Secretary Examples, Skills and Keywords

When you're applying for a secretary position, a strong resume makes the difference. You can write a resume that gets results when you understand what employers need. Read more to learn what to include in your resume and how to structure it effectively.

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Secretary Resume Sample

A secretary is a person who supports a professional by doing tasks like scheduling appointments and managing correspondence. Hiring managers look for applicants with strong organizational skills, independence, and excellent communication abilities. These traits are essential for managing the demands of the position.

‌‌When you write a secretarial resume, you should focus on explaining how you demonstrate those skills. Your resume should highlight both hard and soft skills along with your previous experience. Your resume is a one-page opportunity to explain why you’re the perfect fit for this secretary position, so it’s essential to make every word count.

This secretary resume example shows how the applicant explained their hard and soft skills clearly while putting the spotlight on their experience.

HANNAH SIMPSON

Detroit, Michigan • (555) 555-1234 • hannahsimpsont@email.com • linkedin.com/in/h-simpson

Secretary | Administrative Assistant

Performance-driven leader providing high-level administrative and operational support, coordinating schedules, preparing travel and documents, while acting as a liaison between senior executives, vendors, team members, and community organizations. A reputation for driving efficiency and detail, remaining calm and calibrated in high-stress environments, and delivering best in class results.

Skills

Schedule Management | Travel Coordination | Process/Procedures Development | Process Management | Marketing Coordination | Employee Relations | Community Outreach Liaison | Database Management | Organizational Development | Customer Service | Relationship Development | Communications | Administrative Management | Front-Office Management

Experience
Phillips Company, Detroit, MI • Secretary to Engineering Department
(06/2018) - Present
  • Deliver executive support to the Director of Engineering and 190+ people in the department. Offer travel support, calendar assistance and organization, maintain vacation and attendance records, and support human resources with all Engineering new hire candidate needs. Monitor building maintenance and expansion, schedule conference rooms, annual event coordination and implementation, and serve as backup support to other departments.
  • During first 30 days of tenure, proposed and received approval to design and establish a central mail location, which removed duplication of work and improved efficiency of mail distribution.
Rogers, Inc, Detroit, MI • Secretary
(06/2015 - 06/2018)
  • Served as regional administrative support contact for Leasing Agents and Assistants; resolved issues remotely across two regions.
  • Increased efficiency by acting as liaison between 20+ agents and the regional directors to streamline requests and fulfillments. Developed and implemented new timeline structure that ensured consistency in report submission and established specific deadlines for documents.
  • Administered expense and travel policies by working with the accounting team to become the departments’ subject matter expert on the expense report management software.
  • Managed the workflow of temporary assistants; ensured adherence to corporate policies. Facilitated new hire requirements and assisted with employee orientation and training.
Jones Insurance, Flint, MI • Office Coordinator
(06/2011 - 06/2015)
  • Ensured client satisfaction and performed administrative duties, including completing appropriate documentation and submitting data for social security/life insurance processing.
  • Improved organizational efficiency and client services by directing the implementation of a new telephone system connecting multiple locations and enabling additional features.
Education
Master of Science Administration in Human Resources, Michigan State University
Bachelor of Science in Community Development, Michigan State University
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Secretary Resume Skills and Keywords

No matter what industry you’re in, open jobs can receive dozens or hundreds of applications. Hiring managers use tools to sort through these resumes for the best applicants before taking the time to read them. These tools check every submission for specific secretary resume keywords that are often connected with strong applications, and they filter out spam and irrelevant applications. When you list your resume skills with the right keywords, your chances of being seen increase.

Top Secretary Resume Skills

  • Independence
  • Time management‌
  • Microsoft Word
  • Flexibility
  • ‌Written and verbal communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Work ethic
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • ‌Google Suite
  • Digital file organization
  • Microsoft Excel
  • ‌Data entry
  • ‌Bookkeeping
  • ‌Phone etiquette
  • Prioritization
  • ‌Invoicing
  • ‌Calendaring
  • Report and document preparation
  • Records management
  • ‌Transcription
  • ‌Stress tolerance
  • ‌Research
  • ‌Social media
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Discretion
  • ‌Editing
  • ‌Active listening

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5 Resume Writing Tips for Secretaries

Once you have identified the secretary skills and experience you want to highlight in your resume, you can build your application with these five tips.

1. Start off strong

When you’re using traditional resume structures, the first paragraph after your contact information and name is known as your resume summary. A great secretary resume begins with a strong summary that explains the applicant’s work experience and important skills. You may also add a resume objective, which explains what you want out of the position.

One example of an excellent secretary resume summary would be, “Experienced secretary focused on leveraging communication and document creation skills at Brown Co. 8+ years of secretarial experience includes supporting three administrators, implementing new communication methods, and reducing paper use by 85%.”

This summary does two things. First, it explains how long the secretary has been in the industry, showing that they know how things work. Second, it gives specific examples of how they helped their past employers, which shows how they could solve future employers’ problems.

2. Be specific

While listing your previous jobs, be direct. List specific duties and tasks wherever possible. “Wrote emails” can be replaced with “Responded to client communications,” for example. Being clear about your secretary resume skills gives the reader a better understanding of what you actually did.

‌You should also use hard numbers if you can. Many elements of modern business record success in quantifiable metrics. If you improved efficiency or reduced paperwork, list that improvement with a number. “Cut response times by 50%” is more compelling than “improved response rates.” Using numerals instead of written-out words also helps your accomplishments stand out from the rest of your resume.

3. Include a secretary resume skills section

Many hiring teams are going to skim most of the resumes they receive. Make your resume skim-friendly by adding a section dedicated to your skills. This lets you focus on the exact skills and keywords you want to emphasize, like “organization” and “detail-oriented.” Hiring teams can also check your skills section if they need a candidate who understands a specific program.

Skills sections are also an excellent way to target additional keywords that may be important to filtering systems. You may not feel like your ability to use Microsoft Office tools is worth highlighting in the responsibilities or accomplishments of any individual position you’ve had. Instead, list it under your skills subheading to make sure it’s included.

4. Separate certifications from education

There are several certifications you can get for secretary positions. If you have any of these, you can put them in their own section. This is especially useful if secretarial work isn’t your first career, because it shows you’re dedicated to the field. If you have certificates in multiple areas, list the ones that are relevant to secretary positions over those that aren’t.

You should also list your certificates in reverse chronological order. This puts your most recent skills and accomplishments at the top, where readers will see them first. If you’ve been getting certificates for several years, this order puts the spotlight on your most advanced qualifications instead of your oldest.

5. Showcase your communication skills

Secretaries handle so much communication and so many documents that excellent communication skills are essential. You have the perfect opportunity to demonstrate these skills with your resume. There are two important ways you can accomplish this.

First, use active voice and avoid generic terms. Instead of saying you “took part” in a meeting, you can explain what you did. “Recorded minutes” or “scheduled meetings” are good, and “designed and coordinated departmental events” is even better. The reader should instantly understand what you did and how it applies to the job they’re looking to fill. That’s a sign that you can write clearly and well.

Second, proofread your resume several times, and have a friend check it for you if you have time. Typos and mistakes can be a strike against you for secretarial positions. If your resume is error-free, it shows you can produce documents to a high standard.

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