Most Important Clerical Skills (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Sep. 29, 2020
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When searching for office jobs, you’ll eventually cross paths with clerical skill requirements. These are qualities that aid productivity, collaboration, and work quality in an administrative setting. Clerical abilities are helpful whether you’re applying for an entry-level assistant position or a management role. Possessing clerical skills and highlighting them on your resume can potentially land you your next office job.

What Are Clerical Skills?

Clerical skills involve proficiency in daily tasks and they promote administrative efficiency. They’re usually basic administrative knowledge and straightforward to learn, however, having clerical skills is crucial to an office running smoothly. These abilities are highly sought-after by hiring managers, and may even be required for certain positions. Employers want to know you have a baseline understanding of administrative work, and demonstrating these skills on your resume will definitely get you noticed.

Types of Clerical Skills

Clerical skills is really a headline for a series of valuable office skills. Take time to consider which clerical abilities you feel confident in, and include them on your resume.

  1. Verbal and Written Communication Skills. When working on an administrative team, it’s extremely helpful to have verbal and written communication skills. You deal with many people and situations on a daily basis in office jobs. Being able to clearly communicate with co-workers, supervisors, and clients alike is a must. Most jobs require at least strong verbal communication. In administrative positions, written communication is equally important. A lot of your interactions will be via a written message. Strengths in clarity and conciseness through written communication can make you a better team member and employee.

    Examples of Verbal and Written Communications Include:

    • Confidence

    • Active Listening

    • Presentation

    • Proper grammar and spelling

    • Negotiation

    • Sociability

    • Openness for discussion

    • Appropriate formatting for emails

    • Awareness of tone

    • Patience

    • Cooperation

  2. Basic Computer Skills. Administrative employers are often interested in hiring candidates with basic computer skills. This can be anything from typing speed to the knowledge of data entry. Don’t let that intimidate you, though. In the age of the internet, we all have more computer skills than we realize. If there are computer skills that you don’t feel comfortable with yet, you can always use the internet as a resource for learning more.

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    Examples of Basic Computer Skills Include:

    • Experience with video-chatting software (Zoom, Skype, Etc.)

    • Social Media

    • Excel spreadsheets

    • Knowledge of word processors (Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Etc.)

    • Programming languages

    • Database software

    • Email and calendars

  3. Detail-Orientation. One of the top skills for administrative teams is attention to detail. Being detail-oriented means that you’re focused and execute your responsibilities expertly. Employers look for this quality in applicants because it ensures quality work will get done every time. Attention to detail can also be helpful in noticing possible issues before they arise and getting ahead of them.

    Detail-Orientation Skills Include:

    • Being clear on supervisor expectation

    • Proofreading

    • Asking relevant questions

    • Planning ahead

    • Organization

    • Critical thinking

    • Noticing possible obstacles ahead of time

  4. Organization. Organization is essential in an office position. Having an organized team increases productivity and quality of work. Administrative organization goes beyond keeping your space tidy and calendar up to date. In this field, you’ll often be responsible for organizing documents and private client information. Keeping an ordered system of this information is very important for convenience and privacy.

    Organization Skills Include:

    • Planning

    • Prioritization

    • Documentation

    • Setting appointments

    • Filing systems

    • Adhering to a schedule

    • Decision-making

    • Attention to detail

    • Keeping records

    • Time-management

  5. Simple Mathematical Knowledge. While an office job probably isn’t going to require you to do calculus, employers need to know you’re quick on your feet when it comes to basic math. A lot of administrative work can involve juggling a lot of numbers. The ability to do simple math can allow you to use spreadsheets more effectively and do daily tasks faster.

    Examples of Simple Mathematical Knowledge Includes:

    • Addition

    • Subtraction

    • Division

    • Percentages

    • Converting fractions

    • Decimals

  6. Critical-Thinking

    In an office setting, much like any other job, issues tend to arise. This doesn’t negatively reflect on a team’s work skills. It’s a part of life. However, your ability to assess and deal with these issues can greatly improve your work performance. This ability is called critical thinking skills. Recruiters look for applicants with strong critical-thinking because they want employees who are prepared to productively deal with unforeseen circumstances.

    Examples of Critical Thinking Skills Include:

    • Identifying problems early

    • Analyzing the best course of action

    • Strong communication

    • Creating detailed plans for success

    • Asking relevant questions

    • Recognizing patterns

    • Flexibility

    • Creative-thinking

    • Prediction

  7. Time-Management Skills. A typical administrative position runs on a 9-5 schedule. What you do with these eight hours daily determines the quality of employee you are. In an office job, you’ll often be handling many responsibilities throughout the day. Managing your work time well allows you to break down bigger jobs into more digestible missions. Time-management makes it possible to adhere to a busy administrative schedule and turn in your work on time.

    Examples of Time-Management Skills Include:

    • Setting realistic goals

    • Problem-solving

    • Strategy

    • Multitasking

    • Sticking to a schedule

    • Creating outlines

    • Meeting deadlines

    • Evaluating your performance

  8. Flexibility. Being a flexible employee is helpful in many different industries, but can be especially impactful when applying for administrative jobs. Flexibility refers to your ability to adapt to change or unexpected circumstances with a positive attitude. Flexible people are motivated by challenges and open to learning, as opposed to frustrated by them. This is a valuable quality to employers, especially in 2020.

    Examples of Flexibility Skills Include:

Additional Clerical Skills

Clerical skills refer to a multitude of varying qualifications. Consider the additional clerical skills below to include on your resume.

  1. Customer service

  2. Teamwork

  3. Dependability

  4. Interpersonal skills

  5. Typing

  6. Data entry

  7. Fluency in multiple languages

  8. Reading comprehension

  9. Scheduling

  10. Conflict resolution

  11. Multitasking

How to Include Clerical Skills On Your Resume

Once you’ve decided on the clerical skills that are most accurate to your work style and performance, it’s time to showcase them properly on your resume.

When applying to an administrative job that requires clerical abilities, you can mention them in your cover letter and skills section.

Be as specific as possible when addressing your clerical hard and soft skills. If you have experience in a particular word processor, mention it. If you have a certification in an industry-specific course, give the details.

Think about the position you’re applying for and what they’re looking for in an ideal employee. Tailor your applicable skills to meet these expectations.

Resume Examples Highlighting Clerical Skills

Rachel Spears

Organized and flexible administrative assistant with 5+ years of experience. B.A. in Communications from the University of Denver. Skills in bookkeeping, communication, and decision-making. Seeking a position where I can use my previous clerical skills.


  • Microsoft Office Suite

  • Quickbooks

  • Excel Spreadsheets

  • Database Management

  • First Aid & CPR

  • Adaptable

  • Dependable

  • Organized


Bailey Dental Offices, Phoenix, AZ
Administrative Assistant – April 2018 – PRESENT

  • Coordinated meetings

  • Managed company emails and phone

  • Trained a new assistant

  • Filing and organizing

  • Bookkeeping

  • Maintained company ethics and supported growth

  • Awarded a raise of $5,000 annually after the first year

Rhinebeck Medical Center, Denver, CO
Medical Assistant – January 2015 – March 2018

  • Communicating with patients

  • Attending and contributing to meetings

  • Upkeeping patient records in the hospital database

  • Assisted doctors in routine check-ups to 500+ patients

  • Conducted patient follow-up

  • Maintained office organization

  • Promoted to medical assistant from internship after the first six months


The University of Denver Denver, CO
B.A. in Communications – August 2011 – May 2015

  • Graduated with Honors

  • GPA=3.5 out of 4.0

Ellen Banks


  • 75 WPM typing speed

  • Law knowledge

  • Transcription

  • Efficiency

  • Verbal and Written Communication

  • Respectful

  • Customer service

  • Work ethic


Wellstone Media Company, Boston, MA
Front Desk Secretary JULY 2016 – PRESENT

  • Greeted customers and answered phones

  • Provided customer service

  • Scheduled and organized meetings

  • Typed memos and took notes for meetings

  • Maintained files and records

  • Provided general clerical support

  • Awarded a yearly bonus

Breckenridge Law Associates, Boston, MA
Legal Secretary – June 2012 – JUNE 2016

  • Developed and implements organizational tools to improve productivity

  • Trained new paralegals

  • Answered the phone and company emails

  • Greeted and directly assisted clients

  • Transcribed, recorded, and proofread documentation

  • Responsible for file and record-keeping

  • Made travel arrangements for partners and attorneys

  • Promoted from legal secretary intern after the first year

  • Awarded an annual salary increase of $12,000 after the first two years


The University of Boston, Boston, MA
September 2008-May 2012
Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice

Pitman Training Certificate
December 2012-June 2012
Secretarial and Receptionist Course

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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