If your department or company is planning to hire a personal assistant for a department head or an executive, the first step you’ll need to take is to develop a compelling and enticing job description.
Although it might seem like a daunting task, especially if this is your first time writing a job description, it’s quite straightforward. And this guide will walk you through the process, step by step.
Here’s how to write an effective job description for a personal assistant position, including examples of typical duties and responsibilities, as well as job requirements.
First things first, start your job description with 1–3 short paragraphs that provide some insights into the company and a general overview of the role and its scope of responsibilities. This is a great way to set the tone, clearly spell out who you’re looking for, who you are, and why candidates should want to work for you.
Specifically, you should reference the name of the company and its mission and culture. After all, jobseekers don’t want to waste their time applying for a job with a company whose values don’t align with their own — and you don’t want to waste your time, either.
It’s also important to mention the title of the person that the successful candidate will be reporting to, as well as the location and whether the position is on site or remote.
Here’s an example to help you get started:
Tech ABC is a fast-growing tech startup headquartered in New York City, NY. We believe that culture is critical to personal and collective fulfillment, and the product of a shared sense of purpose. We put diversity, autonomy and support first, so our people feel they belong.
We’re looking for a responsible and highly organized Personal Assistant to provide personalized and confidential secretarial and administrative support to our Managing Director, Ms Jane Smith.
The position is full time and requires working in our office in NYC at 3 days a week.
Duties and responsibilities
Next, you need to list the specific duties and responsibilities of the position so that the successful candidate knows what to expect when hired. After all, a job description that provides a rounded understanding of expectations — and removes any surprises — is more likely to result in higher staff retention.
For this, it’s a good idea to speak to the department head or supervisor of the vacant position to get a better understanding of the day-to-day aspects of the role.
Here are some typical personal assistant duties and responsibilities you can include in your job description:
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Acting as the point of contact between the MD and internal departments, stakeholders and external clients
- Answering phone calls and emails, and passing on and highlighting messages for the MD’s attention
- Entering data, maintaining databases, keeping records, and drafting correspondence
- Managing and organizing the MD’s diary, and scheduling meetings, appointments and events
- Taking dictation and meeting minutes, and following up action points
- Making travel, accommodation and transport arrangements for the MD
Finally, write a list of requirements and criteria that the ideal candidate should meet.
Generally speaking, personal assistants don’t need any formal education other than a high school diploma. That said, you’ll need to consider what qualifications, training, skills and attributes that the ideal candidate should possess to succeed in the job.
Once you’ve figured out the must-haves (and good-to-haves) of the role, you’ll need to list them out so that interested applicants can determine if they match the candidate profile, like so:
- Proven work experience as a personal assistant
- High school diploma or GED (a PA diploma or certification would be advantageous)
- Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as scheduling software such as Google Calendar
- Strong organizational and time management skills
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Discretion and confidentiality, and a pleasant, outgoing personality
When writing a personal assistant job description (or for any other role, for that matter), you want to avoid posting a short paragraph or even simply “Personal assistant required” that doesn’t provide any valuable information about the role. After all, the more detailed the job description, the better the quality of applicants.
In addition to highlighting the duties and requirements of the role, equally important is to share information about:
- perks and benefits like compensation, paid leave allowance and medical insurance (so applicants know what’s in it for them too)
- the hiring process, including the closing date of applications and whether only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview
- any special requirements, including where candidates should submit their application and what file formats you accept
- the name of the hiring manager and their contact details so that applicants can easily reach out to them with any questions
- HR policies regarding equal opportunities and anti-discrimination
Got a question? Let us know in the comments section below.