The Most Important Clerical Skills for Job Seekers

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In 2013, office and administrative support work made up 16% of the entire workforce in the US.

It is likely that every one of these jobs required the use of clerical skills.

What are clerical skills? The truth is that you may have some of the skills and not even know it! 

If you want to get into this line of work, keep reading to find out about what type of skills you need and how to show off your talents.

Clerical Skills and Work Experience

There are a variety of clerical skills that anyone looking for a position in this type of field would need to know how to handle.

Each skill asked of someone in clerical work depends on a trait or feature that the person may have. For instance, a lot of people hiring for a clerical position will want an employee that has great attention to detail or active listening.

Some of the clerical skills to consider focusing on to get the job are:

  • Problem-solving
  • Typing
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Keeping records
  • Answering phones
  • Customer service
  • Proofreading
  • Data entry
  • Budgeting
  • Technology
  • Spreadsheets
  • Filing
  • Multitasking
  • Time management

Someone searching for a clerical position may need all these skills because they all may be needed at some point. If you have previous work experience in this type of position, you know that these skills are crucial.

Consider working on getting more experience in some of these areas before applying for clerical positions to ensure you are the best candidate for the job.

What Should the Resume Look Like?

Your resume should include your soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are the types of skills you can apply to a variety of situations, such as leadership or empathy. Hard skills are more specific, such as bookkeeping or search engine optimization.

Both of these types of skills are important. Find out the specific skill sets that the company is looking for! This will help you know what to focus on when you create your resume.

It also may help you to figure out what the company values most, especially in your department. This will give you a little more insight into what type of person the company may be looking for and can add more personality to your resume.

Make sure you are specific when mentioning skills, especially if you have numbers or data to back up what you are saying. Don't lie on your resume, but make sure to include everything that may be important from your previous experience and skills.

As always, make sure your resume is clean, free of errors, and makes sense. You should proofread your resume and check it again before sending it off!

Do I Need an Office Skills Test?

In some positions, you may need to take an office skills test to determine the level of your abilities. In other situations, you might want to take one to show that you are able to do the job well and can submit it as proof of your skillset.

When you live in a specific state, there may be a precedent that helps determine if this type of test is the norm or not. It may be worth checking out if you are just starting out in this field.

There are free office skills tests out there that you can use if you want to provide this to a potential employer, but it is not necessarily required unless it is explicitly stated. 

If you don't feel it is important for the position you are applying for, you may be able to skip it. Make sure that you do complete the test if asked though. It may be a crucial factor in the selection process for some businesses!

Showcasing Your Best Skills

There are a lot of clerical skills, and not all of them will be used in each clerical position. The key is to know which ones you have, which ones you can improve, and which ones you need to work on.

On your resume, you can highlight keywords that mention your skills and past achievements. This is a great place to start. Mention these again in your interview.

If you'd like to learn more about finding admin and clerical work in your area, consider checking out our webpage featuring some job postings.