Resume Template: Personal Assistant

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Administration

A good personal assistant is invaluable.

Though a personal assistant generally helps out with the administrative tasks of one individual, a PA who can multitask and stay organized in a fast-paced environment can improve the productivity of an entire office.

But because your job can change so much on a daily basis, you may find it difficult to describe what it is you actually do overall.

So when you find the posting for your dream job, how can you make sure that your application stands out?

You need to position yourself as a self-starter who will go above and beyond the job description to make your employer’s day-to-day life as seamless as possible. This is where your resume can help you out.

Writing the perfect resume can feel daunting, but you already have all of the ingredients. Now, it’s just a matter of putting those ingredients together in the right order.

Ahead, our best tips for writing a resume that will help you rise above the other applicants.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample personal assistant resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best personal assistant resume you possibly can.

Find Resume Advice in Your Industry

Browse our categories of resume samples to get industry-specific advice on writing your next resume.

Personal Assistant Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Estella Erickson
EErickson@email.com
1 (619) 555-5500
San Diego, CA 91932

Summary Statement:

Personal Assistant: Driven and highly organized personal assistant who adapts easily to changing needs and has an acute attention to detail. Skilled in managing schedules, effectively communicating with multiple parties, and prioritizing projects within tight deadlines.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Google Docs
  • Reliable
  • Organized
  • Focused
  • Schedule Managing
  • Ethical with Sensitive Data
  • Budgeting

Professional Experience:

Tanager Hire
San Francisco, CA | Personal Assistant | Sept 2017 – Present

  • Provide wide-ranging support to the CEO
  • Coordinate timelines and due dates with all members of the project team
  • Proactively follow up action lists with the team
  • Capture, track, and share key actions from meetings
  • Build relationships with all levels of stakeholders

Aline
Palo Alto, CA | Personal Assistant | June 2014 – Aug 2017

  • Gathered, entered, and packaged important information for CEO
  • Coordinated a complex schedule
  • Strategized with clients to create efficient schedules
  • Outstanding organizational skills and meticulous focus on quality

Marble Co.
Concord, CA | Administrative Assistant | March 2011 – June 2014

  • Created a schedule for all staff at Marble Construction
  • Answered and routed phone calls to the correct parties
  • Reliably remained persuasive and calm in stressful situations
  • Proven ability to plan and prioritize multi-task requests within demanding deadlines

Education/Certifications

Associate Degree | Business Concentration
City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Class of 2011

Formatting 101

Let’s start with the basics.

First and foremost, your resume needs to be readable.

Your resume will most likely be reviewed not only by a hiring team but also bots (more on this later). That’s why you should use a simple, clear font like Arial or Times New Roman. An unusual font or abnormal formatting will make your resume stand out – but in a bad way.

Organization is one of the most noticeable differentiators between a good resume and a not-so-good resume. Lucky for you, organization is probably already one of your top skills as a personal assistant.

In every section start things off with your best, most relevant work first. This is because the average hiring manager only looks at a resume for about six seconds. If you only have six seconds to convince them to keep reading, what do you want them to see?

With few exceptions, a resume should generally be no longer than one page. Be selective about what you choose to include and don’t feel like you have to list every single little thing you’ve ever done.

Remember that while you’re trying to fit as much onto the page as possible, whitespace is just as important as the text. Avoid long paragraphs and utilize bullets and lists to keep things scannable. Use spacing to guide the eye and be sure to keep everything neat and tidy.

Writing Your Resume Summary

Remember that you only have six seconds to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

A quick way to draw in the reader right off the bat is to include a resume summary at the top of the page.

A resume summary is an informative paragraph that explains your skills and work history in just a couple of sentences.

It’s important here to be as specific as you can. This is your first impression, so use strong language and avoid repetition as much as possible.

What should you include? Your resume summary is a compilation of your top-selling points, so only list the aspects of your work experience that make you perfect for the position you are applying for.

Below are some good and not so good summary statement examples for personal assistants:

Yes!

Driven and highly organized personal assistant who adapts easily to changing needs and has an acute attention to detail. Skilled in managing schedules, effectively communicating with multiple parties, and prioritizing projects within tight deadlines.

No!

I am smart, organized personal assistant looking for a new position. I am reliable, organized and have experience in multiple industries

The Yes! Example is specific and uses strong action words to demonstrate the skills and experiences that will help you succeed in the position.

The second example may be accurate, but it is way too general. It is repetitive and doesn’t really tell us what specifically makes you a good candidate other than outlining some basic skills. This summary also uses personal pronouns, which is generally not recommended.

Areas of Expertise/Key Accomplishments

Next up is a list of your key accomplishments.

Because you started your resume off with the paragraph summary, this is a good place to utilize a bulleted list. That way, if the hiring manager is short on time, they have a more scannable option to see if you have the necessary qualifications.

This list should include the skills you possess that set you apart from the pack.

What are your top accomplishments? Are you proficient in any special software that would be relevant to this position? Do you have any leadership experience?

Take a look at the job posting. It should list the specific skills and attributes that the organization is looking for, so be sure to call out any matching characteristics if they are accurate.

Example:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Google Docs
  • Reliable
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills
  • Detail Oriented
  • Focused
  • Organized

Make sure you include both hard skills and soft skills in this list.

Hard skills are technical skills that are teachable and easier to quantify. These skills are something that you could learn in training or through your work experience and you get better at them over time.

Examples of hard skills are the knowledge of a particular kind of software or method of data-entry.

Soft skills are not quite as easy to quantify. You’ve probably heard of this concept as something called “people skills,” things like problem-solving, responsibility, or leadership

A good resume for a personal assistant should be a mix of hard and soft skills.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skills for personal assistants to help you write this section.)

Work History

Your work history is the “meat” of your resume.

Now that you have the attention of the hiring team, this is where you convince them that you are the perfect person for the job.

Remember when we talked about best work first? Same thing applies here: list your work history in reverse chronological order. Your most recent position is most likely the most relevant to the job you’re applying for, so make sure to put it first.

As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to put down every job you’ve ever had. You only have one page, so choose the work experiences that help demonstrate why you would succeed as a personal assistant.

When it comes to the descriptions, try to be as specific as you can while still being clear and concise. The best way to accomplish this is to start each bullet point off with a strong action word. Three to five bullets for each role is plenty.

Here are a few examples of what that looks like:

Yes!

Tanager Hire | San Francisco, CA | Personal Assistant | Sept 2017 – Present

  • Provide wide-ranging support to the CEO
  • Coordinate timelines and due dates with all members of the project team
  • Proactively follow up action lists with the team
  • Capture, track, and share key actions from meetings
  • Build relationships with all levels of stakeholders

No!

Tanager Hire | San Francisco, CA | Personal Assistant | Sept 2017 – Present

  • Helped CEO
  • Took notes in all meetings
  • Coordinated with team members

Let’s start with the first example.

The YES! descriptions are informative and specific. Each unique bullet utilizes action words and gives us an idea of what you actually accomplished during your time in this role.

The second example, on the other hand, uses very passive language. It gives a general idea of the role’s basic tasks, but doesn’t inspire any confidence in your abilities and does not stand out at all.

PRO TIP: Remember to use the job description. It should list what they’re looking for in a personal assistant, so you can use it to determine what you learned in your previous roles.

What About Bots?

Because a hiring team will have so many applicants to consider and so little time, they will often use a program called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help screen resumes.

An ATS is programmed to look for certain keywords from the job description and flag resumes that specifically mention them. Resumes that make it through the system are the ones that the hiring manager will actually look at.

This is the reason you need to make sure that you carefully read the job description.

For example, if the job description lists that they are looking for someone with “experience with Google Docs”, do not list that you are “proficient with the G-Suite.” The system will not flag your resume because it did not find the exact phrase.

Even if you’re qualified for a position, you might not get an interview because an ATS did not flag you as a good candidate. This is why some candidates try to fit in as many keywords as possible by forgoing bullet points and writing about their work experiences in paragraph format.

Here’s what that would look like:

Bullet-Point Format:

Tanager Hire | San Francisco, CA | Personal Assistant | Sept 2017 – Present

  • Provide wide-ranging support to the CEO
  • Coordinate timelines and due dates with all members of the project team
  • Proactively follow up action lists with the team
  • Capture, track, and share key actions from meetings
  • Build relationships with all levels of stakeholders

Paragraph Format:

Tanager Hire | San Francisco, CA | Personal Assistant | Sept 2017 – Present
Provide wide-ranging support to the CEO. Coordinate timelines and due dates with all members of the project team. Proactively follow up action lists with the team. Capture, track, and share key actions from meetings. Build relationships with all levels of stakeholders.

Obviously, the paragraph approach leads to a long, dense block of text. If you choose to write your work history this way, since the work history takes up the bulk of the page, your entire resume will be text-heavy.

If your resume is not scannable and takes too long to read, it’s likely that it will end up in the trash.

That’s why Big Interview recommends using the bullet point format. It allows you to use the same number of keywords, as shown above, while still allowing for natural spacing and easy reading.

The Education Section

Next up is the education section.

This part follows the same rules as the previous sections. When listing your educational background, put the highest degree first (ex. your master’s would come before your bachelor’s).

For each degree, list the school, the field of study, and the year that you completed your degree.

What if you just graduated? Right out of school, your education section is probably more relevant than your work experience, so it’s okay to list a GPA.

This section can also include any online coursework and training that you have completed if they are relevant.

Example:

Associate Degree | Business Concentration
City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Class of 2011

Example:

  • “Advanced Microsoft Office,” Weekend Course, San Francisco, CA
  • Teambuilding Workshop, UCLA Online.

Alternative Sections

If you find that you have extra space, or have other areas of interest that don’t necessarily fit into the other categories, consider adding more sections.

Some of the sections you could include are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What if You Have No Experience?

It’s okay to apply for a job if you have no experience.

Maybe you just graduated, or are switching industries. There are still ways to show that you can succeed in the role.

First things first, you should still start off your resume with a strong summary at the top of the page.

But instead of following the summary with your work history, you should put your education section next. It’s your strongest area at the moment, so you want it seen first.

When it comes to your work history, you probably have more relevant experience than you realize — it just might not be from paid work.

Think about any courses that you’ve taken that demonstrate your skills, or any workshops or certifications that prove your knowledge of a certain industry. What about internships? Summer jobs? Volunteer work? Many different things can fit into this category, even things you might not typically think of as work experience.

PRO TIP: Remember that there are a lot of soft skills that are relevant to being a personal assistant. Do you have any experiences that demonstrate how you work with others? Or communicate? Or problem solve? Those skills could work to your advantage.

Resume Points to Remember

Find a proofreader

If you’ve been working hard on your resume, you’ve probably been staring at the same page for hours. That’s when mistakes happen. Have a friend, preferably one who knows a thing or two about grammar, to look over your finished resume for typos, spelling, and formatting errors.

Utilize whitespace

Yes, the content of your resume matters a lot. But what your resume looks like matters, too. That means that you need to be careful with formatting and line breaks to keep things neat and help guide the reader’s eye. .

Brag a little

Don’t sell yourself short! When writing the descriptions of each position in your work history, make sure you are explaining the role accurately. Don’t just share the basic duties of the job without showing your accomplishments.

Resume “Don’ts” to Remember

Avoid personal pronouns

Typically, resumes should stay away from using the first person. It may feel weird to not use “I” or “me” while talking about yourself, but personal pronouns don’t really have a place in resume writing.

Don’t forget the basics

This seems obvious, but make sure you are including all of the materials the job posting is asking for you to submit. Don’t forget to share your contact information, like an email address and LinkedIn profile.

Don’t forget about the job description

We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. The job description shows exactly what the employer is looking for, so be sure to read it carefully. Utilize the mentioned keywords, not synonyms, and make sure you are following the application instructions.

Helpful Tools

Personal Assistant Power Words

  • Adapted
  • Formulated
  • Adjusted
  • Handled
  • Communicated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Organized
  • Checked
  • Provided
  • Delivered
  • Scheduled
  • Established
  • Strategized

Personal Assistant Resume Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Microsoft Office Suite Organized
Google Docs Time Management
Scheduling Focused
E-Filing Trustworthy
QuickBooks Flexible