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    Part 1: Approaching a PA job search

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    Today?s top-flying personal and executive assistants are no longer glorified secretaries, they are managing big budgets and making key business decisions. In the first instalment of our PA recruitment two-parter, whether you?re just starting your job search or keen to advance your career, here are things you should keep in mind when looking for your next role.

    The changing nature of the role – Long gone are the days of personal assistants simply doing some diary management and typing. Elaine Sutherland of PA London says: ?Some sectors still rely heavily on their PAs to produce lengthy documents and contracts, but others see their PAs acting as a pivotal member of the management team, keeping them on track and helping their schedules to run as efficiently as possible. They will spend their time organising meetings, international travel and events ? but the core element of the job is to provide pro-active, intelligent support.?

    Is the job right for your skills? – “There is a misconception that anyone can work as a PA but you really do need substantial experience behind you,” says recruitment consultant Anna O?Sullivan. PAs should always looking for ways to help their company to run better. So how do you know if you have what it takes? “Organisational skills and resourcefulness are important, as is the ability to remain calm, even if you?re feeling under pressure,? Anna adds.

    Moving on from PA to EA – Almost a third of office support professionals with a traditional PA role have now been given the title ?Executive Assistant?, according to a survey by recruitment company La Cr?me. 16% of PAs said their boss regularly takes their recommendations on business decisions, while 17% of the 1,700 professionals questioned in a Hays survey said that they stand in for their manager at meetings at least monthly, with 29% regularly undertaking projects for the company.

    Getting hired – When it comes to applying for a job, ?a well laid out CV, well written with no grammatical errors is a good start,? says Elaine. ?Try to think about the transferable skills you may have from other roles and experiences that could be relevant.?

    During the interview, it?s important to show you have researched the company, but Anna warns against listing facts. ?If you?re asked “What do you know about the company?” it?s best to give a broad overview, and then pick out one or two things that interest you, and which you can give an intelligent opinion on. Ideally, you should then bring the conversation back to why you want to work for the company.?

    Finally, have confidence in your abilities and achievements. It?s important to remember how much of an asset you can become for a prospective employer. If you show interviewers that you value your own worth, they are likely to do so too.

    Read the full article by Rachel Burge on careerbuilder.com


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    AUTHOR

    Amelia Walker

    Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Amelia Walker