young female office employee looking at papers

You may think that no special attention needs to be paid to a CV or resume when it comes to administration jobs – after all, it’s not IT or marketing or sales, which automatically lend to the expectation of requiring tailored resumes for these specific industries.

While administration professionals may not get the same accolades that other jobs and careers do, exceptional administrative professionals are, in fact, highly valued and sought after by companies that truly understand the importance of this function. They are often the unsung, invisible heroes of the office and continue to support the workplace as the pace of business constantly increases.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand that an administrative CV needs the same amount of investment, time and care if you’re applying for a new job. Nailing your administration resume becomes even more important if you want to be successful in landing an interview for a role.

The secret is to break down the administration role into the key skills that are and will be expected of you. Typically, these are all about your communication, organisation and writing skills. The more you can demonstrate this on paper, the better your chances are for impressing the hiring manager or recruiter.

With this approach in mind, here are key tips for getting your administration CV right.

1. Attention to detail and accuracy

Claiming you have a great eye for detail won’t have much merit if your admin resume has spelling errors or is messily formatted. If your CV has mistakes, you’ve already shown your prospective employer or recruiter that you don’t practise what you preach.

With this in mind, it’s critical to double-check and even triple-check that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes, no template or formatting issues, and that the information you provide is detailed, honest and accurate.

Related: 3 commonly overlooked CV mistakes to avoid

2. Keep it brief and concise 

Another key element of administration jobs is to be able to take in a lot of information, digest it quickly and produce a brief and concise outcome – whether it be a verbal response, an email or a document.

The same rule applies to your CV. The way you communicate on paper will determine whether you are capable of conveying just the right amount of important information to captivate the reader, as well as whether you possess strong writing skills, all while being persuasive to your potential new employer.

For those with comprehensive work history, summarising past roles and experiences demonstrates a well-crafted CV and time spent in editing this down to a strong overview. Most hiring managers and recruiters will spend less than 10 seconds scanning a resume that lands in their inbox, so if you have pages of work history rather than highlighting your key achievements on page one, you are unlikely to move forward. More on this point below.

3. Highlight your top successes and accomplishments

Alongside your core skills, include any key accomplishments that make you an exceptional administration professional. This could be qualifications, awards, successes and even recommendations from previous roles – anything that makes you a uniquely attractive and strong candidate in the eyes of the hiring manager or recruiter.

4. Use known industry terminology

As per the initial advice above about tailoring your CV and being specific to the role of an administrative professional, as you would for an IT or sales role, it’s best to avoid being general. The use of industry terminology – both for the administration industry and the sector or market that the role is in – will set you apart, since you’ll be speaking their language.

Be sure to study the job description carefully in order to mirror the same terminology and language used. Then add a few more if you think it will elevate your CV.

Related: 9 things recruiters look for in a resume

5. Be thoughtful in your CV presentation and formatting

The way you format your CV will speak volumes of your skill and the pride you take in your work. There are numerous free sites that offer well-designed resume templates – such as Canva – that you can configure to your liking and customise to fit the information you want to include.

Rather than a plain Word-generated CV, submitting your resume with the help of a modern template will really stand out and leave a lasting impression. Remember though, that it’s the information you provide that is most important, so take care not to get too carried away with the design element.

6. Use keywords from the job description

Similar to the advice around including industry terminology in your CV, there are certain keywords in the job description that are often repeated or highlighted as the priority skills needed for a particular administration role.

By using the right keywords in your CV, applicant tracking systems (or ATS) that are used by recruitment agencies or in-house recruitment teams will rank your application highly, ensuring your CV is not eliminated from the pile that will reach the recruiter or hiring manager.

7. Tailor your administration CV to every job you apply for

Administrative duties will vary significantly from one company to the next, so tailoring your CV is essential if you want to be contacted for a job interview. Applying with a CV you used for another role will be obvious to the hiring manager or recruiter, or at the very least, won’t stand out against other candidates who made an effort to tailor their CV.

Searching for your next great administration role? Take a look at our current opportunities, or get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.