The job market is incredibly competitive right now and with the challenges presented by the health pandemic, including business closures and redundancies, the market is likely to be highly competitive across many industries for some time.
When there is this level of competition for jobs, it is more important than ever to be able to stand out from the other people working in your sector. Whether you are job searching, or you want to progress in your career, there are a number of ways to make sure that you have more to offer than your competitors do.
One of the biggest advantages you can have is to obtain more qualifications than others in the same field. Executive Assistants with more recent qualifications will be able to demonstrate skills that are more relevant to working in today’s technology-driven businesses.
Here are five online courses every Executive Assistant should take:
1. Project Management for Executive Assistants
Project management and time management are crucial aspects of the Executive Assistant role. There are numerous generic project management courses available, but the ones that are designed specifically for Executive Assistants will be even more beneficial. The courses will cover using project management software as well as “soft skills” required for organizing and planning.
2. Executive Assistant and PA Qualification Level 5
The highest level of qualification for Executive Assistants and PA is the Level 5, which provides Accreditation for skills in technical business areas, management skills and advanced administrative skills. Once levels 2, 3, and 4 have been completed, the completion of Level 5 gives you an Accredited qualification of a Certified Executive Assistant of the IEAA.
3. MS Office Master
Working with the full range of MS Office programs is usually part of the Executive Assistant role, so obtaining qualifications to show you are skilled in using these is highly recommended. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master available directly from Microsoft shows that you have the deepest level of skills in MS Office programs. This course will give you advanced skills in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access and Outlook.
4. Office Management
Being able to provide evidence of skills that enable you to successfully manage an office, including staff management, financial monitoring, and other key office management skills, will also help you to progress your career. Any Executive Assistants with staff management responsibilities would really benefit from taking an online course in office management. People management and leadership skills will give you a great advantage over other job applicants who do not have qualifications in this area.
5. Communication and Negotiation Skills
As an Executive Assistant, you are constantly required to communicate effectively with executives, and this can be one of the most challenging parts of the job. Studying an online course that focuses on communication and negotiation skills will equip you to work better with high-level management, getting the outcomes you require when you communicate with them.
You will quite often be required to persuade executives into taking actions, so a course such as Communicating Up: Winning Strategies for Successful Executive Conversations will help with this important part of the role.
These five online courses cover some of the most important skills that are required to be a highly competent Executive Assistant. In addition to these, it can be useful to take courses related to specific tools and software that you use within your business, even if you are already familiar with using them.
Having a formal qualification on your CV, as well as being experienced in using software, sets you ahead of the people that do not have a qualification to demonstrate proficiency in using the software.
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