Personal Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Personal Assistants, or Executive Assistants, support people in their professional or personal roles to give them the freedom to focus on specific tasks. A Personal Assistant often reports to an executive or manager, or is occasionally hired by an individual. Personal Assistant duties vary by the position but typically include communicating electronically or by phone, running errands, and arranging travel or appointments.


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What does a Personal Assistant do?

Personal Assistants are different from Administrative Assistants in that they typically handle duties for an individual rather than for a team. Personal Assistants may be used for professional and personal purposes, but they are commonly hired to assist executives and managers. One of the main duties of a Personal Assistant is handling administrative tasks to allow the executive or manager time to perform other tasks. Job duties for this role differ, but they may include handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, managing access to the executive or manager, arranging travel, and preparing documentation.


Personal Assistant duties and responsibilities

Personal Assistants have to juggle many tasks to keep a client’s affairs organized. A Personal Assistant’s duties vary according to the role and whether it’s personal or professional, but the key responsibilities and duties for a Personal Assistant typically include:

  • Acting as a point of contact for phone calls and correspondence
  • Managing appointments, meetings, and conferences
  • Arranging meetings and travel
  • Preparing presentations, reports, and correspondence
  • Handling errands and day-to-day tasks for the employer
  • Managing filing systems
  • Liaising with clients


Personal Assistant skills and qualifications

Though there’s often no educational requirement, Personal Assistants must have a certain skill set to perform their job duties efficiently and effectively. Successful Personal Assistants must possess certain skills or qualifications that are a combination of hard and soft skills, such as:

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Diplomacy
  • Adaptability
  • Proficiency and flexibility with different software systems
  • Discretion


Personal Assistant experience requirements

Personal Assistants aren’t required to have formal education, though some employers prefer candidates with degrees or a certain number of years in the field. In these cases, qualified candidates may be expected to have two or more years of Personal Assistant work to handle day-to-day responsibilities and requirements.


Personal Assistant education and training requirements

Many Personal Assistants don’t have formal education. A high school diploma or equivalency is usually required, and an associate degree or more may be preferred. If the candidate doesn’t have two or more years experience, an associate or bachelor’s degree in business or communications may be expected. Proficiency in different software, such as the Microsoft Office Suite or Google Drive, may be required. Other specific requirements may vary by the role, such as a Personal Assistant for an individual in a highly specialized field or industry.


Personal Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average hourly rate for a Personal Assistant is $22.50 per hour. Keep in mind that salary may be dependent on the relevant experience, location, education level, and company.


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Personal Assistant job description FAQs


What are the best soft skills to look for in a Personal Assistant?

There are many soft skills a Personal Assistant must have to be successful in their job duties. Time management is important since the Personal Assistant has many tasks to perform for others throughout the day. Organization and communication are also important to ensure that no one misses a meeting, messages get relayed and teams stay on the same page. Oral and written communication skills are necessary, since Personal Assistants act as the first point of contact for the executive or manager with customers, clients, and colleagues.


What's the difference between a Personal Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?

A Personal Assistant and an Administrative Assistant have many of the same tasks and responsibilities. They also possess many of the same skills and qualifications. The primary difference between the two is that an Administrative Assistant handles administrative tasks for the whole office or team, whereas a Personal Assistant handles clerical and administrative tasks for an individual. Personal Assistants can also work in either offices or home environments to help individuals with their professional or personal needs.


What should you look for in a Personal Assistant's resume?

Previous experience in an office environment and handling administrative tasks shows that the candidate is capable of managing the day-to-day tasks you may require. Soft skills, like the ability to multitask, are also core skills needed to perform the job effectively.


Do Personal Assistants in different industries have different responsibilities?

Personal Assistants have similar job responsibilities and duties across industries, but they may have unique duties within specific industries. Personal Assistants in a technology or medical field may need specialized knowledge to correspond with clients or other team members.

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