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The Secretarial & Business Administration sector offers many challenging and rewarding careers, and graduates should not make the mistake of thinking of these roles as fall back options. Work in this sector requires a solid mix of hard and soft skills in order to thrive in what are often demanding environments. In Business Administration, candidates also need to have a thorough understanding not just of business functions, but specifically the business to which they are applying and the field in which it operates.

How to Get a Job in Secretarial & Business Administration

Many graduates will leave university with many of the skills required to find employment in the Secretarial & Business Administration sector.

Candidates should demonstrate the following:

1. Organisational skills

Secretarial & Business Administration requires exceptional organisational skills. Whether it is filing, managing an employer's diary or juggling correspondences with numerous people, candidates need to be able to stay on top of many things at once. Candidates should provide examples of times when their organisational skills have been put to the test, such as managing several extracurricular projects while studying at university and working a part-time job.

2. Computer skills

Applicants to this sector should have a thorough understanding of basic office programmes like Microsoft Word and Excel, as well as any other programmes specific to the field. They will be expected to have fast and accurate touch typing, and be competent at building and maintaining spreadsheets and schedules.

3. Excellent communication

Communication, both written and verbal, is vital for any role in Secretarial or Business Administration. Candidates need to be professional, polite and confident, with excellent typing skills and an ability to draft emails, press releases, and other correspondence on behalf of the company.

Candidates should adhere to letter etiquette and demonstrate professional communication from the start of the application process, paying close attention to avoid any typos or inconsistencies. Oral communication is equally important, and candidates should be comfortable speaking over the phone and in person.

4. Attention to detail

Secretaries and Business Administrators must be able to quickly pick out and rectify mistakes, which requires excellent attention to detail. Candidates can show this skill through experience editing a student newspaper, or even helping classmates with proofreading their essays.

5. Understanding of the business

If the role is Business Administration-related, candidates should show a firm understanding of how a business works, as well as solid knowledge of the particular firm to which they are applying. Candidates should do their research, and contact the business directly to ask any questions about their practices.