Tips for a Top-Notch Executive Assistant Resume
A top-notch executive assistant resume is the most important tool for marketing yourself to potential employers. Not only will it demonstrate that you’re skilled at putting together professional documents, but a great resume also shows off your wealth of experience and highlights your relevant skills and abilities.
There are lots of things to consider when putting together your resume. You need to think about the format, design, content, wording, and more.
Below is everything you need to know about writing an effective executive assistant resume.
Before delving into the actual content of your executive assistant resume, you need to decide on the format.
The main resume formats to consider are:
Reverse-chronological is the most common resume format. It’s also the format we recommend using for an executive assistant position.
The reverse-chronological format involves having your most recent work experience listed first, then moving backward through your previous roles and education.
The advantage of the reverse-chronological format is that it highlights your work experience and your upward career progression. Plenty of relevant experience is critical when advancing on the executive assistant career path.
A functional resume format focuses on your skills rather than your work experience. You outline your relevant skills, proficiencies, and accomplishments with this format before delving into your work history.
Choosing a functional resume is best if you don’t yet have much experience, transfer into a new industry, or take a big career break.
A combination resume is a mix between a reverse-chronological and functional resume. It focuses on your experience and skills.
Using the combination format is a good choice if you have a lot of experience but are moving industries.
As well as format, it’s essential to think about the design and layout of your resume.
Design factors to consider on your executive assistant resume include:
- Length. Keep your resume to one page or two at the most if you have a lot of experience.
- Font. Pick a font that stands out, but that looks professional, nothing distracting or comical.
- Margins. Keep at least one-inch margins on every side so the interviewer can make notes if needed and all components are well-spaced and easy to read.
It’s best not to make your resume too unconventional for a role such as an administrative assistant or executive assistant. Adding columns, colored headings, or a nice font can help your resume stand out. But there’s no need to start adding photos, detailed infographics, or illustrations. Keep your resume concise and professional.
What to Include on an Executive Assistant Resume
The goal of your executive assistant resume is to sell your experience and skills to potential employers. While some people may have problems writing about themselves or their experiences, remember that’s what you do in a resume. It’s not bragging. It’s presenting information about your best professional self. We outlined the main sections to include in an executive assistant resume below.
Including the correct contact information on your resume is vital. Missing information or a small error in your phone number or email address could result in a potential employer not calling you for an executive assistant interview. Always triple-check that you included the correct information.
The contact information to include on your executive assistant resume is:
- Your full name
- Phone number, including the area code
- Your professional email address
- The town or city and state where you live
Summary or Objective
After the contact information, your resume should start with a summary or objective.
A resume summary is your opportunity to state why you are the best candidate for the job. It’s your chance to let the recruiter know that you’re qualified for the role within the first few seconds of them looking at your resume. A practical summary highlights your experience, fundamental skills, and possibly the most significant achievement of your career so far.
An objective, on the other hand, is a quick run-down of your professional goals. It emphasizes your career aspirations and what you hope to achieve at the company. Using an objective is better for recent graduates and those with not much experience in administrative roles.
An excellent summary or objective is about three to four sentences long. So make sure it is clear, concise, and to the point.
Work experience is the most important section of your executive assistant resume. A recruiter will want to see that you have experience in relevant administrative roles.
For each past professional position, provide:
- Organization name
- Job title
- Key responsibilities
- Biggest achievements
Highlighting your achievements and successes in your current or past positions are more powerful than simply listing duties. Achievements are a great way of proving your potential value to a new company. Don’t be afraid to use hard stats to demonstrate how you met your EA SMART goals. E.g. saved $10,000 on office expenditure or decreased the time employees spent on administrative tasks by 25% in a year.
Next on your executive assistant resume is your education.
If you have a college or university degree, this is all you need to include. But, becoming an executive assistant doesn’t necessarily require higher education. If you don’t have a degree, include your high school diploma and any additional vocational training instead.
In the education section of your executive assistant resume, include:
- University/school name
- Dates of attendance
- Relevant courses, projects, or extra-curricular activities
The skills section of your resume is the place to show the recruiter that you have the key competencies the company seeks. Make sure your listed skills overlap with the required skills and duties in the job description.
Some of the most important skills for an executive assistant to have are:
- Experience with Microsoft Office
- Experience with project management
- Calendar management abilities
- Computer and research abilities
- Strong verbal and written communication
- Attentional to detail
- The ability to think ahead
- Strong organization skills
- The ability to prioritization
- Willingness to work as a team
Optional Resume Add-Ons
There are some other things you could add to make your resume stand out. We outlined below some additional sections you could include in an executive assistant resume.
Include any organizations you’re involved with outside of your full-time job, such as volunteering for a charity, helping with local community events, or running a sporting league.
When including organizations, justify how the activities and skills involved are relevant to the position of an executive assistant. E.g., event planning, calendar management, organization, people skills, etc.
Being able to speak more than one language is a desirable skill in most modern offices. Having an executive assistant who can speak multiple languages can be highly beneficial for an executive working with international clients and stakeholders.
Be sure to include which languages you can speak and your level of proficiency in each.
Interests and Hobbies
If you have extra space on your resume, including some of your interests and hobbies is an excellent way of letting your personality shine through.
Executives and executive assistants usually work closely with each other, which can overlap into your personal lives too. Adding your interests to your resume could make you a more attractive candidate and help prove that you’re the right fit personality-wise.
Hobbies also can demonstrate desirable skills to a recruiter. Being on an athletic team may show that you’re a strong team player. While regularly practicing yoga and mindfulness might imply that you’ll be good at staying calm and composed during stressful situations.
Other Resume Tips
Below are a few additional tips for writing your executive assistant resume.
Review the Job Description Carefully
To really stand out, you need to customize your resume for each job you apply to.
You should tailor the content in your resume to meet the expectations of the position and company. An easy way to do this is to have the job description on hand and incorporate the skills and duties emphasized into your resume.
For example, if the job description emphasizes travel planning as the executive travels a lot for the business, then make sure you emphasize examples of when you’ve successfully planned business travel in previous roles.
Many companies use digital resume checking software to filter through resumes before they ever reach the recruiter’s eyes. This software picks up on the keywords relevant to the position. This is why it’s important to include plenty of keywords in your resume.
These keywords are the words and phrases included in the job description. E.g., organizing, scheduling, prioritizing, event planning, forward-thinking, trustworthy, etc.
Use Action Words
As well as the keywords relevant to executive assistant skills and duties, resumes also need to contain powerful action words. Action words convey specific actions and make your resume sound more impressive.
Action words relevant to an executive assistant include:
These types of action words sound more authoritative and impressive than words and phrases such as “worked on,” “responsible for,” “supported,” or “improved.”
How LifeSquire Can Help
Are you searching for a new executive assistant position? Want to learn more about how to prepare a top-notch executive assistant resume? At LifeSquire, we’re always looking for hardworking executive assistants to join our candidate pool. Contact us today to find out more.