Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tricks to get a job interview

When you are looking for a new role and the job is either a little higher than your previous job or different, it can be tough to and the job interviews. Unfortunately, it is far easier to just look for another job that is similar to your last, but you will not get ahead if you just keep looking for the same type of job.

Here are tips on how to get the job interview that you want, by just tweaking your job seek.

  • Networking: Social media networking on LinkedIn can get you the contact that you need to land an interview. However, general old fashioned networking and telling your friend and acquaintances that you are looking for jobs in this area can lead to referrals. The key to this being a success is making sure you keep contact with a wide range of people and this is a process that will reap rewards in the long run.

  • Training: Update your skills if you need more current qualifications. Or if you need more relevant qualifications find an appropriate source of training and get the certificate. This is the most logical and easy way to gain the necessary accomplishments to get a job interview. However, it is going require some hard work, but nothing comes to those who don’t try to put in more effort.

  • Amend your CV: Amend your CV and covering letter to match the requirements of the jobs that you are applying for. Your previous roles and experience may be great for another role and things that you did not emphasise may be more relevant now. You need to be prepared to think totally from the perspective of your new job role.

  • Customise your covering letter: Ensure that when you apply to an individual company you include details of the company. This shows that this is not a mail shot to many different companies. It will even show an interest in the specific company.
Image courtesy of and author stuart miles

  • Follow up when appropriate: Because this shows interest and can even encourage the employer to take action, if they are procrastinating on the CV that they have received.

  •  Persevere and keep motivated: There are many reasons why some companies don’t get back in contact and try not to read anything into, as you will get through provided that you persevere and don’t lose sight of your objectives.

To find out more about training courses please go to

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Life and how become a PA helped me to develop my life

My life is not the same as with other 28 year old people. My mother has been married three times and I am the only daughter of four children. Also I am the last of her children. My father is wealthy and has four grown up sons from a previous marriage.

I was very bright at school and had many prizes for passing subjects with a distinction. I did not have to work very hard at school. After graduation, I stayed at home as my mother like having me around and, besides, there was no need to work.

My first boyfriend was lovely and showered me with the attention to which I was so used. I fell pregnant so we decided to get married. I soon found the married life was very different to my single life as he became very possessive always wanting to know where I was; in other words he wanted to control me. I soon began to resent this and the married crumbled.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto

I moved back home to the welcoming arms of my mother. My daughter and I now had a carefree lifestyle that I once enjoyed. My aunt, who was a career advisor, would often encourage me to have a career and be independent. I just listened but really had no intention of doing anything about it. In order to quieten her, I had a number of temporary jobs but resented them demanding too much of me and having no ‘chat’ time so I would just walk out.

My father’s business collapsed and we had to tighten the purse strings. With my allowance cut back drastically, I had to generate income for myself and daughter. Through contacts, I found a job as a Secretary. My boss empathised and encouraged me to develop and gain the necessary skills. 

My aunt stepped in again and reviewed the skills required in my job and suggested courses I should take in order to achieve these. I had to drastically change a lot. First was my attitude to my job which was pointed out would be greatly rewarded by my salary. 

I was lacking so many skills such as telephone etiquette, planning my workload, writing and prioritising emails on behalf of the company, organising meetings and so on. Also my IT skill was nil but, I was good at texting. I found the ideal course that covered these weaknesses. This course was intensive and I was fully qualified within two months.

My boss is now giving me more responsibilities such as dealing with confidential matters. I just had my appraisal which was most complimentary, just as it was at school. So watch this space!

See more about training to be a PA at

Monday, 15 September 2014

What is needed to be a good PA?

PA work is challenging because the role is less clearly defined many other admin roles. Therefore, you have to respond to any challenges that are faced by your boss, company or team. This means that you need to be very adaptable and possess a wide range of technical and soft skills to be a successful PA.

A good PA needs a wide range of technical skills and we will focus on the most common. One very important skill is Microsoft Office software. PAs need to have excellent Outlook skills so that they can organise diaries and manage email accounts. They need great Word skills for business letters, document production and memos. PowerPoint is essential for editing presentations and finally Excel for budgets, planning and many other things.

A PA also needs excellent communication skills. This means that they need to be able to possess the best writing skills. The ability to communication formally or informally through written communication is essential.

Communication skills are not only written, but they can incorporate a wide range of verbal and visual communication. Mastering body language and the way that you communicate verbally is essential to ensure that you build networks, influence others and work well with others.

There are numerous other technical skills that are required. Typing competence is often required in PA roles, although with modern technology and changes in the nature of the job there has been less of a fundamental requirement for fast typing. Good minute taking skills are often required, as PAs who can take effective minutes will be desired in many roles.

Bookkeeping skills or the ability to maintain budgets is often required in roles. This is a skill that can be hard to find amongst PAs, but a PA with Bookkeeping skills is an attractive prospective candidate to an employer. Event Management and Project skills are often desired by companies who are looking for a PA who can get involved in a wider range of responsibilities.

These are just the most common skills required but they can vary greatly from job to job. The industry that you work will also impact it and the size and nature of your company, organisation or department. However, generally speaking a good PA should look to master all of the above skills, if they would like to be a great success in their long-term career. 

To find out about PA Courses go to

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Promote your career as an administrator or PA

Whether you are a receptionist, administration assistant, PA or secretary, it is your responsibility to manage and promote your career and highlight the importance of your job. To this end you need to have confidence in yourself and your skills.

You should step back and take an objective look at your skills. Do you need to improve on these skills? If this is the case then you can do something about it by enrolling on a course. By developing these skills, you will find you have a new found confidence in yourself. Of course this does not mean you should stop here. What about the next step up your career ladder? You should be developing and also learning any skills that are needed in that job.

Author ambro and image courtesy of

Taking these steps will automatically raise your profile in the office. Being professional, knowledgeable and courteous to all, whether senior or junior member of staff, will earn you that respect that professional yearn.

There are people in your organization who like to have a role model. Senior management can also find a quality in you that they crave. Colleagues at your level can also respect you. Junior staff will often follow your example and model themselves on you; they may even copy your style of dress. These are all well-earned points that you should be aware of and nurture.

You will now feel stronger and empowered. You will feel you can achieve more. With this new found confidence, you will be able to achieve more. You will no longer be scared to try new things or take on extra responsibilities that once terrified you. You will now have a solid status for responsibility and excellence.

You will need to promote yourself so management will be aware of your skills. How can this be done? You may have taken it on yourself to enrol on a course in order to improve your skills. You should let management know of this whether mentioning it periodically or bringing to their attention of a certain task which you can finish quickly because of the course and you can also offer to take on more jobs.

Author ambro and image courtesy of
You will be invigorated and happy at work. You are ready for that promotion. You are also ready for the job market with your now updated CV.
Find out more about Admin Courses at

Friday, 29 August 2014

PAs looking to change careers

Job markets have increasingly become more competitive, which has led to many professional widening their skills and experience in order to keep on top of things. This has applied to the PA job market, which has seen PAs getting more involved in a wide range of areas. Nowadays, it is common to see job applications and roles for PA that require Project experience, bookkeeping skills or other non core skills, like managing an event or sales. We could just look at this in a passive way. This means that as a PA we need to respond to the request placed upon us by broadening our skills.

However, the increased skills and experience that we are gaining can also lead to us being able to find new career opportunities or promotions.

So what can we expect from our career experiences?

  • Project Management
This area is exciting as it has grown a lot over the last few years. Project teams are keen to involve employees who are permanent parts of the BAU teams (business as usual), which often leads to PAs gaining experience in the areas. Projects offers PAs a career option that can be varied and interesting. It can also offer higher rates of pay.

Image courtesy of and author digitalart

  • Executive Assistant
Developing a good mix of skills and an excellent set of experience for a PA can bring a higher grade and salary as an Executive Assistant. This is perhaps the most obvious route but it can highly rewarding n every aspect. You will be privy to higher level management, deal with high level issues and get more seniority in your role. Naturally the promotion brings more salary.

  • Virtual Assistant
Many PAs opt to work in their own businesses, giving them flexibility. VAs are a growing group of often former PAs who opt to change for independence and flexi-hours.You will often be working alone and the pay can be rewarding but there is a risk as you are going out alone.

Image courtesy of and author stockimages

  • Finance
 PAs are increasingly managing expenses and budget, which encourages some to seek more formal training in finance or bookkeeping. This is huge area which can open up options to be self employed bookkeepers, VAs offering bookkeeping or a more specialised role in a finance department. Again pay and job options can be excellent

There are many other areas not mentioned here, but you can see that there no need to regard being aaPA as not having options to develop. You can find out more about PA training at

Thursday, 21 August 2014

My Job as a PA

On successful completion of my university course, I was ready for the working world. With a 2:1 and with high marks throughout my time at both primary and secondary schools, I was confident I will be needed by lots of companies in my country. What I did not expect is that there were also hundreds of students in the city with similar or close to similar qualifications as mine. There were also thousands coming into the city from different provinces. They were all after one thing – that much needed job that they all think they can easily find in this city. 

Image courtesy of and author stuart miles

My parents recommended that I go after a job in a place that would feel secure. I did find that job in government albeit not what I expected. The role was the Administrator’s assistant. I was excited at this first job and thought it will be the ideal step on the ladder to a great career.

On my first day, I discovered that there were many Administrator’s assistants. Everyone had a specific job and they kept to that. Mine was filing! I was not supposed to do anything but filing. The salary was relevant to the job – small; but I was determined not to give up. There were very few positions available so it would have been pointless to resign. Also having 2 months in a job would not look good on my CV so I stayed on and filed.

After about one year filing, I witnessed a slight accident and rushed to assist. My manager was laden with files and paperwork when she tripped on a loose carpet tile and sent all the files and paper flying. I was quite concerned for her but she was more interested in getting the papers together in some sort of order. As the filing clerk, this was easy for me. I helped her to a chair and she watched as I quickly put everything in order. She then wanted to know why the carpet tile was not reported. I mentioned that I had reported this to the Health and Safety officer three days ago and as nothing was done, I had used cello-tape to keep it in place. Unfortunately the tape came away. She gazed at me for a long time and asked many questions my qualifications and also if I would like to move to a different job. I said, ‘Yes, very much.’ She said, ‘Leave it with me,’ and left.

Image courtesy of and author nuchylee

I thought I was going to be the Health and Safety officer’s assistant. Two weeks later, I was summoned to her office. She offered me the job to be her PA. In my head, I was jumping for joy. The PA had a car accident so could not train me but she was at the other end of the phone. My job was managing the diary, arranging meetings and travel. I had my secretary to do any typing I needed. I even had a filing clerk to file for me.

After two years in the job, I was very confident and worked to the best of my ability. My manager was happy with my work but I felt I was not performing to the best of my ability because of my lack of knowledge; the job more or less, evolved.

I was aware there was funding for any training required by the employees. I researched extensively for courses presented by English speaking tutors. I found a PA course in London. I enjoyed the course which also included secretarial practice.

My manager was pleasantly surprised at my performance on my return but I was not happy with my secretary’s work. I have now enrolled her on the same course. When she returns, I am sure we will be the perfect team.

To find out more about PA Courses in London