12 Virtual Assistant Skills To Have on Your Resume

12 Virtual Assistant Skills To Have on Your Resume

As companies continue to expand their workforce to include remote talent, the demand for virtual assistants rises. These independent professionals enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere while gaining experience in different industries and learning a variety of skills like social media management and writing.

Virtual assistants have many different career paths, and can advance to roles like account executive or marketing manager. While you may start out as an assistant, you're learning how the company works and how to thrive in a corporate environment, as well as gaining key insights into the industry. Assisting could turn into managing as you become more experienced and learn new job skills.

If you're looking to become a virtual assistant, you may be asking yourself: What skills does a virtual assistant need? What are the responsibilities of a virtual assistant? As you build out your resume and portfolio, make sure you have these virtual assist skills listed so you can land a great job:

1. Communication

One of the top virtual assistant skills is communication, both asynchronous and synchronous. Sometimes, you may be working in real-time with your client during a video conference or a phone call, while other times you're giving updates via email, Slack, or text.

Virtual assistants need to communicate clearly with clients and on behalf of their clients. Companies and individuals engage virtual assistants because they need help completing tasks and want to make their lives easier. As a virtual assistant, your job is to complete these assignments virtually.

Depending on the client, you could book travel plans one day and respond to social media inquiries the next. Virtual assistants often represent their clients when sending out emails, interacting with followers on social media, or making cold calls, and strong professional communication skills are a must.

2. Time management

Successful virtual assistants are experts at managing time—both their own and their clients'. When working as an independent professional, you create your own schedule and decide when to take on projects or say yes to new clients. As a virtual assistant, you need to complete your client's tasks on time, making sure you stay caught up and finish all assignments.

Part of effective time management is knowing your workflow and how much you can realistically complete in a day. As you say yes to new projects, create a personal schedule and to-do list that is manageable. Minimize distractions and block off your time into tasks, so you're working efficiently. The right time management tips can help you become an expert!

Some clients may require personal scheduling and planning, and creating their calendars and arranging meetings will be up to you. Each client and company is different, and learning what works best may take some trial and error. You could also be working in a different time zone than your client and need to double-check times and be flexible for meetings.

Here are some time management courses to improve your game impress clients:

Udemy

LinkedIn Learning:

3. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a worthwhile skill for virtual assistants. You could offer this as a service or make it your niche and specialize in bookkeeping; many companies look for virtual assistants to manage the day-to-day of their finances. Keep in mind that bookkeeping is different from accounting. It’s less inclusive, with specific tasks that might include:

  • Invoicing
  • Data entry
  • Billing
  • Employee reimbursement
  • Reconciliation (comparing financial records to ensure accuracy)
  • Payroll
  • Inventory control and analysis
  • Reporting

Interested in learning more about bookkeeping to see if it's a virtual assistant skill you want to develop and offer to clients? Check out these bookkeeping courses:

Coursera:

Udemy:

Skillshare:

4. Email management

A popular administrative task for virtual assistants is email management. Companies and individuals need help managing their inboxes, organizing email, and responding in a timely fashion. As a virtual assistant, this could be a viable focus for you.

You could find yourself managing a company email account that receives customer questions, complaints, requests, or orders. A client may ask that you handle their business email because they don't have time to read every incoming message. They need their email organized by someone they trust.

When a client hires a virtual assistant, like you, for email management, they need to feel confident in your skill set and trust that you will respond to emails with proper etiquette. When managing a client's inbox, your daily tasks could be reading all email and responding if appropriate, sending follow-ups, and letting the client know which email requires their attention.

You could also be responsible for email marketing and setting up and monitoring campaigns. Using an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact, clients could ask that you send out regularly scheduled newsletters or mass marketing emails to clients or potential clients. Part of email marketing is reporting analytics such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribes.

5. Organization

Virtual assistants need to have strong organizational skills. One aspect of being a virtual assistant is keeping your administration tasks organized so you're on top of every deadline and don't miss any assignments. Project management, a valuable and in-demand skill for virtual assistants, requires a great deal of organization.

Establishing a daily routine and creating to-do lists can help you stay organized while working. Clients may also ask that you help keep them organized by creating processes and using tools that help streamline their everyday life.

Before starting a virtual assistant job, know how you will stay organized.

What will be your main form of communication?

  • Slack
  • Email
  • Skype
  • Upwork Messages

How will you schedule meetings and appointments?

  • Google Calendar
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Calendly

Do you have a way to collaborate on social media?

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Loomly
  • Canva

How will your client assign tasks?

  • Upwork Milestones
  • Asana
  • Trello

6. Writing and typing

Writing and typing skills can help you be more efficient in any setting, including when working remotely. Virtual assistants need to be able to type quickly and professionally for their clients, whether you're doing data entry or email marketing. If you're a talented writer, you could offer copywriting and content writing skills as part of your virtual assistant services.

You may find yourself transcribing meetings, writing email, and even creating content like blogs, presentations, or website copy. Fast and accurate typing also helps with data entry and note taking. Being able to quickly create quality content expands your skill set as a virtual assistant and makes you more marketable and competitive.

Clients may ask you to ghostwrite blog posts for them or send out emails on their behalf, and you need to sound professional and match their tone and voice.

Need more confidence in your writing skills? You can improve your writing with practice and by taking courses. The more you write, the better you'll get.

Udemy:

Skillshare:

LinkedIn Learning

7. Basic IT knowledge

Being tech-savvy and having basic IT knowledge are helpful skills for virtual assistants. As a virtual assistant, you'll be working on the computer and may have to use different software and collaboration tools like Microsoft Office Suite.

You may need to create reports in Excel or presentations in Powerpoint. Clients could ask you to create social media content and respond to comments and messages for them. A company may need data put into Salesforce or another CRM. Being able to learn new software quickly can put you at an advantage and make your work easier.

The better your computer skills and comfort with different tools, the more you can offer clients. You could help maintain the business's website, add new content, or run reports on how certain ads perform.

Improve your computer and IT skills with these courses:

Udemy:

Skillshare:

Salesforce and HubSpot also both offer free online training and certifications on their software.

8. Self-motivation and concentration

People transition into freelancing to work on their terms. Freelancers get to pick and choose their clients and the types of projects they work on. But working remotely and setting your own schedule requires self-motivation and concentration, especially as a virtual assistant.

Business owners depend on virtual assistants to complete tasks, often without much oversight. They engage virtual assistants because they have never-ending to-do lists and need someone to step in and help. The more involved they have to be in micromanaging their people, the more time it takes out of their day. For even a small company, that quickly becomes unsustainable even for the best managers. As a virtual assistant, you build trust with your clients to complete your assignments on time.

Successful virtual assistants know how to self-motivate and work in a concentrated flow on one task at a time. When you love what you do, it's easier to be motivated and not procrastinate.

Tips for improving self-motivation and concentration:

  • Create a work schedule and stick to it
  • Find a morning routine that works for you
  • Designate distraction-free (no non-work notifications) times to work
  • Give yourself breaks
  • Write to-do lists and check off items one by one
  • Work at a coffee shop for a change in scenery
  • Go for a walk when you're feeling burnt out or overwhelmed

9. Detail orientation

Virtual assistants care about the little details. When handling administrative tasks and project management for clients, detail orientation is a critical skill. As a virtual assistant, clients rely on you to send error-free emails and to catch any mistakes in presentations and other content before publishing.

Companies depend on virtual assistants to take on tasks requiring detail orientation, whether scheduling or payroll. Being able to complete a long to-do list without any mistakes is vital. Virtual assistants must stay ahead of deadlines and work on time-sensitive tasks that call for precision.

Tips for being more detail-oriented:

  • Use programs like Grammarly to check for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Double-check your work
  • Write deadlines in your calendar
  • Minimize distractions
  • Take notes during meetings
  • Break up bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks
  • Get the right productivity tools

10. Reliability

When working as a virtual assistant, especially freelancing, reliability is a soft skill that clients and employers are looking for. Companies want to engage someone they can trust to complete assigned work on time without errors and to be available when they need them.

No matter whether you bill hourly or by project, or are on a retainer, as a virtual assistant setting up "working hours" for your clients and being available to take on new tasks and answer questions is essential.

If you work asynchronously, a client could send you a weekly message with a list of admin tasks to complete. Those on an hourly contract may be available from 9 to 5 for meetings and talk regularly with their client throughout the day, giving updates and getting new assignments.

Reputation matters as a virtual assistant. Companies and clients want to work with someone they can count on. If you're freelancing on Upwork, having a high Job Success Score and positive reviews from other clients shows that you're reliable and can help you win more jobs.

Tips for being a reliable virtual assistant:

  • Meet your deadlines
  • Don't take on more jobs than you can handle
  • Respond promptly to messages if within your designated working hours
  • Ask for reviews when a project ends
  • Ask questions if you're unsure about a job's requirements
  • Be reasonable about when you can have a task finished

11. Social media management

A popular task for virtual assistants is social media management. Companies or influencers need help managing their different social media accounts, from posting content to responding to inquiries. And because social media is so fast-paced, they need someone to actively monitor and engage with their social media accounts. Followers expect a quick response when they ask a question on a brand's social media channel.

Social media marketing is a major focus for many brands, and creating content daily to engage their followers is important. It's a way for them to connect with customers one-on-one through paid and organic content. Virtual assistants with social media management skills should be able to create on-brand content and respond to comments and messages appropriate on behalf of the brand.

When managing social media for a client as a virtual assistant, you could have a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Mapping out content calendars
  • Planning content
  • Moderating comments
  • Interacting with followers
  • Keeping up with trends
  • Reposting follower content
  • Responding to direct messages from customers or brands
  • Run, monitor, and report on ad campaigns

Courses to learn social media management:

Udemy

Skillshare

Coursera:

12. Creativity

Creativity is an essential skill for many aspects of being a virtual assistant, from problem-solving to content creation. Everyone has their own type of creativity. For some it may be writing, while others might lean more toward visual art and graphic design. Embrace your creative abilities to be a better virtual assistant by integrating them into your skillset.

As a virtual assistant, you may have a unique angle and approach to different problems or ideas, making you a valuable asset. Being positive and looking at problems through a lens of creativity can help you overcome on-the-job challenges.

A client could give you a task with minimal direction, and you’ll have to figure out the best way to accomplish it. Being creative could help save you time and impress your clients.

Depending on what your strengths are, you could offer a variety of creative services to your clients, such as:

  • Social media content
  • Graphic design
  • Email marketing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Presentations
  • Sales collateral creation
  • Ad campaigns

Find virtual assistant jobs on Upwork

Thinking of embarking on the journey to become a virtual assistant? See what virtual assistant jobs are available on Upwork. Whether you're new to virtual assisting or are transitioning to freelance for the first time, clients on Upwork are looking for someone like you to help with their day-to-day administrative tasks. Build a career as an independent professional and see what new doors appear, waiting for you to open and walk through them.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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12 Virtual Assistant Skills To Have on Your Resume
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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