If you want to become a virtual executive assistant, it is usually important to be equipped with both skills and a fully functional office. An in-office executive assistant often needs to show competency or expertise in word processing and appointment and travel management, as well as experience with general secretarial tasks such as typing, shorthand, and budget or spreadsheet maintenance. An executive level position may also require specific experience in supporting corporate executives or higher-ups in an organization. These same requirements extend to virtual assistants who work from a home or another type of remote office. Additionally, an out-of-office setup usually requires high-speed, secure Internet access, a computer with sufficient memory and speed to perform all needed functions reliably, and often a quiet and professional atmosphere for handling client contact by phone or video conferencing by camera.
Meeting the requirements to become a virtual executive assistant can start with surveying job ads for that role and noting what qualifications you do not have and listing those you do. From there, you can build a current resume with skills, experience, and measured results from your past supporting roles — for example, listing mailing campaigns, types of documentation prepared, and number of executives you've supported and what kinds of deadlines you have met. Keeping track of desired skills you don't have can help in planning goals and courses to enlarge your hiring prospects.
While many employers advertise for assistants in print newspapers and magazines, most also submit open postings to online career sites; some of these online sources are specific to virtual work, and registering with reputable job sites can bring job leads. If you want to become a virtual executive assistant, it's possible not only to find employers but also for employers to find you. Creating accounts on websites with a proven track record of matching job seekers with job openings generally involves uploading a resume, creating a profile of career strengths and skills, and choosing areas of interest. Some sites also recommend or even require skills testing for certain positions, and these can range from proofreading to computer skills assessments. Successfully completing online tests or certification steps, many at no cost, can make you stand out among the competition.
Marketing and bidding are two other factors to consider if you want to become a virtual executive assistant. Traditionally, employers responded to resumes submitted by candidates for a particular job title or role, but increasingly, virtual jobs are offered on a project basis. Potential clients post project needs and often a time frame for completing the work, and candidates bid on the work by submitting their credentials and often an estimated rate or pay scale they would require for the project. Winning a project can mean working as a freelance or contract virtual assistant for the short term or securing a long-term, more permanent role.