What do employers look for in a PA?


Being a PA is rewarding and often well paid, but you have to be able to handle the responsibility that the position entails. PA roles fared well during the recession because whilst being invaluable in any organisation, many personal assistants were expected to take on further responsibilities when employers reduced their headcount.

You need to be able to cope with change, and adapt your skill set accordingly.

Along with the more traditional tasks of managing diaries and making travel arrangements, today’s PAs are getting increasingly involved with HR and marketing. In some cases, they’re given responsibility for training staff, managing websites, creating marketing collateral, and even preparing reports and presentations.

Carolyn Hart, Branch Manager of Office Angels Brighton, shares her knowledge about becoming a PA.

Helping you get the job

It’s all about building your skills and experience, and then demonstrating them. Learn as much about the role as possible; and, if you’re already working in a company where there might be the chance to move into a PA role, approach your potential boss and explain your aims. Find out if you can shadow the role, and offer to help out with the workload. You’ll have to work twice as hard as usual, but if you get offered a job, it’ll be well worth the effort.

The skills

PAs are expected to have an excellent working knowledge of computer packages like PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook Calendar. You might be using these already, but if you’re not at ‘advanced’ level, use our Education Zone to enhance your skills.

Organisation, time management and communication skills are essential for PAs, so if they don’t come naturally, it might not be the right career choice for you.

A typical day as a PA

A normal day could include attending meetings or making decisions on behalf of the executive, as well as preparing papers and conducting research projects. You need to be able to make decisions and be confident when communicating with the seniors in your organisation.

The role is usually quite demanding, so companies look for candidates who are driven, discreet, can handle multiple projects, and work well with all departments. Your day could involve anything from talking to the print room to ensure a report looks perfect, to discussing sales figures with the managing director.

To speak to Carolyn or any of our friendly recruitment consultants in Brighton, drop us a line:

Office Angels Brighton

01273 7375 54


34 West Street, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 2RE - map

I hope you found this useful, all the best.