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  • FIRST POST
    • PurplePuppy
    • By PurplePuppy 7th Sep 17, 10:43 PM
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    PurplePuppy
    Getting a job as an admin assistant without experience
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 17, 10:43 PM
    Getting a job as an admin assistant without experience 7th Sep 17 at 10:43 PM
    I've wanted to get a job as an admin assistant for quite a while but haven't had much luck. I've worked in catering for nine years now and have literally no experience of anything else so I'm a bit lost at where to start tbh.

    Are there any skills I should be emphasizing on my CV or any qualifications or courses I could take which might be useful? I have IT skills and a good telephone manner which I always make clear in my application but is there anything else I'm missing?
Page 1
    • andygb
    • By andygb 7th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
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    andygb
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
    You would have to have good IT, keyboard and communication skills, as well as good English skills, both in reading and writing.
    Common sense plays a big part as well.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 7th Sep 17, 11:30 PM
    • 2,836 Posts
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    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:30 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Sep 17, 11:30 PM
    You do know that Admin can be scanning, photocopying, using the guillotine, franking the post, answering the phone and emails under direction in some businesses it drives you potty. It really can be a basic job.

    It's a suitable job for the 18 year old's of this world. That's why you are maybe not getting to far. Admin under people positions much better.

    Sounds like you want to be looking at Conference Co ordinator or Hotel Receptionist then given your background. Both would expose you far better and carve better endings. Know what industry you want to focus on. Just my 2pence.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 8th Sep 17, 5:00 AM
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    Nebulous2
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 5:00 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 17, 5:00 AM
    I spent many years working in and recruiting people to work in care. Admin jobs there were varied and interesting, with a broad range of responsibilities, often including cash-handling.

    One thing that stood out when advertising these was the quality of application. The English, layout and attention to detail was used to showcase what they could do.

    I'd expect you to emphasis Microsoft office experience and possibly use of databases, rather than just IT skills.
    • ThemeOne
    • By ThemeOne 8th Sep 17, 7:35 AM
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    ThemeOne
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 7:35 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 17, 7:35 AM
    Most business and admin functions run on Excel, yet most people have only a basic knowledge of it - I once read a report which claimed 99% of Excel users only know how to use the SUM function, and that accords with my own experience - in fact I seem to have met a lot of the 1% who don't even know how to use SUM.

    So learn Excel, and maybe devise some kind of spreadsheet you can use at home to track expenses, and mention it specifically, instead of just saying you have general IT skills.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 8th Sep 17, 8:13 AM
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    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:13 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:13 AM

    It's a suitable job for the 18 year old's of this world. That's why you are maybe not getting to far.
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    That's far from true. Although it's a grade which has recently been scrapped in many parts of the Civil Service, it was not just a role suitable for 18 year olds. There were many people in the role who had been doing it for years. It suited them and they had no desire to climb the greasy pole of promotion. The role itself will vary greatly from company to company. In some it will be a very basic role, in others it can be much more demanding.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 8th Sep 17, 9:07 AM
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    comeandgo
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:07 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 17, 9:07 AM
    My admin assistant needs knowledge of Word, Excel, Outlook and SAP. If you are not compitent in the Word, Excel or Outlook there are evening classes and books that can help you gain some insight.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 8th Sep 17, 7:39 PM
    • 29,968 Posts
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    DCFC79
    • #8
    • 8th Sep 17, 7:39 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Sep 17, 7:39 PM
    A question or 2 you will no doubt be asked in interviews is why do you want to work in admin ?

    Why should you be employed over someone with experience ?
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,100 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #9
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Sep 17, 8:19 PM

    It's a suitable job for the 18 year old's of this world. That's why you are maybe not getting to far. Admin under people positions much better.
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Really? What makes it so? The lowest admin grade in most local authorities I deal with is now filled by graduates.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 8th Sep 17, 8:42 PM
    • 7,464 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    The lowest admin grade in most local authorities I deal with is now filled by graduates.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Which says a lot about the worth of a degree now.

    When I started work the lowest admin grade was the office junior and he was on a YTS scheme at 16. And he had a lot more clue than a lot of recent graduates.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Sep 17, 9:05 PM
    • 1,522 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    When I applied for my job as a LGPS administrator, the required education qualifications were 5 'O'levels/GCSEs including English and Maths. By the time I retired, they were still 'essential' - but 'degree' was 'desirable'.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 08-09-2017 at 9:11 PM.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 8th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • 2,836 Posts
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    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Really? What makes it so? The lowest admin grade in most local authorities I deal with is now filled by graduates.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Further to your witch hunt and having seen enough posts by tellit slating his former career, I'm not on about the civil service actually and neither does the OP mention it in their one time post, but have stated 9 years possibly in one very particular exact industry that is catering and if they are not showing passion for one particular industry and just firing of their CV to anybody and everybody, then of course that's where they are becoming stuck in my opinion.

    My previous to last job was this exact type of admin for a maintenance company with a legal stance at 35 years of age for £7.50 which was bordering on taking over half of a more substantive role because even the employer admitted this was basic tasks on realising my age after interviewing. So yes I could progress still at £7.50 and most of my colleagues were around 18. Next you'll be trying to tell me their are maintenance companies filled with women doing their admin, when again totally hasn't been my experience as much as I was gutted to learn this after hoping I was preparing myself so I'm kind of glad I wasn't in denial for long.

    I've tried myself for a college course recently to help in an 'office situation' to be greeted by anything but being available, despite showing an ICT course available for modern office working and stating employers were becoming concerned people can't use computers in the way they need. I don't really want to self learn but it's going that way.

    I'd like to say I was dreaming when I landed myself an assignment with an Essex Council purely helped on the basis I'd had a call centre background (in Accounts Payable). That was so not admin and again filled much with apprentices out of school, also on the floor. And for all the wonderfulness of that everybody I started with on the temp assignment no longer works there, although the job will keep popping up every couple of months.

    I'm glad you are served by graduates but I've rarely come across any so please stop singling me. Thanks very much. I'm entitled to my opinion as much as the next person of this world.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Sep 17, 9:16 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    My take on this is that everyone who isn't completely disorganised (and I accept there are a few of them about) has basic admin skills. So how can you demonstrate yours, OP?

    In catering, do you place orders? Check them once they arrive? Price compare before placing orders?

    Is there a rota? Do you help draw it up?

    At home, do you keep track of your money?

    Do you keep appointments for yourself and others in a diary / on a calendar / using some fancy online tool?

    How do you deal with paperwork?

    For me, admin is a high calling. I do my job, so that people who can deal with our clients can get on and deal with our clients, so that I don't have to. :-)

    I'm good at my job, I'm pants at dealing with our clients.

    One of my colleagues came to us with little direct admin experience, but their application demonstrated that they had the skills - gained as a teacher, but the admin side was highlighted.
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    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Sep 17, 9:43 PM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,100 Thanks
    sangie595
    Further to your witch hunt and having seen enough posts by tellit slating his former career, I'm not on about the civil service actually and neither does the OP mention it in their one time post, but have stated 9 years possibly in one very particular exact industry that is catering and if they are not showing passion for one particular industry and just firing of their CV to anybody and everybody, then of course that's where they are becoming stuck in my opinion.

    My previous to last job was this exact type of admin for a maintenance company with a legal stance at 35 years of age for £7.50 which was bordering on taking over half of a more substantive role because even the employer admitted this was basic tasks on realising my age after interviewing. So yes I could progress still at £7.50 and most of my colleagues were around 18. Next you'll be trying to tell me their are maintenance companies filled with women doing their admin, when again totally hasn't been my experience as much as I was gutted to learn this after hoping I was preparing myself so I'm kind of glad I wasn't in denial for long.

    I've tried myself for a college course recently to help in an 'office situation' to be greeted by anything but being available, despite showing an ICT course available for modern office working and stating employers were becoming concerned people can't use computers in the way they need. I don't really want to self learn but it's going that way.

    I'd like to say I was dreaming when I landed myself an assignment with an Essex Council purely helped on the basis I'd had a call centre background (in Accounts Payable). That was so not admin and again filled much with apprentices out of school, also on the floor. And for all the wonderfulness of that everybody I started with on the temp assignment no longer works there, although the job will keep popping up every couple of months.

    I'm glad you are served by graduates but I've rarely come across any so please stop singling me. Thanks very much. I'm entitled to my opinion as much as the next person of this world.
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    What the hell are you talking about? Apart from the pure gibberish here that makes no sense whatsoever, who cares what "your experience" is? My experience - of multiple local authorities, for whom I do not work - is that graduates fill the lowest level admin jobs. That is simply a fact. So the fact that you don't agree with the FACT is irrelevant.

    And local authorities are not the civil service.

    There was no witch hunt, and no "singling you". You made a comment which happens to be entirely wrong. Your (very limited) experience may say one thing - but that doesn't mean it is true. And for your information, there are plenty of maintenance companies that have women doing the admin.

    Good grief, you are wrong and paranoid... If you can't tolerate people who don't agree with you, stop posting. Otherwise, live with it.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Sep 17, 10:39 AM
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    TELLIT01
    Further to your witch hunt and having seen enough posts by tellit slating his former career, I'm not on about the civil service
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Yes I've been highly critical of the part of the Civil Service I worked for but that is totally irrelevant to this topic. The post to which I was responding stated that Admin Assistant roles were suitable only for school leavers, which is totally wrong. In another area of employment completely my wife's job title was Admin Assistant. In her case it meant she was responsible for all aspects of administration for a large department. It covered everything from taking minutes, booking hotel accommodation, organising meeting, typing up reports, etc. etc. The point being that a job title doesn't always mean the same thing.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 9th Sep 17, 11:30 AM
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    iammumtoone
    Most people are admin assistant to their own lives, many of us are to our families as well.

    Do you have children, do you organise where they have to be and make sure they get there on time - can be admin assistant responsibility.

    Do you manage the household budget - admin based, if you don't currently do this on a spreadsheet set one up and start.

    Do you look to switch energy suppliers - contact companies with queries/questions (phone and email) - all admin tasks

    It is hard to break into something different as others will be applying that already do this as a job. Do not let this get you down as those in admin would find it equally difficult to get a job within catering.

    Keep trying and will you get there in the end. Good Luck.
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