Before we go into too much discussion, it might be pertinent to look at a sample job description for the assistant to the CEO role. Getting a basic understanding of the job description for the executive assistant to the chief executive officer will form the foundation for a deeper understanding of exactly what the expectations for the role are.
The foundation of what an executive assistant does is to provide administrative support to the executive level within a business, mostly to the CEO. Executive assistants report directly to the CEO. The relationship that an executive assistant has with the CEO is one-on-one and involves a lot of executive administrative support. The executive assistant also works as a liaison between the board of directors and the rest of the management team.
It is important for an executive assistant to enjoy their work and to be creative. A good executive assistant will have good judgment and be accustomed to a diverse workforce. Strong communication and organizational skills are essential, but arguably the most important skill for executive assistants is the ability to multitask.
Employ a high level of professionalism to reflect positively on the organization by providing support to all executive parties.
As we have seen, executive assistants are employees at the executive level of an organization. This person supports the CEO in much the same way that administrative assistants do but with more hands-on methods. We know that the title of executive assistant is not an entry-level job, but it is also not necessarily a leadership role. However, the executive assistant still plays a central role in the company’s success because they provide support to the director, other executives, and the CEO.
Their main tasks are administrative in nature. They are responsible for writing memos, arranging travel and meetings, and answering calls and emails. They handle routine correspondence with CEOs and provide information that impacts company policies. Sometimes their responsibility includes the training and supervision of new office staff.
The assistant to the CEO should have a deep understanding of what CEOs do and should be able to smoothly act as a liaison for them with other elements of the company. They are usually a point of contact between the CEO and the rest of the company, including other executives, project managers, general employees, etc. It is, therefore critical that they are confident communicators and can handle situations where people misunderstand each other calmly and efficiently.
Therefore there are several skills that can be extremely useful to an executive assistant. Moderation is an important skill, as is critical thinking and time management. Problem-solving skills and various technical proficiencies are also beneficial.
The assistant to a CEO requires many skills in order to meet their responsibilities. The skills that a person in this position needs most can be divided up into writing, organizational, and interpersonal skills. Many CEOs will also need some skills that they want to highlight in these jobs depending on personal preference and industry requirements. A successful candidate will pay close attention to the job description and company history to ascertain exactly what skills they must highlight to draw attention to their resumes.
The first thing to consider if you want to pursue a career as the executive assistant to a chief executive officer is the type of education that is required. Some companies might have slightly different educational experience requirements – there might also be some industry-specific requirements. Master’s degrees are rarer among executive assistants than bachelor’s degrees. Although higher education is often a key to success in the executive world, there is always a chance that an executive assistant to a chief executive officer may find success with only a high school diploma. In this case, it would depend entirely on experience.
Often the step after the executive assistant to the chief executive officer, is the role of CEO. When the responsibility of executive assistant has been fulfilled successfully, it is a natural next step to develop into a higher position in the company. There is much experience to gain for a CEO who started out as an assistant to a CEO. They are also more likely to have respect and appreciation for their own assistants.