How to Become a Virtual Assistant?
Steps to Become a Personal AssistantBecoming a personal assistant is an excellent career choice if you enjoy working with people and keeping them organized. Personal assistants help executives and other busy professionals schedule and plan their lives. They can work out of an office or remotely, and they often travel with their clients. To become a personal assistant, follow these five steps:
Get a degree in business administration or communications.
Personal assistants need at least a high school diploma or a GED, and many have a bachelor's degree in business administration, communications, or a similar field. They may also have a degree in their industry. For example, someone working for an executive at a technology company may have a degree in computer science or engineering.
What type of degree should you pursue to become a Personal Assistant?
67% of people working as a Personal Assistant earned a Bachelor's Degree
What skills do you need to be a Personal Assistant?
- Excellent Customer Service
- English Language
- No High School
- Excellent Communication
- Work Ethic
- Attention To Detail
Gain some experience by starting as an administrative assistant.
Personal assistants often start as secretaries or administrative staff. In a position at the same company, you can get valuable on-the-job training about the executive's preferences and schedule. If you're starting at a new company, some administrative or secretarial experience is even more important. When you prepare your resume and cover letter, customize it for the position. When possible, use the same keywords in the job description. Many hiring managers use software to search for these terms and choose the candidates who will get an interview.
Expand your professional network by getting to know your coworkers.
While you work, get to know your supervisors and coworkers, and stay in touch with people who move on to other positions. That way, you can expand your professional network and get news about the best opportunities from your contacts. You can also ask for a letter of recommendation when you apply for personal assistant jobs. As a personal assistant, you'll get a unique chance to observe and learn from some of the most successful people. Many personal assistants use what they learn to eventually become top executives themselves.
Earn certifications like Certified Personal Assistant.
The right certifications can help you get a better position as a personal assistant by demonstrating your competence and skills and making your resume more attractive to hiring managers. Starkey International Institute offers a Certified Personal Assistant credential that includes coursework about household management and personal care. Other people choose the Certified Administrative Professional credential from the International Association of Administrative Professionals. It includes classes about business, organization, and communication. Both programs are online, and after you complete the courses, you'll need to take exams.
Improve skills like patience and attention to detail.
Besides the hard skills needed to execute your daily responsibilities, some soft skills are also required. Personal assistants should be patient, have excellent attention to detail, and possess the ability to work in stressful situations. They often need to change plans, reschedule activities for their clients quickly, and speak with a variety of different people, from business leaders to celebrities to housekeepers. Personal assistants should be able to take care of many tasks, from helping executives create new budgets to cooking dinner for a client while they work late.
Virtual Assistant Career Path
Senior Personal Assistant
Lead Personal Assistant
Total Pay Trajectory
Virtual Assistant Career Path
Related Careers in the Administrative Industry
Interested in other Administrative careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Virtual Assistant skills. Discover some of the most common Virtual Assistant career transitions, along with skills overlap.