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What new office tech needs to be learned before the résumé is sent?

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in Admin Pro Forum

Question: "I have been an administrative professional for the last thirty years. Unfortunately, I was laid off three years ago and have not yet found a job. I’m quite fearful my technical skills and abilities are falling behind. What should I be up to speed on?" - Sheryl

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Gloria February 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

It also helps if you’re a notary.

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Ava February 5, 2014 at 9:45 am

Learn how to make and edit PDFs… no doubt you’ll be doing this no matter what sort of admin job you get.

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Gloria January 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

I meant don’t leave anything BLANK for the time period since you’ve been laid off. It looks like you haven’t been doing anything worthwhile. Another “perception”.

Also, use resume distribution services. Submit your res on Indeed.com. It pulls in multiple job boards on their site. Post on employer sites. Use headhunters and other recruiters.

Get a nice dark pant suit with a splash of color for blouse.

Brush up on your Phone Interviewing skills. That first call from an employer or recruiter could kill your chances at another interview. As informal as it seems, its an interview. If they catch you by surprise, ask to reschedule to another time where you can give them your full attention since you are in the middle of something.

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Gloria January 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Oh, another thing, work temp. These can work into full time, even if its not listed as such. There might be an opening in another part of the firm. Also, you can list this experience on your res. If you work at a lot of different companies as temp, only list the the temp agency because it looks like you’re with one employer. Otherwise, listing all the different companies makes you look like a job hopper. A big no no.

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Gloria January 31, 2014 at 11:36 am

MicroSoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and the other MicroSoft Office products. You can dvd’s on Amazon or go to http://30secondtraining.com/. Get your MOS certification while you’re at it. Take webinars and programs to keep up to date, All Things Admin, Eat Your Career, Office Dynamics. List these on your resume. List professional associations you’re involved in. Important skills: domestic and international travel scheduling, calendar management, expense reporting, project management. Offer professional, personal and virtual assistanting. Figure out what your brand is: what you offer that another assistant doesn’t. Create a professional portfolio. If you’re older, you can think about doing things to look younger: dying your hair, staying in shape, nice manicure. Unfortunately, there is age discrimination over 40 but there are ways arond it. Only list 15 years experience on your resume. Any more, you’re too old and expensive and can’t learn new things. This is the “perception”. Have your resume AND LinkedIn profile professionally written. I used the Career Artisan and Knock Em Dead writing services. Great services. Don’t be dishearted. You are unfortunately in good company. Hopefully, this will end for you soon and you’ll be back on track. Also, DO NOT Leave anything black for these past 3 years on your res! You gotta fill something in; volunteering, classes, something an employer can see and want to bring you on, The res writer can assist with this.

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L Brown January 31, 2014 at 8:41 am

It’s a world-wide issue of keeping up and re-entry to the workforce, as well as working long beyond the former age 65. Can we see some copies of current-style preferred resume/CV styles, and attention to pitfalls to avoid? Even if you are currently employed, you must keep these documents current for advancement. I think it would be of interest and benefit to all readers.

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Jackqueline January 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Hi Sheryl, currently I am in process of going though over 30 CVs for a part-time admin position in Australia. In my home state, Queensland, the state government disposed of over 12,000 workers in the last year and a half.

We are looking at people who have address the selection criteria responses, so many don’t; yes we are looking at skill sets however so many have the same on paper what shines though is the formatting on their CVs; the formatting of the CVs is appalling.

We understand that there are quite a few people who have not worked in a year or two; we are not dismissing them we are looking at what they have done also during this time i.e. volunteer office work for a not-for-profit etc.

Of the 30 CVs that I have looked at yesterday we are only interviewing a handful, my tip is to make your CV dot point perfect, if you can’t sell yourself as a top line admin who would employ you as one.

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Theresa Kasel January 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Often your local county/state employment offices will offer certification courses in MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint (often for free). I would take these so you have something that proves your proficiency at the software.

Anyone hiring someone for an administrative position is going to expect you to be proficient in at least two of those software packages.

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Anita January 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Hi Sheryl, I’m sorry you were laid off. I am hoping you are able to keep busy and stay positive. My advice is to look at monster.com and see what skills organizations want and compare those skills to what you already possess. Not all organizations use the same programs such as Concur for expense reporting, for example, so it would be worth your time to see what companies are using. Also, look at the trend for resumes, since the formats have also changed. Wishing you the best on your search.

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