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How to Become a Virtual Administrative Assistant

To land a virtual administrative assistant position, you need to be your own advocate. By updating your education, acquiring some administrative experience, getting a website and networking both online and in the "real" world, you will increase your chances of landing a virtual position in this field.
A woman examining her schedule planner.

Administrative assistants today are trading in the cubicle next to their boss' office for a more relaxed and comfortable office in their own home.

Today, an administrative assistant is much more than a secretary. Some virtual assistants do tasks like writing, graphic design, editing, bookkeeping, social media management, transcription and more.

How does one become a virtual assistant? Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Update Your Education

Technically, there are no official requirements to become a virtual assistant, but continued learning is a bonus and may be required by some employers. Take online classes when you can and look for opportunities to become certified in certain areas, such as Microsoft Excel. You may even be able to build a specialty in specific fields such as legal or medical administration.

2. Get a Website

If you want to build a client base, you’ll need a website so people can find you. Plus, it shows that you are a professional and you’re serious about your job. A website gives you a chance to highlight your skills and specialties.

3. Market Yourself

Update your resume to highlight your experience, education or certification. Post your resume online on sites such as Set up an online profile on virtual contracting sites to increase your chances of employment. Respond to online ads for virtual administrative assistant jobs with a personalized cover page and resume.

Also, be active on social media platforms. Building professional relationships and networking on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ is a great way to expand your clientele and get your name out there.

4. Network

Join a professional organization or networking group. Within these you can network, build camaraderie and have access to a knowledge bank for solving technical problems with other virtual administrators.

Contact references from your professional life and let them know you are looking for work. Collect a reference from them on your work ethic that you can include on your website.

5. Gain Some Experience

Get some experience as an assistant, even if it’s a volunteer position. This is especially important if you’ve never been a secretary, receptionist, or administrative assistant.

6. Learn How to Run Your Own Business

Just because you are working for a company or client does not mean you can not be your own business. As a business owner, you will have legal responsibilities to pay your own taxes, health care and more. Check with your chamber of commerce, small business association or local government to find a course on how to run a small business.

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