Assessing Your Virtual Assistant Skill Set

Assessing Your VA Skill SetDo you know what it takes to be a virtual assistant? Various life experiences contribute to one’s overall resume with regards to working from home as a virtual assistant. Today I’d like to expand on that though and help you break down your experience and see how it adds to your skill set as a virtual assistant.

I want to begin by explaining what a virtual assistant is and does. A virtual assistant (VA), through the medium of the computer, internet and phone, is a freelancer who assists clients with various tasks and projects. Because everything is done virtually there is no need for clients and VAs to work within the same office space. The client submits tasks and/or projects to the VA usually through emails or phone calls.

A few of you are probably shaking your heads, asking yourselves, “how does my work and personal experiences translate to a resume?!” Think of it like this, basically a VA is an assistant, many times an administrative assistant, who works from their own [virtual], remote office as opposed to the office of their client. Did you catch the key word, “…administrative assistant?”

There are many individuals out there who don’t have the time to accomplish all they want or need, whether personally or for their business, so they hire an assistant. Some assistants are administrative while others are more along the lines of being personal assistants.

Do you have administrative skills? If you have worked in an office, be it home or business, you have administrative skills. All of these are within the skill set of being a virtual assistant. You have many more VA skills than you probably realize.

Now, as I stated earlier, how does this translate marketable skills on your resume? We’re getting there, I promise, but before we do, let’s break down HOW business and life ‘experiences’ are administrative skills. For that, I’m breaking it down into six main categories, including: communication, computer and Internet, organization, planning, research and scheduling.

Communication

  • How many letters or emails have you sent?
  • How many times have you had to visit the school counselor or principle?
  • Do you know how to use your phone and email?

Computer and Internet

  • How many letters, emails or even reports have you typed?
  • Ever made a purchase online?
  • Do you manage a social profile, whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace or Twitter?
  • Have you written articles or blog posts?

Organization

  • Have you filed away misc. documents for records?
  • Do you have a bank account you manage?
  • How many spreadsheets (Excel documents) have you designed for use around the house, including your husband’s collection of signed baseball bats?

Planning

  • How many hotel, car or flight reservations have you made on the internet for yourself, a friend or a family?
  • Do you have a meal plan? Have you scheduled the meals you make for your family, including the purchase of the ingredients?

Research

  • How many terms have you ‘googled’ to learn about a topic you did not previously know?
  • Do you know how to research a topic you’re interested in or that a client might have a question about?

Scheduling

  • How many doctors’ appointments have you scheduled?
  • How many trip itineraries have you put together to help your family vacation glide as smoothly as possible.

So, what might this look like on your resume? Check out the following table:

Key Skills

Office Management
Telephone & Email Etiquette
Word Processing
Data Entry
Management Skills
Social Networking Profile Maintenance
Spreadsheet & Database Creation
Ghostwriting
Copy Editing/Proofreading
Academic Writing
Records Management
Meeting & Event Planning
Inventory Management
Research
Customer Service

Computer Programs, Sites & Applications

WordPress/Blogger
Microsoft Word/ Works
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Publisher
Google Docs
Skype/Google Talk
Photoshop/Picasa
QuickBooks/Peachtree
Facebook/Myspace/ LinkedIn
Mozilla Firefox/ Internet Explorer
Google/Yahoo/Bing

If you’re thinking about setting up shop as a virtual assistant, the next step would be for you to assess where you are now. A great way to do that is by taking an inventory of the skill set life has already given you! Start a list of the various tasks you do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. In the right hand column you can list which of the main six categories your task falls under

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Pebbles Jacobo

Pebbles Jacobo, A&P Virtual Enterprises, began working from home as a VA (Virtual Assistant) several years ago. Jacobo enjoys working with clients in various fields, but specializes in working with Christian speakers, authors, and ministries.