Actual roles and responsibilities for a receptionist can range from workplace to workplace, but generally, common duties for receptionists include:
Accepting deliveries and mail.
Taking incoming calls.
Maintaining office directories, policies and procedures.
Assisting in administrative work such as word processing, data entry and research.
Planning business travel or events.
Here’s a list of several hard and soft skills a receptionist should have on their resume, qualities a good receptionist should have, and skills you’ll learn and improve once hired for a receptionist role.
What skills should I put on my resume for a receptionist position?
Hard skills for a receptionist resume
Computer skills. Operating a computer, fax machine, copier, printer and other related technology will help ensure you can complete many of your tasks. You should also have familiarity with some of the softwares or programs you’ll use, such as email programs, scheduling programs, social media, or other industry-specific software.
Phone skills. It may be helpful for you to be familiar with or have experience in phone switchboards, accepting calls, transferring callers, placing callers on hold, etc. You may also have to use phone technology software to track calls and keep records of messages, so knowing how to do this can be beneficial.
Microsoft Office proficiency. Profienciney in the use of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and other Office products is important as those are likely the programs you’ll be using daily. You may be asked to write and distribute memos or letters, input or analyze data, or create presentations for management or colleagues. These skills can help you complete these tasks efficiently and exceptionally so they meet the needs of your clients.
Multiple languages. While not always a required skill, it can set your resume apart from the rest if you have the ability to speak in multiple languages. Depending on your workplace, you may be encountering clients from around the world, and being able to communicate with them can make them feel at home and comfortable working with your company. If you can speak more than one language, be sure to highlight this skill.
Soft skills for a receptionist resume
Customer service. As the first person many callers or visitors speak with, you should have great customer service skills. A great receptionist will be able to listen to the needs of the customer or client and determine how to best direct them, answer their questions, or assist them. If you can help without having to transfer or put them on hold, it helps ensure a positive experience for that client.
Communication. Written and verbal communication skills are critical for success as a receptionist. You should be able to listen well and communicate effectively, either in-person, over the phone, or through email or other technology applications. You should be able to speak clearly and effectively, communicate issues or resolutions, take and relay messages, and more.
Professionalism. A receptionist is often the first person customers, visitors and even employees encounter in your company. Because you’re on the front line, you may be seen as one of the faces of the organization. That said, professionalism helps ensure everyone who interacts with you and comes to your company location has a positive initial interaction. You should not only act and complete your tasks professionally, but also look professional and have a professional attitude. Polish and poise are important.
Problem solving. Sometimes you’ll come across challenges or issues, either in your tasks or from clients or customers. You may have to deal with customers who have questions or aren’t satisfied with their experience with your company. It can be helpful if you have the skills and ability to think on your feet and resolve problems as they arise. Quick and courteous responses to clients can turn negative situations into positive ones.
Attention to detail. Because you’ll be working with a variety of people and handling multiple projects and tasks at once, having strong attention to detail can prevent mistakes from being made and help ensure you’re able to have a productive day. You also will be dealing with a variety of technologies, files, processes and procedures - some which can be complex or confusing - and a strong attention to detail will allow you to work and operate in these systems effectively.
Organization. Staying on track, completing your tasks, directing callers and visitors appropriately, and maintaining schedules, directories and other items all take excellent organizational skills. You should have the ability to find names and phone numbers quickly, keep a neat desk and work area, and maintain filing systems for quick and easy access to help ensure success.
Multitasking. We listed above just some of the duties a receptionist might have on a daily basis. Juggling these multiple responsibilities, often at the same time, requires multitasking and time management skills. For example, you may be taking calls, screening calls, transferring callers, and greeting customers in a reception area at the same time. The more you can multitask (especially without getting frustrated) and prioritize your work, the more successful you’ll be. Being organized and detail-oriented will help with this.
What are the qualities of a good receptionist?
A great receptionist will have a positive, friendly attitude each day. Patience, professionalism and the ability to remain calm under pressure are all strong qualities for a receptionist. You should have the ability to adapt to different situations, and a desire to learn since you may have to learn new technologies, policies and procedures.
Successful receptionists should be people persons. You’ll be working with a number of people on a day-to-day basis, either in-person, over-the-phone, through email, or a combination of the three, and each interaction should be helpful, positive and friendly.
Additionally, qualities of a good receptionist include showing initiative, willingness to collaborate, and the ability to positively impact the workplace and others who work there.
What skills do you learn as a receptionist?
In addition to the skills above that you may have listed on your resume, there are additional skills you’ll be able to learn as a receptionist such as:
Software or technology knowledge.