Job description for an Admin Assistant position: Do you want your company to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week or mourn it?

Job description for an Admin Assistant position: Do you want your company to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week or mourn it?

Admin Assistant PositionToday we鈥檒l be picking apart actual job posts from companies advertising for an admin assistant position.

A truly effective AA is worth his or her weight in gold and should have a high stress tolerance, be self-regulating, possess both reliability and consistency, be able to learn and problem solve well, and have practically perfect organizational skills.

Let’s move on to our first real-life job posting.

Job Posting #1

聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 is seeking an experienced Administrative Assistant for a prestigious company in the financial district of聽聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽 .


  • provide general administrative and clerical support including mailing, scanning, faxing and copying to management
  • maintain electronic and hard copy filing system
  • open, sort and distribute incoming correspondence
  • perform data entry and scan documents
  • manage calendar for Managing Director
  • assist in resolving any administrative problems
  • run company鈥檚 errands to post office and office supply store
  • answer calls from customers regarding their inquiries
  • prepare and modify documents including correspondence, reports, drafts, memos and emails
  • schedule and coordinate meetings, appointments and travel arrangements for Managers
  • maintain office supplies for department


路聽聽 聽bachelor degree required
路聽聽 聽2+ years of hands on administrative support experience
路聽聽 聽proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel and MS Outlook a must
路聽聽 聽knowledge of operating standard office equipment
路聽聽 聽excellent communication skills – written and verbal
路聽聽 聽ability to prioritize projects and strong problem solving skills
路聽聽 聽good research skills and attention to detail


ANALYSIS: Company 1 is likely not going to find a prestigious AA with this job posting.

Apparently Company 1 is so prestigious that that鈥檚 all it needs to tell you about itself鈥攏o other selling or information needed. Company 1 has also neglected to include any sort of benefits whatsoever. All this post offers is a list of what the AA will do and a list of qualifications. While it at least includes one of the three necessary parts of a successful job posting, it fails to provide a compelling reason to work at this company over any other and leaves out essential skills like organization.


Job Posting #2

聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 is dedicated to creating innovative educational materials that spark young imaginations, instill a sense of wonder and foster a lifelong love of learning. With materials for infants & toddlers through the 6th grade, we help children reach developmental milestones and achieve educational goals鈥攚hile still having fun! We know that each child is unique, and we strive to develop materials that appeal to children of all interests, backgrounds and abilities. And, of course, all of the products we carry must meet stringent quality & safety standards鈥攕o they鈥檙e strong enough for daily use in the classroom and safe enough for use by babies and children.


Administrative Assistant

聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽聽 is one of the premier manufacturers of educational materials for elementary programs and early childhood organizations around the country. A multi-channel organization with a strong sales division, thriving web business, catalogs and over 55 store locations nationwide,聽聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽聽 has experienced continuous growth since its inception in 1954. We attribute our sustained growth鈥攅ven during a global recession鈥攖o the daily contributions of the remarkable individuals who make up our team.

We are currently searching for an Excel Savvy Administrative Assistant to work onsite at our聽聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽聽 headquarters. Successful candidates will have excellent customer service and must be outcome-oriented. The ability to work in a fast paced environment with strong attention to detail is essential. You will be fully engaged and busy from the first day and we guarantee there will never be a dull moment.

Responsibilities & Requirements
鈥 Ability to juggle multiple projects with superb accuracy
鈥 Strong administrative skills
鈥 Exceptional customer service skills, over the phone and in person, with our customers and internal departments
鈥 Strong sense of urgency and problem solving skills

鈥 Bilingual English/Spanish is preferred
鈥 Must be computer savvy and proficient in Microsoft Excel and Outlook
鈥 Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Salary depends on skills and experience. Family-owned and family-friendly,聽聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽聽 offers a great on-site preschool, 401(k), excellent medical/dental coverage, flexible benefits, plus a generous profit bonus plan, employee discount and casual dress. To apply, please complete an online application at聽http://聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽 . To learn more about 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽 , visit www.聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽 .com聽Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer


ANALYSIS:An almost perfect posting.

This post not only directly states the type of company it is, but the overall tone further cements the impression. What AA wouldn鈥檛 want to work at such a warm, family-friendly company dedicated to such noble goals? The responsibilities are delightfully detailed and specific. 鈥淎bility to juggle multiple projects with superb accuracy鈥 speaks volumes about what prospective employees can expect and what will be expected of them. The one problem that kept this post from being and A+? NO ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS. For any who may be wondering, 鈥渄etail-oriented鈥 is not the same thing鈥攖rust us. An AA can meticulously alphabetize your business contacts while forgetting to tell you the client you鈥檙e waiting for in your office cancelled two hours ago…


Job Posting #3

Administrative Assistant – HR

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Shipping Supply Specialists

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 is a leading North American distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies. Founded in 1980, the family-owned business has experienced continuous growth over the years. Today, we employ over 2,800 bright, career-minded individuals across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

At聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 , we’re energetic and passionate about what we do. Because of our continued expansion, we seek qualified candidates who share our vision, values and commitment to superior customer service.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 seeks an HR Administrative Assistant at its Corporate Headquarters in聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 .


  • Provide professional administrative support to recruiters.
  • Prepare, maintain and manage interview schedules and correspondences.
  • Schedule interviews, pre-employment drug tests and submit background checks.
  • Review applications and assessments for completeness. Obtain additional information if necessary.
  • Attend and assist with job fairs.
  • Help prepare weekly reports and other departmental projects as needed.
  • Compile and send new hire information to accepted applicants.
  • Maintain and file applicant information.


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 7+ years administrative experience in a corporate setting.
  • Experience in a human resources department聽a plus.
  • Detailed oriented with good analytical skills聽a must.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.
  • Ability to write, speak and interact clearly and professionally.
  • Extremely organized. Strong multi-tasking and time-management skills.
  • Can handle sensitive information with the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality.


  • Complete insurance coverage 鈥撀爉edical, dental, vision, life.
  • 401(k) with company match.
  • Generous paid time off.
  • Tuition reimbursement.
  • 3 bonus programs.

Please visit聽www.聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 .com to learn more about our job openings and benefits package.


ANALYSIS: This post has it all, but is still nothing special.

Company 3 sells itself, knows exactly what it wants, and offers benefits (with the promise of even more on its website). It may not be as personably written as Company 2鈥檚 job posting, but just because Company 3 didn鈥檛 hire an English major to write its ads, doesn鈥檛 make this particular ad any less spot on. However, while it does have all the required parts, qualifications, etc., there鈥檚 not really anything that makes it stand out. Company 3 will probably be saying the same thing about its candidates鈥 applications.


Job Posting #4

聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 a聽leader in the distributing and merchandising of the highest quality supermarket nonfood聽is looking for an energetic, conscientious and detail oriented individual who enjoys making a difference, being part of a team and takes pride in their career to work in our fast paced office.



Provide administrative support for the replenishment department.

— Tracking of inbound freight to ensure the on-time arrival of product, via email, phone and internet.
— Timely follow-up of priority orders and delivery appointments.
— Data entry and file maintenance (new item set-ups, PO tracking comments, and more as needed).
— Generate, maintain and manage reports designed to provide analytical support to the Replenishment and Category management teams.
— Provide additional administrative support for the replenishment team as requested.
— Reviewing/answering emails
— Special Projects as assigned.


— High School Diploma
— Proficient in MS Office suite, Email, Internet
— The ability to manage multiple staff and work on multiple projects simultaneously.
— Requires strong communication skills, both verbal and written, organizational skills, both analytical and problem solving, and the ability to work with confidential documents.
— Ability to manage multiple tasks and achieve deadlines under pressure.

We offer attractive, competitive compensation and benefits including, medical, dental, life, STD, paid vacation and personal days, 401k and an EAP program.

Due to the anticipated volume of responses, we will contact only those candidates who most closely match our requirements. Only local candidates will be considered.

Please send resume and salary requirement to: 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽
Fax聽聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 or e-mail聽


ANALYSIS: Practically perfect in every way.

This job posting has everything the previous one had and does everything the previous one did, except for one small, but outstanding detail. 鈥淒ue to the anticipated volume of responses, we will contact only those candidates who most closely match our requirements. Only local candidates will be considered.鈥 THIS is how you get applicants to try harder; Company 4 has just thrown down the gauntlet. Not only will Company 4 attract qualified applicants due to its effective job description and qualification requirements, but it will also cut back on unqualified applicants, and attract hard-workers who enjoy being 鈥渢he chosen one.鈥 One might even consider the candidate who wins this position prestigious (take note Company 1).


Job Posting #5

Administrative Assistant –聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽

Position Description
The Administrative Assistant will support the聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽 Market Operations team. You will support the 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽 Market Manager, Sr. Director of Clinic Operations and the VP of Market Operations for聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 .

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Performs general clerical duties to include but not limited to: photocopying, faxing, mail distribution and filing.
  • Coordinates and maintains records for staff office space, phones, company credit cards and office keys.
  • Creates and modifies various documents using Microsoft Office.
  • Maintains Outlook calendar(s) in current and accurate status.
  • Coordinates meetings and conference calls as needed or anticipated.
  • Coordinates travel arrangements as needed.
  • Answer phones promptly and uses good judgment to prioritize the distribution of messages in a timely manner.
  • Prepares meeting materials and assists with the development of PowerPoint presentations.
  • Responsible for keeping inventory of all office supplies and placing orders for replenishment is needed.
  • Records minutes at various meetings and archives them accordingly.
  • Performs all other related duties as assigned.


  • High school diploma/GED
  • 3+ years of administrative support experience with increasing responsibility required
  • Microsoft Word: Mail merge and know how to embed documents
  • Microsoft Excel: (transferring Word documents to Excel and editing spreadsheets)


  • Some college coursework or business vocational school education preferred
  • Previous experience in a healthcare environment preferred
  • Bilingual/Spanish is a plus

Core Competencies:

  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills required.
  • Must have the ability to multi-task in a fast paced and deadline driven environment.
  • Must be able to maintain professionalism and a positive service attitude at all times.
  • Must be able to work Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 is part of the family of companies that make聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 one of the leaders across most major segments of the US health care system.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 helps nearly 60 million Americans live their lives to the fullest by educating them about their symptoms, conditions and treatments; helping them to navigate the system, finance their health care needs and stay on track with their health goals. No other business touches so many lives in such a positive way. And we do it all with every action focused on our shared values of Integrity, Compassion, Relationships, Innovation & Performance.

At聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 , you will perform within an innovative culture that’s focused on transformational change in the health care system. You will leverage your skills across a diverse and multi-faceted business. And you will make contributions that will have an impact that’s greater than you’ve ever imagined.

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 is a drug-free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment. In addition, employees in certain positions are subject to random drug testing.



ANALYSIS: A great ad aside from one gaping hole…

This ad is infuriating in its excellence everywhere except the giant hole in the (metaphorical) page where the benefits belong. How can Company 6 take the time to require 鈥淢ust have the ability to multi-task in a fast paced and deadline driven environment,鈥 and 鈥淢ust be able to maintain professionalism and a positive service attitude at all times鈥濃攂oth of which will be extremely helpful in snagging a calm, capable, efficient, and effective AA, but not offer even a mention of benefits? Not even acknowledging the existence of benefits will dissuade higher-caliber candidates. They may assume that none are available or they are not impressive enough to warrant inclusion in a post.


The Results

Admin Assistant_Success Profile

Overall, most of job descriptions for an admin assistant position out there are passable — many 鈥渕ore than passable,鈥 but to attract exceptional candidates, you must aim for more than passable and more than 鈥渕ore than passable.鈥 We may come across as nit-picky sometimes, but those details that seem so minor can often mean the difference between a good candidate and a great one. Why settle for okay, when you don鈥檛 have to? Always strive to attract the extraordinary.

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