Did you know that an admin job is one of the best ways to gain invaluable experience within an office environment? Having no prior experience can make this a tricky mission, especially in a bearish job market where employers are laser focused on hiring candidates only with relevant skills and experience. However, we are delighted to share our expertise to help you land your first administrative position where you can eventually build a career in office management or human resources.
Step 1: Understanding the Administrative Role
This job has evolved since the days of the standard secretary. Administrative assistants are now an essential part of any business as they are not just involved in daily operations but also know all the nitty gritty details e.g., what is happening inside the organisation, current projects, meetings etc. The goal of any administrator is ensuring the office runs smoothly. The roles can vary so be sure to read the job descriptions (even take a look at a few on our job board), talk to professionals in the field and gain insight into the skills and qualities employers are looking for.
For frequently asked admin role questions, visit our Admin Job page.
Step 2: Acquire the Relevant Skills
While you may not have direct administrative experience, think about the transferable skills you possess from other areas of your life, such as education, volunteering, or part-time work. Focus on skills such as:
- Communication: Assistants need to speak professionally, both verbally and in writing, with clients, customers, coworkers, employees, and management.
- Organisational Skills: Demonstrating your ability to manage tasks, schedules, and paperwork is crucial.
- Computer Literacy: Basic knowledge of office software including Microsoft Office.
- Customer Service: Highlight any experience that involved interacting with customers or clients.
Step 3: Education and Training
The industry is becoming increasingly competitive, so we do urge you to consider enrolling in relevant courses! A certificate will always boost your credibility with a potential employer.
Bain and Gray happen to have a long-standing relationship with the Oxford Media and Business School (OMBS). This excellent institution produces some of the best talent trained in exceptional office and business skills. We are delighted to assist many of those candidates in their career journey post graduation. For more information visit: www.bainandgray.com/colleges
Concerned about finances? We have a fantastic resource of free online courses for PAs, EAs and Admin Professionals.
Step 4: Tailor Your CV
It is a necessity to craft a compelling CV that emphasise your transferable skills and enthusiasm for the role.
Be sure to highlight:
- relevant coursework/projects
- extracurricular activities
Top Tip: Although highly tedious, we are big believers in tailoring your application to each job you apply to, addressing specific requirements mentioned in a job listing. Understanding what skills employers prefer will greatly increase your chances (click on the link to learn how potential employers tend to read a CV), remembering that many roles of this nature demand exceptional communications skills, attention to detail, the ability to prioritise and work under pressure.
In the current climate, might be helpful to have a read of our 5 Steps To Help You Build a Standout CV.
Step 5: Consider Temporary Roles
To gain practical experience, consider exploring temporary positions.
These opportunities may not be permanent, but they can provide valuable experience and connections in the administrative field. Temporary roles can also lead to permanent positions if you prove your skills and dedication.
Do have a look at our job board for temporary opportunities. We have a specialist temps division at our London office, experienced in hiring the best candidates, quickly and with minimum fuss – all at competitive hourly rates for each role.
Top Tip: Employers may find it harder to take a gamble on someone with no experience for a permanent role. However, in temporary jobs, there is usually a more flexible approach. And this is a great way of building up your experience. Multiple temporary admin jobs will help you gain broad experience quickly and this positions you for the roles you’re looking for on a more permanent basis.
Securing an administrative job with no prior experience in the UK may require determination and perseverance, but it is achievable. Here is a summary of what you need to consider to position yourself as a strong candidate:
- Do your research: understand the various roles in the industry and what employers are looking for.
- Look to acquire the relevant skills: Identify transferable skills from your background and seek to polish your communication, organisational, computer and customer service skills.
- Seek Education and Training: Utilise resources like the Oxford Media and Business School (OMBS) for comprehensive training or consider enrolling in other relevant courses.
- Tailor your application: Craft a compelling CV emphasising transferable skills, coursework, certifications, and extracurricular activities and tailor it to each job application.
- Consider Temping: Explore temporary positions to gain practical experience and valuable connections.
Visit our Admin Jobs page to find out more about how Bain and Gray can help you secure your first administrative role.