A PA needs to have some key technical skills which include the ability to organise, work to tight deadlines, diarising and scheduling. These tasks can take up a lot of the day and the requirements for these tasks can vary, so you will need to be highly adaptable to your jobs requirements.
Other core skills that are vital are good writing skills in all different forms of communication. You will need to write excellent emails for all levels formality and always maintaining a professional and high level of Business English.
You will need to have a full range of IT skills in key software for the office, so Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are likely to be core.
Core skills for a PA
Typing and Audio skills are still important in some jobs, but are less important in others. You will not necessarily need 80wpm, but a competent typing speed is ideal of say 50wpm. Naturally, the more jobs will be open to you to apply the higher your speed. Audio transcription is less common, but again there are jobs that require this, so the skill will make more opportunities open and with a wider range of jobs than with audio skills.
Soft skills are the key to a good PA, so this means that you will need to have great people skills and be able to adapt them to each situation. This means being able to teamwork with your colleagues, manage upward with bosses and deal with complaints.
Client care skills are very important skills as well. However, negotiation and taking the initiative are also very useful in this type of job. All of these skills again need to be employed in a way that suits the conditions that you encounter. A PA is a flexible and dynamic worker who needs to change to suit their conditions.
Advanced and specialist skills are a great opportunity for a PA to be noticed. Projects are a skill that is a new part to many PA roles now, either working with the Project or even managing some Projects. Events are another similar skill. Bookkeeping and Finance are areas that PAs often find they have interaction when dealing with finance reports, budgets and expenses. Social Media and communications are now often managed by a modern PA and this offers a great opportunity to get noticed. This will mean understanding how to coordinate your Social Media work with the corporate strategy which is not as easy as it sounds.