friendly receptionist greeting a customer at his desk

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Receptionist?

Receptionists generally work at the front desk or reception area of an establishment. As such, they are the first person employees, clients, vendors, and visitors see when entering the office. They are also the first touchpoint for callers, so receptionists must be friendly and personable on the phone, similar to how they need to be when greeting individuals as they walk through the doors. In smaller organizations, a receptionist might also be referred to as an office manager or front office administrator. In other organizations, a receptionist may report to an office manager.

Per the Labor Bureau of Statistics, the typical entry-level education for a receptionist is a high school diploma or equivalent. However, for a leg up on the competition, certain types of receptionist skills will help your resume stand out when compared to others who lack that experience.


Customer Service

Being the first line of contact for guests in the office and on the phone requires strong customer service skills. Experience as a sales clerk, library clerk, call center representative, or server at a restaurant are non-receptionist positions that represent customer service experience on a resume.


receptionist answering phones via a headset at her desk


Answering Multi-Line Phones

Most receptionists, at a minimum, need to be able to work well with multi-line phones. When people call into the office, especially in high-volume settings, the receptionist needs to efficiently coordinate the forwarding of calls and provide information to those who are calling. Whether or not you are comfortable answering multi-line phones will often be one of the first items a recruiter will cover with you during a phone screen.


Data Entry Clerk and Filing Experience

Data entry and filing are additional receptionist skills that recruiters might look for on your resume. Experience as a typist, file clerk, or data entry clerk is a plus. Also, Microsoft Office is the standard data entry and documentation software used by organizations, so having experience using that software suite could help your resume stand out as well.


Find Great Receptionist Jobs in Your Area


Mail Sorting and Supply Management

Receptionists are typically tasked with sorting incoming and outgoing mail, as well as managing office supplies, such as stocking and ordering. Be sure to highlight these skills on your resume if you have them.


receptionist sorting mail at her desk


Landing Your Ideal Receptionist Job

Landing a receptionist job can help you get your foot in the door with an organization. From there, if you prove yourself, you may be promoted to an administrative assistant, a more senior-level receptionist position, or an office manager position. Or maybe you’ll have the opportunity to move into a new job and career path altogether. If you don’t currently have the skills required to be a receptionist, then consider seeking full- or part-time roles to acquire the skills, such as a data entry clerk, typist, office clerk, or call center representative.


Identifying the right receptionist job for you might prove to be challenging in a competitive job market, though it’s definitely doable. At iHireAdmin, we understand the challenges you might face. Our job board helps you find the receptionist and administrative jobs that align with your goals and experiences. We also offer resume writing services so you can apply to jobs with a resume that gets noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

By iHire | December 17, 2019
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Clerical Jobs