How Do I Become a Receptionist?

March 04, 2019

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Posted by: Kirsten Quarman



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Are you a people person? Do you have a knack for keeping schedules organized, ensuring operations are running smoothly, and maintaining a positive attitude throughout the day?

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 If this sounds like you, keep reading to discover how you can become a receptionist.

Determine the Skills You Need

Before you start searching for receptionist jobs, it’s a good idea to understand what a receptionist does. Principal duties include answering calls, scheduling meetings, and managing an organized office space. Although educational requirements aren’t as stringent as those found in other roles, applicants will benefit from a background in basic clerical and administrative work.

A receptionist is organized and detail oriented. You’ll be responsible for providing pertinent information to clients, executives, and coworkers, whether it’s the time and location of a lunch reservation or to confirm a boardroom is booked. Strong organization skills will help you maintain an orderly workspace and keep the office running as efficiently as possible.

Good communication is another key trait receptionists have. As the first point of contact for clients, it’s important to be professional, courteous, well-dressed, and articulate in this role. You’ll greet visitors and direct them to the right person or boardroom, while making them feel comfortable upon arriving at your office.

If you’re looking for receptionist jobs, be sure to sharpen your skills. As various situations arise throughout the day, you have to be able to move quickly from task to task and think on your feet.

Review the Description

You want to carefully review the role requirements of every job posting to understand exactly what skills employers are looking for.

In a receptionist role, transferable skills are valuable. These are traits that easily carry from one job to the next, regardless of the environment and industry—you’re simply adapting what you already know to a new environment.

Some receptionist roles are geared towards specific industries, such as medical or legal, and they require special skills, such as industry knowledge and an understanding of specialized terminology. If you have these specialized skills, leverage them to help employers understand why you’re the right candidate for the role.

It’s okay if you don’t have one or two skills listed in the job description. However, if you feel like you’re not strong enough in key areas for a receptionist role, create your own path for improvement. You could sign up for a night class or add an online course to your schedule. Many universities and colleges offer continuing education programs, most of which can accommodate any lifestyle.

Contact a Recruiter

Reach out for help on your job search. You can use recruitment agencies to find administrative jobs. While you will find many receptionist roles listed on job boards, a recruitment firm can take your search one step further. Staffing agencies can provide tailored opportunities and refer you to jobs that aren’t publicly listed.

In addition to helping you find the right opportunities, a recruiter will review your resume and guide you through interview questions. They may conduct computer testing and provide tips for acing your interview. If your profile aligns with a client’s requirements, and they believe you would be a strong fit for the role, they’ll arrange the interview for you. Recruitment firms are an excellent avenue for receptionists who need help finding their next roles.

This role presents job opportunities across various industries, and you never know what sector you may find yourself working in.


Kirsten Quarman

Kirsten Quarman

Kirsten has 25 years of global recruitment experience, working for global and national staffing companies. As Vice President, Western Canada for Talentcor, Kirsten oversees our Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg branches. Some of her specialties include administrative, light industrial, skilled trades, sales & marketing, customer service, supply chain, accounting, human resources, insurance, and legal. Outside of work, Kirsten enjoys mastering new skills and achieving goals she sets for herself each year, like learning new sports and exercising.

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