Executive Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Executive Assistant, or Corporate Secretary, is someone who supports the management of a particular individual within an organization. Their duties include helping coordinate meetings and calendars, compiling data to prepare papers or presentations, and often acting as a representative to their assigned executive. 


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What does an Executive Assistant do?

An Executive Assistant acts as the support person for company executives, celebrities, and political or government officials. Executive Assistants help with various administrative and organizational needs, such as setting up appointments and overseeing schedules. Acting as a gatekeeper, an Executive Assistant helps to decide which phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings get through to their boss. They also conduct business with other colleagues or external vendors on behalf of their executive. 


Executive Assistant duties and responsibilities

The list of duties and responsibilities of an Executive Assistant is quite large and can change depending on an employer’s needs. Duties and responsibilities needed to excel in an Executive Assistant role include: 

  • Overseeing all incoming and outgoing communications, including emails, phone calls, reports, and internal correspondence
  • Filing important documents, such as reports, meeting notes, emails, and letters
  • Keeping the executive’s calendar up-to-date, including adding events, rescheduling appointments and providing daily briefings
  • Acting as the gatekeeper for internal and external contacts, including vendors, colleagues, clients, and customers
  • Conducting research and creating reports on various topics based on the needs of the executive
  • Planning and organizing events that take place externally, such as fundraisers, sporting tournaments, and appreciation events
  • Keeping important information and documents organized physically, and electronically
  • Maintaining a high degree of discretion and confidentiality


Executive Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Executive Assistant candidate will have a variety of hard and soft skills needed to do their job well on a daily basis. Examples of these skills include: 

  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to conduct research and create reports or presentations
  • Time management 
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with discretion 
  • Basic computer and office equipment skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment 


Executive Assistant experience requirements

The amount of experience required for an Executive Assistant depends on the size of an organization and whether training will be provided. Most companies look for an Executive Assistant who has at least two years of related experience. However, if training is provided, previous work experience may not be a necessity as long as the applicant has the soft skills to match the position. 


Executive Assistant education and training requirements 

At the least, education requirements include a high school diploma. However, many employers seek a candidate with a higher level of education, such as a bachelor’s degree or a college diploma. When listing post-secondary requirements in a job posting, degrees in business administration, secretarial studies, or industry-related areas are the best options.


Executive Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Executive Assistants is   $53,970   per year. Of course, this number fluctuates depending on experience, location, and company.


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Executive Assistant job description FAQs


What is expected of an Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant is expected to maintain a high degree of confidentiality while maintaining the calendar, professional correspondence, and time of the company executive. It is important that an Executive Assistant represents the executive to external partners including vendors, clients, customers, colleagues, and the media. When managing an office is part of the job, an Executive Assistant can also expect to perform such tasks as supply inventory, answering incoming calls, maintaining electronic and paper records, as well as recording and distributing meeting minutes.


What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?

The role of an Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant are very similar, but there are key differences. Both roles require excellent time management, organizational, communication, problem-solving, computer, and interpersonal skills. An Executive Assistant, however, is responsible for acting on behalf of a company executive, celebrity, or government official. They will often attend meetings or events on behalf of their manager and report back with notes or a presentation. Therefore, an Executive Assistant requires in-depth knowledge about the role of the executive while an Administrative Assistant holds a more general role in the company. 


What is the most important function of an Executive Assistant?

The most important function for an Executive Assistant is the ability to maintain confidentiality. Because they often manage the personal and professional calendar for an executive, politician, or celebrity, their discretion is of utmost importance. 


What is the role of an Executive Assistant to a CEO?

The Executive Assistant to a CEO is responsible for a wide range of administrative and executive support-related tasks. This typically means helping to maintain their daily schedule, making sure the CEO is meeting obligations or commitments, working closely with other departments that require the CEO’s attention and often helping to also manage the office.

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