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What Skills Will Help Me Break Into Admin & Clerical Work?

Clerical Jobs

Admin & Clerical Jobs

Working in an office setting for some people is torture, but for many others, it’s a stable environment with just enough excitement to keep from getting too bored and enough of a routine to keep from feeling off balance. Unlike many situational comedies featuring office work, administration and clerical work is not really a ‘kooky’ pastime or something to be made fun of; the role of anyone working in this field is to help keep things organized, from appointments to deadlines to schedules to shipments. Without someone (or several someones) keeping an eye on the little details, the whole thing starts to come crashing down!

If you are well organized, able to communicate well, have good typing skills and can work under pressure or in more laid back times with equal aplomb, then this may be the field for you. But what should you have on your resume and in your life experiences to help you land a job in this field?


Some office jobs hire on students, but it’s far more common to see people with English or Mathematics degrees or even an office administration certificate (some colleges offer these). This sort of course work is beneficial to an office environment because they teach typing skills, organization, written and verbal communication and, depending on the office, the mathematics that can be helpful. Most often, someone working in this field will have some sort of communication or management degree to help them get ahead. You can get a start at this by going to college and taking management or office administration and then diversify from there if you wish.

You may also wish to have familiarity with computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Simply Accounting; these are fast becoming industry standard.


What’s cool about this field is that you don’t necessarily need experience right off the bat; having a good education and a bit of experience in things like customer service, volunteer work (particularly any that involved organizing things and keeping track of things) and simply showing that you successfully juggled multiple things like work and school may be enough. This will vary from place to place, but many businesses are more than willing to hire entry level clerks and train them up as it were. Make sure you highlight your organizational, multi-tasking, working under pressure and communication skills in your resume, no matter where you happened to get them.


In order to be successful and actually enjoy this field, you really have to be the type who enjoys working in the details, enjoys organization and can go from working with groups to working alone and then back to working with groups. You have to be able to stay on top of several things all at once, be able to answer questions and concerns and in some cases even be able to chase after others to make sure they know what’s going on whether they like it or not! If you enjoy being the power-or one of the powers-behind the throne so to speak, then this could be the field for you!

And as always, it’s important to be persistent in chasing down jobs, use your best interview skills, and highlight the best ways you can help a company which means doing your research! Good luck and keep those businesses and offices chugging along in your duties as an administration clerk!