Category Archives: Admin Job Positions
As time and technology both march forward, you need to be sure that both your soft skills* AND your software skills** are at a sought-after level by potential employers—that when employers review your capabilities and experience, they find both skill sets highly desirable!
In a recent article in which Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam, was interviewed by Certiport, she emphasized certain trends that administrative professionals need to keep in mind both for current and future career prospects.
Overwhelmingly, managers are aware that administrative professionals are important to the success of the managers of these companies. Consequently, and as Britton summarized this point, she noted that, “Employers are looking for support staff who are adaptable and can help with projects beyond their traditional job descriptions.”
Administrative professionals must be able to demonstrate their ability to save their bosses time without compensating quality. The old adage “time is money, and money is time” has never been truer!
Administrative professionals also must demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and professionally with internal and external groups. Highly-developed verbal and written communication skills are essential to progressing up the career ladder.
Britton also indicated that it is essential for administrative professionals who want to emphasize their proficiency with the most widely-used office productivity software—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access—to demonstrate they are proficient by showing proof—by passing the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams and thus earning the accompanying certifications!
She also pointed out that job advancement as well as the possibility of salary increases are two good reasons to work towards the goal(s) of passing one or more of these MOS certification exams. They are your proof that you are indeed knowledgeable and proficient in the given software application(s).
Brandi Britton closes her Certiport interview by leaving readers with some great advice for administrative professionals who are looking for employment in today’s job market. You can click on this link and then scroll down to watch that video.
If you are interested in getting more information on how you can get your Microsoft Office skills to a proficient level; or if you want to know how you can get your MOS Certification in one or more MS software applications, let Richland College’s BOSS program help you get the answers to these and other questions.
Question 1: I use Word and Excel on a daily basis at work, but how can I determine if I already know enough about the software to just go ahead and take one of the MOS exams without having to take any classes or training?
Answer 1: Because Richland College is an authorized MOS testing center, you can contact us at 972-238-6215 for more information on purchasing a testing voucher and then scheduling and taking the specific MOS exam here at Richland.
It is, however, strongly suggested that you click on your chosen software application link below and then analyze whether you feel you are proficient in all of these objectives for the application AND that you can complete the scenario tasks in a timed situation.
These objectives are the official Microsoft objectives for which individuals are expected to demonstrate their proficiency when taking the timed MOS certification exams.
Question 2: How involved are the BOSS Microsoft Office classes?
Answer 2a: The software specific BOSS classes are designed to provide you with comprehensive knowledge and skills development in basic, intermediate, and some advanced software features. The software is learned via presentation, hands-on assignments, tests, and software simulation training/testing of the MOS testing environment.
Answer 2b: The BOSS program offers specific software classes that are dedicated to students learning the software applications at a proficient level and incorporating all of the official Microsoft objectives through textbook tutorials and assignments, hands-on tests, and simulated software that provides further reinforcement through training and timed testing.
Question 3: Are these classes offered in more than one format, and how many times a week must I come to Richland’s campus?
Answer 3: These are great questions; and, yes, there are three learning formats available to you, as well as a special option:
(A) If you feel you need to have an instructor present the material and explain certain concepts and features to you on a face-to-face basis, we offer these courses on an “on campus” basis. Typically, the on-campus courses meet twice a week. Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.
(B) If you feel comfortable taking the classes remotely (you still have full access to your instructor) and your work/personal schedule make it difficult for you to physically attend on campus, then online is the format you want. The online sections include the same content, and you have electronic access to your instructor to answer questions that you may have about features, content, etc. You don’t have to come to campus. Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.
(C) If time or transportation to campus is a big issue for you, but you still feel you need to interact face-to-face with your instructor, you might want to consider the hybrid format. You meet once a week on campus for the presentation of material, and your assignments are submitted electronically.
(D) Special Option: If, at any time, during the course you feel confident enough to take the MOS exam early and you do indeed pass the exam, you will receive an automatic B in the class without having to complete any remaining assignments, tests, etc. This option rewards you with earning college credit AND MOS certification early!
Question 4: If I decide to take more than one of these BOSS software classes, can I apply these credits towards some type of certificate?
Answer 4: Absolutely, there are three academic entry points that may interest you: the BOSS program’s (1) Software Application Specialist certificate, (2) Administrative Specialist certificate, or (3) Executive Assistant associate degree.
Question 5: I’m not sure I have the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Office on my home computer. Will I need to purchase the latest version?
Question 5: If you are already a student (or planning to become a student) at any of the Dallas County Community College District’s colleges (Richland is one of the seven colleges), then you will be able to download the latest version of Office 365 for free! Office 365 includes the software applications listed above and as well as others (such as OneNote, Skype, and Publisher).
In conclusion, let Richland’s BOSS program help you to maximize your potential in terms of your soft skills, your software skills, and your future career goals–enhance/acquire these skills at an affordable price!
You can get more details by visiting our website at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/boss
Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers online, on‑campus, and hybrid courses in flex-term and full semester formats. For more information email RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu or call 972‑238-6215.
**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.
*Soft skills have been defined as those behaviors and qualities that lead to satisfactory or above-satisfactory interaction with others such as communication (listening, writing, speaking), collaboration and teamwork, critical and creative thinking, leadership, self-management and initiative, social responsibility, etc.
** Software skills demonstrate an individual’s knowledge of and proficiency in computer technology software. Proficiency with such technology greatly assists with the management and successful completion of office tasks and managing data effectively and efficiently on a time and output basis.
Publisher is significantly cheaper than other desktop publishing programs. In fact, it is bundled (or included) in many versions of Microsoft Office and Office 365 so you might already have it available on your computer.
- User Friendly
Publisher is very user friendly. Since it is part of the Microsoft products, many of the commands are the same as in Microsoft Word.
Microsoft Publisher comes with a large assortment of templates to help you create document. These include flyers, posters, business cards, newsletters, banners, tickets, cards, and labels to name a few.
- Mail Merge
Publisher lets you use mail merge or email merge so you can customize publications to specific clients or information. This provides a “personal touch” to your documents. You can add merge to documents, emails, labels, or as a graphic overlay.
- End Product
You can save the file as a publisher file, a PDF file, a HTML file, a Word file, or a graphic file (JPEG, TIF, PNG or GIF).
- High Quality End Products
You can print the documents you create on your personal printer as an RGB color publication. There is also a wide variety of specialty papers you can purchase to print special document. For example, there is special perforated, heavy stock paper you can purchase for business cards. The documents created in publisher can also be exported to a file that is ready to be taken to a commercial printer. Just make sure you are aware of any requirements the printer has before you create the document.
If you are interesting in learning more about a Publisher class or the Richland College Business Office Systems Program, send us an email at RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu.
Have you discovered that more and more of your work tasks involve collaborating with others?
As technology and the accompanying tools evolve, employers are finding it more beneficial to have their workers “come together” and to share ideas and materials for project development.
The Australian-based company INS (acronym for In No-one’s Shadow) has focused much of its efforts on preparing workforces for the future, which includes keeping current employees updated as well as helping companies keep their employees moving towards the future. Although INS is based in Australia, its outreach is global, which means the advice offered on collaboration can be used by all.
Below are several tips from a May 2016 INS article to keep in mind for your collaboration projects. You can click this link to read the entire article.
- Understand the Bigger Picture—mentally move beyond your immediate group and role, and look at the larger outcome of why this project is important.
- Clarify the Objectives—if everyone is “not on the same page,” the project may wind up going nowhere. Make sure the objectives are clearly stated and that everyone understands these objectives. As stated by INS, “…clarify whether all stakeholders and group members have the same objectives, and are working through any differences…”
- Agree on Roles and Leadership—early discussions on and the identification of leadership and the other roles will make it easier to move forward on the project. It is also important to establish accountability as it is connected to the various roles.
- Know the Boundaries—just as accountability is important, it is equally vital for each person to know boundaries for themselves and others and to have these boundaries respected.
- Develop an Ecosystem, not an ‘Egosystem’—remember, it’s about the successful completion of the project and not about someone grandstanding. Being a good listener (this goes for all group members) is essential.
- Value Diverse Input—keep an open mind and realize that everyone’s contributions to the discussions and efforts should be appreciated.
If you want to improve your communication and collaboration skills, consider taking the BOSS program’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication at Richland College.
Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information email RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu, or call 972-238-6215.
**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.
***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.
Yes, today’s employers understand that not only are talented, highly-skilled administrative professionals assets to their companies but that they are also essential to the competitive success of these companies!
Over the years, the role of the administrative professional has changed dramatically, and the future shows that people who work in this capacity will continue to see changes in terms of duties and expectations.
In a 2015 joint research project conducted by Office Team and IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), it was found that the skills most valued by employers and needed by administrative professionals include the following:
The ability to maximize tasks effectively and efficiently is highly valued and desired. In fact, top-flight professionals are not only expected to manage their own tasks and time but also to manage the schedules of those whom they support—this may include team members, managing supervisors, and executives. Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning, but it goes with the turf for those who are truly successful in the art of task/time management.
Being highly competent in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—having your MOS certification in one or more of these applications—will go a long way in convincing a potential employer of your productivity capabilities.
Knowledgeable in layout and design—Microsoft Publisher for basic design (for more advanced projects, consider Adobe InDesign or Photoshop) can assist you in making your output look professional.
Collaboration and knowledge of databases—collaboration packages such as SharePoint are highly valued by companies as a way of housing company content and sharing this information within and among work groups. Other packages that are used by work groups for sharing (and by individuals) on projects include OneNote and Evernote. Your ability to work with databases such as Access and FileMaker Pro can only add to your attractiveness.
Managers have increasingly turned to their admins in order to stay up-to-date on company social media interaction with customers, clients, and others. Knowing how to use social media professionally is now expected. Be sure you have a professional acquaintance with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram; and know their role and how to use them as business tools.
Finally, and according to Matt Krumrie, those skills that have become known as “soft skills” and that include excellent communication skills (written and verbal), outstanding tact and diplomacy when working with others, and strong critical-thinking skills are indispensable. These soft skills “round out” what goes in to becoming and staying a top-flight administrative office professional!
If you want to develop or upgrade your skills to help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, administrative office procedures, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**) etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.
Richland College is in northeast Dallas and located at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information, please contact Angela Nino at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-238-6215.
**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.
***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office 365***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, which can be used on up to 5 devices.
1. Krumrie, Matt (2016, July 7) What to Look For In A Great Administrative Assistant. Retrieved from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/what-to-look-for-in-a-great-administrative-assistant/
2. Office Team (A Robert Half Company) and IAAP (2015) How to Hire All-Star Administrative Professionals and Maximize Their Potential. Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/officeteam/office-of-the-future-how-to-hire-all-star-administrative-professionals-and-maximize-their-potential
Texas Instruments is looking for someone who possesses great organizational skills and who can act in the capacity as a highly proficient administrative support person.
Thank you, Texas Instruments, for sharing this information with our Richland BOSS Program!