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How to Succeed at Getting Your First Clerical Job

Are you an organized person with good people and computer skills? If so, you could be an excellent clerical worker.

Clerical workers, also known as administrative assistants, office assistants, secretaries, or bookkeepers, are the people who keep the office running. These office jobs exist in just about every industry, which means people with this skill set can find work anywhere. Read on to find out how to get your first clerical job.

What Are Clerical Jobs?

Clerical workers do administrative tasks and other office work to support the rest of their workplace. They often answer phones, do data entry tasks, schedule appointments, fax and file paperwork, and print or copy documents.

To be a good clerical worker, you will need to be highly organized, detail-oriented, and a reasonably fast typist. Some clerical jobs also require solid customer service skills, especially jobs at reception desks. It helps to be good at multitasking since you may need to perform computer tasks while talking on the phone.

How Can I Get My First Clerical Job?

Develop Clerical Work Skills

Most clerical jobs require the following skills:

  • Basic computer skills. Clerical job applications should be able to comfortably use email, digital calendars, basic applications like Microsoft Word, and the internet.
  • Organization. Clerical workers often have to juggle a large number of tasks and keep things organized for the rest of the office.
  • Detail-orientedness. Clerical work is all about the details, so be prepared to talk about times you showed unusual attention to detail during job interviews. It’s extra important to avoid spelling errors and other common resume mistakes during the application process.
  • Communication. You should be able to efficiently communicate on the phone in the language used by the office. Having professional phone experience helps, but generally isn’t required for entry-level positions.
  • Customer service skills. Many clerical jobs require helping customers at a reception desk or over the phone. You should be able to maintain a calm, polite, and helpful demeanor when interacting with all sorts of people.
  • Filing. While people have been talking about “going paperless” for years, some employers still use physical filing systems. This means clerical workers still need to know how to sort in alphabetical and numerical order.

Knowing how to use printers, copy machines, and fax machines is definitely a bonus on a clerical resume. You may need to perform minor maintenance tasks such as changing printer cartridges.

To qualify for a wider range of roles, you may need to gain experience with data entry and advanced software such as QuickBooks. However, many employers provide on-the-job training in these areas for entry-level clerical workers.

How Do I Apply for Clerical Jobs?

Clerical jobs can be found on most job boards, but if you are new to clerical work, an employment agency may be the best place to start.

Before applying, your resume and cover letter should always be professional and tailored to the specific job you are applying for. This is especially important for clerical jobs because it shows you care about the details and are willing to put in the time and effort to get them right.

If you don’t have all of the exact qualifications an employer is looking for, try to include any skills or experiences you have that are similar to the ones that are missing. For example, an employer who is looking for someone with Quickbooks experience may be willing to hire someone who has experience making budget spreadsheets in Excel.

Practice Interviewing for an Office Job

Interviewing is an important life skill that workers in every field need. If you are not a confident interviewer or haven’t applied for a job recently, you may want to practice interviewing with a friend or on your own. Don’t forget to purchase or borrow the appropriate clothing for an office job interview.

Keep in mind that interviews in our post-pandemic world are often conducted virtually. You may need to familiarize yourself with video software such as Zoom or Skype.

Explore Clerical Job Openings in Utah

LG Resources is a Utah-based staffing agency that specializes in clerical, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation jobs. Check out our job board today or sign up to see even more job openings in your area.

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