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Becoming an executive assistant

Executive Assistant jobs are often sought-after by secretarial professionals because they involve supporting senior business heads within an organisation. We look at the day-to-day of the job in more detail.

Who will you be supporting?

In an EA job, you will typically be providing support to senior directors or, in some cases, a CFO, COO or CEO. This means that your work will be very important to business success and you will have a high profile within the organisation.

Be hardworking and proactive

Because of the importance of these positions, employers look for people who are not only hardworking, proactive and friendly but who will thrive in a challenging and demanding environment. You will also need to work in a calm manner and perform your tasks with great attention to detail.

As many of these jobs are in investment banks or high profile Fortune 500 businesses, you’ll need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced and pressurised environment.

Key responsibilities

Although the exact nature of an EA job varies according to employer, you will typically be expected to:

  • Manage diaries
  • Book domestic and international travel
  • Liaise with clients and senior members of staff
  • Create and amend documents and presentations
  • Arrange meetings and conferences
  • Cover the telephone at all times
  • Attend meetings and take minutes

System skills are vital

To be successful, you’ll need to be confident in MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and MS Outlook. You’ll also need to be good at meeting deadlines because senior business heads are likely to need information you have to provide in a timely manner. It goes without saying that it must also be accurate.

In addition, employers look for people who can multi-task, solve problems, who have excellent organisational skills and who are equally comfortable working in a team or autonomously. Whenever you're invited to an interview, you should prepare some examples that show your skills and experience in these areas to discuss.

EA jobs: great opportunities

You will need to be a strong performer with good experience to secure an executive assistant job but if you are successful, it can really boost your CV and set you up for future success. Working for and impressing a senior manager will be extremely beneficial for your career in the long run. You also should make some useful contacts who may be able to help you out in the future. 

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