Job Profile: PA & Secretarial


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If you’re an organised and confident communicator, then a PA or secretarial job could be perfect for you. Depending on the role, personal assistants and secretaries are often the first port of call for many organisations, taking on a range of responsibilities that demand great multitasking and administrative skills.

Below you’ll be able to find out more about the responsibilities included, along with some of the skills we look for in candidates and the types of opportunities there are available. Remember you can search for PA and secretarial jobs in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire with Anne Corder Recruitment and send us your CV here.


Our Career Map profile for PA & secretarial jobs includes:


Responsibilities typically included in a PA and secretarial job:

Core responsibilities for PA and secretarial jobs can include:

  • diary management
  • email management
  • audio and copy typing
  • writing minutes for meetings
  • gatekeeping (e.g. filtering phone calls to the relevant parties internally)
  • scheduling meetings and arranging associated hospitality requests
  • arrangement of both business and personal travel including:
    • flights
    • hotels
    • chauffeurs
    • preparation of detailed itineraries
  • arranging and minuting of key corporate meetings, including regular health and safety meetings and employee consultation committees
  • personal tasks for the line manager such as picking up a birthday cake or ad hoc dry cleaning requests

As with any job there are a number of additional responsibilities that can fall under the title of PA or secretarial, such as:

  • facilities management
  • organisation of the annual staff events, such as the Christmas party
  • covering another PA in their absence
  • direct line management of a team assistant or peer
  • chauffeuring visitors/line manager/team to meetings
  • preparation and validation of expense claims, credit card and other account reconciliation


Desirable skills in PA and secretarial jobs:

When recruiters begin to look for a suitable PA or secretarial candidate, they will be looking for these skills:

  • first class organisational skills
  • great multi-tasking abilities
  • good typing skills
  • good at coordinating tasks and managing processes
  • proficient knowledge of: Microsoft Outlook; Word; Excel, and PowerPoint


What kind of person suits a PA or secretarial job?

  • Organiser: individuals who have the ability to confidently organise everything from a diary to a filing cabinet through to events and their own priorities.
  • Discrete: personal assistants and secretaries are often required to handle confidential information on a regular basis. As a result, it’s important that they’re always discrete and take the utmost care to keep confidential information as confidential.
  • Great communicator: having strong interpersonal skills will be essential as PAs and secretaries deal with new people every day, either on the phone, via email or in person. Being able to communicate effectively with a variety of people will also allow PAs and secretaries to present the company in a positive light – very important as they are often an individual’s first point of contact.
  • ‘Multi-tasker’: PAs and secretaries have a lot of different responsibilities to manage and as a result need to be able to take the initiative and prioritise effectively whilst still getting everything done. Hence, being a great ‘multi-tasker’ can really help.


What career development opportunities are there for PA and secretarial professionals?

With the broad range of skills required for a PA or secretarial job there are a number of career development opportunities. This can include, but is no means limited to:

  • executive assistant roles
  • taking on a managerial role, perhaps managing a team of PAs
  • promotion and progression within a team of PAs
  • with training courses it could be possible to upskill and move into other areas of the business


Where could you be working in a PA or secretarial job?

  • Many organisations will require additional administrative support for individuals or teams – whether they are in the not-for-profit, public or private sector.
  • You could be supporting one or two directors on an individual basis.
  • Alternatively, you could be supporting a whole team.
  • Some secretaries will work in a typing pool, which is a group of secretaries available to assist any executive without a permanently assigned secretary.
  • Your skills could be required for a specific remit or department.
  • You may be situated ‘front-of-house’ meeting and greeting visitors.


PA and secretarial jobs can also be titled:

  • executive assistant
  • personal assistant
  • secretary
  • office manager
  • business assistant


Three top tips for a PA and secretarial job application:

  1. Value: state how you can add value, instead of simply listing tasks. Explain how you do things and how those processes have made a difference. For example, how did your efficient diary management have a positive impact previously?
  1. Examples: give lots of examples and scenarios in which your organisational and multi-tasking skills have excelled.
  1. Don’t be late! Organised, pragmatic secretaries are always on time and ahead of the game. So make sure you’re not late for that interview!


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