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How to get an administrative job with no experience

So, you want to know how to get an administrative job with no experience? It’s a classic dilemma: You need experience to find a job, but you first need a job to get the experience. What do you do? The key is to build up your soft skills, hard skills and experience.

To understand how to do that, let’s first look at what administrators do.

What a job in administration means

Administrators play a vital role in the day-to-day running of a business by providing office support to individuals or teams. Their duties may include taking phone calls, receiving visitors, creating spreadsheets, doing basic bookkeeping, handling scheduling matters and performing secretarial tasks.

Like in most fields, there are entry-level administration positions as well as highly specialized roles requiring years of experience. This is good news for you, as you can first focus on getting an entry-level job and then work your way up. So, here are some things to think about as you try to break into an administrative role.

1. Think of the soft skills you have

Usually, administrators are required to have the following:

  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Top-level enthusiasm and self-motivation
  • An organized and detail-oriented personality
  • High reliability

Are these qualities that you have? If so, can you think of a time you have put them to use? For example, maybe you had a part-time job that required you to have strong communication skills or ran a club that benefited from your organizational skills.

Being able to show that you have used these skills with success will look good on a CV or cover letter.

And if you don’t have these skills, you can always develop them. Try taking an in-person class or, more conveniently, studying online.

2. Fill any hard skills gaps

The hard skills involved with administration usually involve knowing software packages such as Excel and Word. Additionally, many administrators are still required to type quickly and accurately in order to take notes and edit documents. Finally, one skill that might set you apart from other job seekers is knowing about bookkeeping and mastering bookkeeping software.

Like with soft skills, you can learn these skills through in-person training or online learning.

Any hard skill you can add will improve your CV and help you stand out in the eyes of potential employers.

3. Start getting experience

If you’re struggling to land your first job in administration, you may have to start thinking of some alternatives. Here are some ideas for getting your foot in the door:

  • Sign up with a temp agency. Temporary jobs may not sound ideal, but they will give you valuable office experience, probably a good reference and maybe even permanent work.
  • Do an internship. Though they are usually unpaid and often hard to get, internships are a great way to fast track your way to paid work.
  • Take on some other entry-level position. One way to get in with a company is to take whatever work you can get. After impressing with your work ethic, you can transition to administration.
  • Volunteer at an organization. Volunteering is a great way to show off your motivation and prove that you are worthy of a paid job.

At the very least, these are great CV builders. At best, they will lead to permanent work.

Don’t let your development and skills-building stop once you land a job.

Once you have more experience, you can look into some of the more specialized administrative opportunities. Learning and career development are lifelong habits!

Check out these courses to not only help you land the perfect job, but to succeed at it once you do:


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