How To Get A Job As A Secretary
Do you want to work as a Secretary?
Secretary Job is in high demand in society, most organizations need the services of a secretary globally and as the world continues to evolve, new industries, companies, and business organizations emerge every day and the role of a secretary is indispensable in these organizations.
Who is a Secretary?
A Secretary is someone who keeps records, takes notes, and handles general clerical work. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments and support other staff. There are salient factors you have to put into consideration if you want to work as a secretary and they are:
As the popular adage says the way you prepare your bed, so you will lie on it, one of the requisites for becoming a secretary is planning and this plan starts from your course of study at the University. An illiterate cannot be a secretary because the job requires people with intellectual and analytical skills, so for you to be a secretary you have to be educated. There is no really professional course that one has to take to work as a secretary because a secretary job is a job that demands skill and expertise. Most University graduates in different disciplines can pick up a job as a secretary if he or she possesses the skill but there are certain courses that can give you an edge over others if an organization is looking for a secretary and they are: Secretarial Studies, Office Management which are courses offered at Polytechnics that qualifies a person to be a secretary. Courses offered at the university are: Public Administration, Business Administration, Human Resource Management, English and Literary Studies and Mass Communication can qualify a person to be a secretary. In Nigeria for example an SSCE (Senior Secondary School Certificate) holder can work as a Secretary but some organizations may demand a degree holder, especially for the post of executive secretary.
Secretaries and Administrative Assistant usually learn their skills through short-term on a job training lasting a few weeks. During the course of the training, they learn about administrative procedures and how to prepare documents. The training of a secretary varies based on the organization, legal and medical secretaries may take long-term training so as to be efficient in carrying out the job. This will enable them to learn industry practices and terminology.
The world is a global village; the job of the secretary requires computer literacy, someone that wants to work as a secretary and is not computer literate needs to go for computer training in applications like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Corel Draw.
Relevant Working Experience
Most employers of today don’t want to employ a fresher; experience is what most employers are after. You don’t have to wait till you finish your University education before you start looking for jobs; you need to make hay while the sun shines. There are a lot of industries and organizations, you can go and volunteer as a secretary. This voluntary service may not be backed up with remuneration but it can give you the necessary skills and expertise you need. Taking advantage of the holiday period or strike will be another wise decision, during the holiday you can look for an internship or job placement in various organizations to keep yourself busy. Non Governmental Organizations, Hotels, Schools, and Churches are places you can volunteer as a secretary. There are influential people in society such as Politicians, Business Tycoons, and Entrepreneurs that are in need of a Personal Assistant, this can be a good starting point. In recent times, there is a job opportunity known as Virtual Assistant and this is very much related to the job of a secretary but it is usually done online and this job can also give you the necessary experience you need. All of these will give you an advantage over other graduates that just graduated from school with no experience at all.
How to Get Secretary Job
- Online Recruitment Website: There are many recruitment websites you can register such as LinkedIn and you will get notified when there is a job vacancy related to your field. You can be checking websites on regular basis for vacancies.
- Newspapers: There are a lot of job opportunities that are advertised in Newspapers, so always get a copy of a Newspaper and check the job section.
- Direct Application: You can send your resume or Curriculum Vitae to the Human Resource Management of the organization you want to work with. You can send a soft copy via email and you can visit the organization and submit your Resume.
- Human Contacts: Make sure you interact with people and let them know you are in need of a job, someone may just have the piece of information you need to get the job.
Duties of a Secretary
- Answer telephone calls and take messages
- Schedule appointments and update calendar events
- Arrange Staff meetings
- Prepare memos, invoices, and other reports
- Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
- Edit documents
- Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
- Perform basic bookkeeping
- Executive Secretaries perform complex responsibilities such as conducting research, reviewing incoming documents, and supervising clerical staff
- Legal Secretaries perform specific functions like they prepare legal documents such as summonses, complaints, and motions under the supervision of an attorney.
- Medical Secretaries prepare articles or reports for physicians and medical scientist
What Employers Are Looking For?
If you are applying for the post of secretary, your application/ curriculum vitae should contain the qualities and skills the employers are looking for, below are some of the qualities and skills:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and English Language. A Higher National Diploma in Office Management and Secretarial Studies will also be considered.
- Two to Four years of relevant secretary experience
- Excellent knowledge of Administration
- Strong Knowledge of Microsoft Word
- Organizational Skill
- Good understanding of keeping records and filing documents
- An analytical and creative mind
- Accuracy and good attention to detail.
- Good Communication and relationship-building Skills
- Team Spirit
- Time Management
- Writing Skill
- Computer Skill
- Negotiation Skill
- Discretion and Diplomacy
- Sense of Professionalism
If you discover that you are deficient in any of these skills, then you need to work on yourself to actualize your dreams.
Where to get the job
The opportunity is limitless. Industries, Organizations, Schools, Events, and Influential Men, and Women in society need a secretary to run their daily activities.
Career Growth/ Prospects
Secretary Job will continue to be relevant because new organizations emerge every day, and the internet can never be a threat to this particular job. In today’s society, Secretaries today perform versatile roles such as conducting research, supervising, and other technological skills. You need to develop yourself to meet up with the societal trends in other to remain relevant.