To become an executive secretary, a person will typically require experience as an assistant in a related field or possess a firm educational background in the field the applicant wants to enter. Typically, an executive secretary will have excellent typing skills, the ability to multitask and exceptional communication skills with customers or employees. While many of these skills can be gained in high school or vocational school, someone looking to make a career as an executive assistant may want to consider a two-year degree in office administration. This extra educational experience can make a candidate more desirable to an employer and give the applicant the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
Anyone looking to become an executive secretary should also consider a strong background in the field he or she is looking to work in. If attempting to become an executive secretary for a lawyer, for example, the applicant may need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in law to be fully qualified. This becomes increasingly true if the applicant wishes to work for a large law firm. Similarly, if a person wants to be an executive secretary to the chief executive officer (CEO) of a major corporation, the applicant should have a degree in business to be a better candidate for the job.
Interpersonal skills are typically the most important skills that anyone looking to become an executive secretary can possess. Typing, filing and even some multitasking can be gained through education and experience. However, the ability to interact with others to accomplish tasks and give directions is something a person cannot always learn from school. Such interpersonal skills can be gained through experience in the workplace, but it helps if someone already possesses the ability to work well with other people. It is also typically essential to the duties of such an assistant for the person to be detail-oriented and able to follow instructions accurately through to completion.
A person looking to become an executive secretary may also consider being a secretary or office administrator to gain valuable experience toward future employment. Many employers will look favorably on an applicant whose experience demonstrates he or she can effectively run an office and work with others in a professional environment. Such experience can also often allow someone to obtain or refine the necessary typing and multitasking abilities needed to become an executive secretary.