers. Being able to multitask can help administrative assistants stay productive throughout the workday. It can also allow them to take on more responsibilities at work or advance their careers by learning new skills.

Filing & Data Management

Administrative assistants often need to manage and file paperwork for their departments. This includes maintaining records, filing incoming documents and updating files when necessary. Data management involves using computer software programs that allow you to store and retrieve information more efficiently. Examples of data management include creating databases, managing spreadsheets and inputting metadata into digital files.


Invoicing is the process of creating and sending an invoice to a customer. Administrative specialists often use invoicing software, which can be helpful for calculating taxes, generating statements and tracking payments. It’s important to understand how to create accurate invoices that clearly outline what customers are paying for and when they need to pay it by.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Administrative support staff often work in fast-paced environments where priorities can change quickly. Having flexibility allows you to adjust your approach and remain calm when unexpected situations arise. Flexibility also means being willing to learn new skills, technologies or processes as they become necessary for completing your duties.

Answering Phones

Answering phones is a common task for an administrative assistant, and it’s important to be able to answer incoming calls in a professional manner. You should know how to direct callers to the correct person or department and how to transfer calls if you can’t help them directly. It’s also helpful to have good phone etiquette, including knowing when it’s appropriate to use humor while on the phone.

How Can I Learn These Administrative Specialist Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills for an administrative specialist. Many of these skills can be learned through on-the-job training, or through taking specific classes or workshops. You can also learn these skills by reading books or articles on the subject, or by attending seminars or conferences.


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