What It Takes to Be a Successful Civil Service Secretary

If you think that being a civil service secretary is easy, think again. It's actually one of the most sensitive jobs in the world, though many might think that all secretaries do is take phone calls and make her boss coffee. However, as many secretaries will tell you, their job is more complicated than that.

Working for city administrators, courts, police, municipal and other offices and agencies in the federal government is no laughing matter. Aside from the educational qualifications and clerical knowledge, they must also possess certain qualities so they will be able to perform the demands of the job.

Secretaries are expected to have stellar spelling, punctuation, grammar and oral communication skills. The first three traits are important since they have to be able to write agendas for meetings and be able to take minutes of these meetings. They will also have to take down memos hurriedly dictated by their boss so impeccable written English language skills are a must. Their listening skills must be sharp as well.

Oral communication is an essential trait that all secretaries must have because they serve in the front lines. They take calls, set appointments and face people looking for her boss. They should not only be good speakers, they should also know when to exercise tact and restraint when talking with people. Because they represent their bosses and the office which they hold, secretaries are expected to expected to be dignified as well.

For those who are holding administrative assistant positions, it's important to have organizational and management abilities, initiative and the ability to work with minimum supervision. They should know when to exhibit discretion, especially when it comes to handling confidential information. They are also expected to be versatile and flexible. They should also have the patience to deal with and understand their bosses whose demanding positions may have made them prone to bursts of temper and other idiosyncrasies.

Accuracy and precision are traits that successful civil service secretaries share. Sensitive instructions relayed over the phone need to be taken en toto lest the wrong message is sent. Schedules of meetings have to be set correctly and ensuring that the boss gets to prepare for appointments at specific dates are things that require a secretary to be exact and precise. The ability to multi-task is part and parcel of a secretary's job as well.

These are the most important traits that civil service secretaries need to have. Of course, dedication to the job and the commitment to perform her duties to the best of her abilities are also crucial for success in this profession.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Civil Service Secretary, then the first step is the Civil Service Secretary Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Civil Service Secretary hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Civil Service Secretary Exam Study Guide.


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