Information technology is the foundation of any company’s record keeping, networking and client/company relationship. Office based administration roles require a proficient knowledge of IT in many areas and with IT now part of the standard curriculum, most graduating students have a knowledge of IT programmes.
With more software being developed and IT systems being updated on a regular basis, key skills are needed and more than the basics are required to secure an office administration role.
•Basic computer and keyboard skills
The basics are what provide the foundation to grow from and the basic knowledge of how a computer works and the keyboard and mouse skills are important. All keyboards have the QWERTY layout and this comes from typewriter days. This basic keyboard knowledge is needed for all office jobs. Basic computer skills include knowing the desktop, where email is located and file locations.
•MS Office Applications
Microsoft Office Applications are used by over a billion people worldwide, so the chances are high that in any office you apply to work in, this system will be used. Composed of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access and Outlook, it is of high importance that key skills in these applications are achieved before applying for an office role. With Word,usually used for letters, it is important to know how to insert tables, bullet points and formatting. Excel is used for accounting procedures and is a large programme involving the developing formulas for accounting purposes and many offices use this programme as a database of clients. Knowledge of excel is an attractive prospect for office managers and in being a whizz at this application will certainly earn your place in an office. Powerpoint is used for slideshows and features graphics and text to present to clients or for training purposes throughout the company. Outlook is a personal communication application that will manage all contact information, a diary and email with folders that can be set up for each individual. Most email systems are used on Outlook and skills are needed to utilise this application.
Microsoft access is used for database content and requires good skills to operate. Publishing is used for the design of leaflets and brochures, often used in offices to promote services, always worthwhile to have skills in these applications.
Office roles are no longer seen as simply being a secretary and the ability to type at a certain speed, while touch typing is still a key skill, many more skills are needed to be able to succeed in securing an office position. With more customer service roles being available, office skills with written and verbal skills are needed due to the nature of the business. If companies have a bespoke system that you are not familiar with, the key skills in basic office administration will suffice while you find your way around the company’s system.
Excellent communication skills are the key to any office role both written and verbal and expect to have plenty of telephone contact with clients, so verbal communication is just as important as computer skills. However, if IT really does interest you, why not look out for IT technician jobs to begin a career in IT.