Could you provide managerial support, maintain schedules, and draft business correspondence? Read on to find out how to channel these skills into a job as a virtual assistant.
Whether you are weighing out the pros and cons of working from home or you’re decidedly ready to tackle telecommuting for the first time, virtual assisting is a solid telecommuting career that’s suitable for a variety of workers. Find the career success you seek with our suggestions for how to get a virtual assistant job.
Before applying to any virtual assisting jobs, make sure your skills are up to par with market expectations. Compare your traits against the following list of basic hard and soft skills needed to perform well in an at-home administrative assistant job.
Formal education is not needed to obtain a job in virtual assisting. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook states that the basic requirement for obtaining a job as a secretary or administrative assistant is a high school diploma or GED.
According to a May 2011 Occupational Employment Statistics survey conducted by the BLS, the mean hourly wage of administrative assistants is $15.87. Meanwhile, salaried secretaries and administrative assistants earn an average annual income of $33,020. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants are the highest paid, with mean earnings of $23.13 per hour or $48,120 per year.
Keep in mind that as a virtual assistant your wages will vary based on your employer, skill level, and terms of your contract.
From 2010 through 2020, the job outlook for the administrative assistant field is expected to grow at a rate of 12% which is about as fast as the average rate of growth, according to the BLS. Most workers hired in this occupation will be replacing others who have left for another career or who have retired. Due to the fast-paced expansion of the healthcare industry, administrative assistant jobs in the medical field are projected to grow at a much faster than average rate throughout the decade.
Previous experience as a virtual assistant isn’t required to gain an entry-level job, but the more experience you have the more viable you are as a job candidate. With a little effort, you can gain valuable experience as an administrative assistant that will go a long way toward a long-lasting career.
Train in-office. While your goal is to work from home, taking on a temporary traditional office job will give you hands-on experience as an administrative professional. Look for a part-time job at a doctor’s or lawyer’s office, school, or government facility.
Continue your education. A high school diploma or GED may be all you need to get hired, but continued education will quickly illustrate to a hiring manager that you are qualified. If you don’t have the finances or time to pursue a four-year degree, consider earning an associate’s degree from your local community college; many offer online degree programs. You can also take industry-specific courses at a vocational or technical college to strengthen your skills. Sign up for a class in office management, business communications, or data entry to help you succeed as a virtual assistant.
Become certified. Pursue a professional certification to raise your self-esteem, fine-tune your skills, and increase your eligibility. The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers certification exams that are considered the industry standard of expertise among administrative workers.
Virtual assisting is a heavily saturated work-at-home field; however, you can boost your chances of getting noticed by implementing these quick and easy suggestions to stand out:
Do your research. In addition to researching a virtual job ad to verify its legitimacy, investigate your potential employer. Look for information on significant company achievements, recent projects, and positive, newsworthy stories that you can mention in your cover letter and job interview.
Follow directions. Virtual assisting is a support role that requires you be able to follow through on instructions. Prove that you can follow directions on the job by doing so when submitted your application. When applying to virtual assistant jobs, look for special instructions in the job ad or sentences that request specific details like “Please submit three letters of reference” or “Only respond via email.”
Proofread your employment documents. If you cannot ensure your own paperwork is error free, how can an employer count on you to adequately maintain company files? Submitting a job application, resume, or cover letter with spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors is the fastest way to get canned as a candidate in this clerical role.
Prove you can telecommute. Succeeding in a virtual job means showing that you have the self-discipline and motivation to telecommute. From creating your resume in an online-friendly format to knowing your tech specs, use these 7 Quick Ways to Demonstrate You Can Work from Home to land your dream virtual assistant job.
Do you still want to work as a virtual assistant? Start your job search now by reviewing recent administrative jobs added to our Telecommute Database.
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