What Are Administrative Skills and How To Hone Them
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

What Are Administrative Skills and How Students Can Hone Them

Zoe Kramer January 1, 2023

As you finish your degree and begin to seek out employment, you may find there are some practical skills listed in job descriptions that you didn’t learn in your modules. One of these skillsets that is used across a majority of industries is administration — but what are administrative skills? Don’t feel intimidated or underqualified — you probably already have a good basis in this domain, even if you don’t know it. Here are some of the most important admin skills, areas where you might have already developed them, and how you can hone them further.


If you ask a professional ‘what are administrative skills?’ the first thing they are likely to bring up is organisation. A potential employer will want to know that you can stick to a schedule, show up on time, and keep readily accessible notes and files where relevant. You’ll need to know how to multitask and plan ahead to manage your workload. Luckily, in your degree you already have experience doing this. Submitting assignments ahead of the deadline, preparing for an exam, or taking on any kind of society position are great ways to demonstrate your organisational skills.


Employers will also want to know that you can manage high-pressure situations and find workarounds when things don’t go according to plan. Before you go into an interview, think of the challenges you’ve faced in uni or in your previous employment and how you resolved those issues.

Photo by Cherrydeck on Unsplash

See also: When Should You Start Applying For Graduate Jobs?


It’s also important to know how to work constructively with others towards a common goal. This is where the group projects you worked on in uni will come in handy. Talk about the approach you take in a group setting: are you good at taking leadership? Do you normally offer your services as a note-taker? Have you arbitrated any conflicts?

IT Literacy

You might not think of this as a skill since using computers is such an essential part of modern life, but it’s good to be able to demonstrate your level of expertise. Keep a list of software systems that you’re competent in, whether it’s Excel, Word, Photoshop, Powerpoint or anything else that may be relevant. If you’re good at using social media, this may come in handy, too.

Customer Service

Many roles will involve customer interaction, so the person hiring you will want to know that you can talk to customers with a friendly attitude and help them resolve any issues they might have. If you’ve worked as a waiter or waitress, a barista, a cashier, a salesperson, a call centre representative, or similar jobs, these experiences will provide an excellent talking point for your approach towards customers. If you haven’t worked in a customer-facing role before, you can bring up other interpersonal skills you have used, such as active listening, negotiation and communication.

See also: How To Make The Best First Impression In A Professional Environment

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.