Administrative Assistant is a broad job category that designates an individual who provides various kinds of administrative support to people and groups in business enterprises.
Kinds of Administrative Assistants
The term "administrative assistant" can be a formal title, or it can be a general description of an employee's function in an office. Depending on the kind of work a person does, there are many variations of job descriptions that fall under this role:
- Employees with the title of Administrative Assistant generally provide support to specific departments or teams in a company (such as Human Resources, Accounting, Development, Sales and Marketing or Information Technology). In small companies, a single "admin" can potentially provide support for everyone in the office.
- Secretaries or Executive Assistants provide support to individual (usually high-ranking) company executives or small groups of executives. Their responsibilities often include handling more private or sensitive corporate and personal information than other employees.
- The main job of a Receptionist is to answer the telephone and take messages for an office or a department, and also to greet visitors to the office.
- Project Assistants provide support to specific projects in a company (e.g. activities that have a defined goal and end-point).
- Personal Assistants provide support for a specific individual, and their responsibilities often include taking care of non-office related tasks, such as running personal errands.
- Clerks often provide office support that is confined to one or two specific tasks, such as filing or data entry.
- Accounting Assistants provide support to a company's finance, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments. Employees in these positions tend to have more specialized knowledge of accounting and finance.
- Production Assistants provide support for people and groups in film and television production.
Duties of Administrative Assistants
Administrative Assistants perform many basic functions in offices, including:
- Assisting with all aspects of administrative management, directory maintenance, logistics, equipment inventory and storage
- Managing inventory of assets and supplies, monitoring critical level of stocks, sourcing for suppliers and submitting invoices
- Coordinating between departments and operating units in resolving day-to-day administrative and operational problems
- Scheduling and coordinating meetings, interviews, events and other similar activities
- Sending out and receiving mail and packages
- Preparing business correspondence (often using word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation computer software)
- Sending faxes
- Managing Files
- Research and the identification of key data sources
- Ordering and receiving food deliveries
- Performing multifaceted general office support
- Preparing meeting minutes, meeting notes and internal support materials