According to some recent studies, virtual administration is one of the fastest-growing remote career fields on the job market. The post-COVID hiring landscape has played a large part in the uptick in virtual employment, and for candidates looking to make a career working from home, this is a promising trend. At its core, a virtual assistant, also known as a VA, is a dynamic position that requires a broad skill set, so if you want to position yourself for success in the booming virtual job market, you need to be prepared.
While the scope of work that virtual assistants do will vary depending on the business sector, the general key responsibilities will be providing administrative or technical support to either their employer or clients. If you have a virtual assistant's job, you are expected to perform such things as calendar and schedule management, make appointments, coordinate travel arrangements, answer phone calls, respond to emails, do data entry and maintain databases, order supplies, perform booking keeping or accounting functions, and organize documents.
Some VA roles may require more education, experience, specialized skills, or advanced training (or a combination of these things). For example, some virtual assistant roles might focus on managing a business’s online presence through website maintenance or managing social media pages.
Whatever your professional background or career goals, landing virtual assistant jobs start with getting a foot in the proverbial door with a reputable company. Here are the top 4 best tips to prime yourself for an in.
If your goal is to make a career out of virtual employment in any capacity, having a proper home office is key. Depending on what you are capable of offering as a VA, your home office essentials will vary. If you will be doing work that is heavy in customer service or technical support, you will likely need a headset, additional computer monitors, and potentially dedicated landlines to support high volume calls. If you are doing heavy admin work, you’ll need printing, copying, and scanning capabilities. With any virtual assisting job, though, you’ll need high speed, reliable internet, a laptop or PC, and a cell phone. Simply, the first and most important step in getting set up for VA work is preparing your office to handle all of the tasks that will come with your unique role.
Because so much of a virtual assistant’s job is done through a computer, having excellent communication skills is absolutely foundational. Being a fast and error-free typist isn’t going to cut it anymore, as proficiency in using the internet, various computer programs, and web-based applications is where the real value is. Virtual assistants need to manage email and calendars daily, perform online research, access cloud-based applications on a regular basis, facilitate video conferencing, and create and share documents and files across different platforms. The VA that will have the leg up on the competition will be the one who has expert knowledge in all of these areas. So if you feel like you need a refresher, there are endless amounts of online courses and very detailed tutorials on how to grow your knowledge in your computer-based areas of weakness. Seek them out so you can be prepared with an up-to-date resume.
Virtual assistants are utilized to help organize, prioritize, and follow through on tasks—to alleviate the workload on certain individuals, teams, or departments within an organization. One of the best ways to excel in your role and quickly prove your value to your employer is by demonstrating initiative. Focus on highlighting your ability to be proactive in your role, ideally through your cover letter or resume, and when you are interviewing, strategize ways to showcase your initiative.
Two other important skills that complement each other are organization and time management. Aside from overseeing and coordinating calendars, those successful in a virtual assistant job are also highly organized. Multitasking is a must in almost all VA roles, but performing all of your tasks quickly and efficiently is also of the essence.
This is the age where you can really use social media to capitalize on free marketing. Your success as a VA will depend on your ability to sell yourself as the person for the job. Use Facebook and Instagram, and other social media platforms, to create professional profiles for yourself, highlighting your experience and showcasing your skill set. You can take advantage of various free websites that allow you to create virtual portfolios, including your resume, letters of recommendation, or samples of your work if you specialize in a particular area.
Virtual administration is a mutually beneficial professional relationship. Accepting a VA role provides flexibility and independence for employees looking for a remote working environment. And, with plenty of projected growth in jobs for virtual assistants, you can’t go wrong with this career path. If you land your first VA job, here are some tips on how to successfully start a new job! To see more tips and helpful info, please keep scrolling through our blog.