Overview

There’s a common misconception about the role of receptionist, often reinforced by negative media images, suggesting the job is an easy one and consists mostly of talking on the telephone and making cups of tea. This is not the case at all. Receptionists are highly skilled communicators with excellent IT skills and a proficient typing speed, as well as being exceptionally well presented as the first point of contact for customers, clients or stakeholders.

If you are considering a career as a receptionist, you will find that the competition is tough but that there are plenty of opportunities. Doctor’s surgeries, schools, clinics, hospitals, leisure facilities and many more all have a receptionist or three on the front desk and the role is an important one that influences the culture and reputation of the business.

You will need evidence of great communication skills, clerical and administrative experience, an ability to multi-task and be highly organized. An important part of your role will be to organize others; scheduling meetings, arranging transport and accommodation, providing detailed itineraries and making sure everyone is where they need to be at the right time with the right paperwork. Your resume should be well organized with a simple yet eye catching format. Your sections should be well defined and your typing accurate and precise – a spelling or grammar error would not be a good start when applying for a secretarial role!

Pay

Median pay for receptionist in 2015 was $27,300 per year. While this is not the highest salary among office jobs, it is one of the most flexible. For example, a senior-level receptionist could are nearly double the median average which puts them well above $40,000 per year.

Although median pay is not the most impressive, there are plenty of pros when it comes to being a professional receptionist. First off, you do not  necessarily need a college degree. Many receptionist jobs can pay around $30,000 per year, do not require a college degree and are not super dangerous. In fact, when you take into account the average cost of college education, exceeding US$40-US$50,000, if you can start working right out of high school as a receptionist, you can make a lot more money in the short-medium term, compared with college graduates pursuing a similar job position.

Also, Industry growth rate, that is job outlook from 2014 to  2024 is around 10%, which Is greater than average. What this all boils down to  is there are more jobs than there are people to fill them, which makes being a receptionist a great career to be in.

Receptionist Salary Statistics

2016 Median Pay$27,300 per year
$13.12 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNot required
On-the-job TrainingOccasional short-term on-the-job training
Number of jobs, 20161,028,600
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+10%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+97,800
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale

Industry Forecast

As mentioned above, industry forecasts are quite positive, overall. Growth rates are estimated anywhere between 9.5 point five and 10%, and an average level of education is only a high school diploma, so this is a very attainable position for someone looking to transition into a solid white collar career.

The industry is also growing because more and more companies are realizing that it makes better sense to hire someone locally as they are more reliable than outsourcing receptionists to call centers abroad. With more and more homegrown receptionist jobs opening up and multinational companies making record profits, it is only logical to assume that the opportunities will grow robustly well into the future.

Types of Receptionists

There are actually that many different types of receptionists. All receptionist-based jobs can be boiled down to three main types.

First, there is the common public receptionist. This is the man or the woman who sits at a desk near the entrance of the business to welcome, to educate and to direct customers or the public in general regarding their specific concerns.

The second type of receptionist is a private receptionist. This receptionist my work in a private club, a hotel, a society,or a private institution. This receptionist does not generally have to deal with the larger public, as a whole, and instead deals with a more particular clientele or demographic.

Lastly, there is the telephone-based receptionist. These are more like personal assistants, and they interact with clients largely through voice only, whether it be phone or even email use. These jobs are often commonly outsourced to places where labor is much cheaper; however, as mentioned in the introduction, more and more companies are finding it beneficial to bring these jobs back to America and hire domestically.

Regardless of the specific type of receptionist you are you want to become, generally many of the skills are the same and how you go about writing your receptionist resume is similar for all types.

Sample Resume Download

Here is an example of a professionally written receptionist resume that you can use for inspiration when crafting your own resume. Obviously, you can not copy this resume exactly as your own experiences will be widely different, and the job you are applying to will be different, as well. However, this resume can give you insight into the mind of a professional receptionist applicant and help spark your own creativity.

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How To Write Your Own

Writing your own receptionist resume is not difficult. Once you have a general structure, whether you are using a template, or copying off of friends’ resumes, it is simply a matter of recollecting your most important responsibilities at your previous places of employment.

One of the greatest most valuable skills of good receptionist is his or her communication skills. You cannot be a good receptionist unless you have good verbal and written communication skills. This means your resume must clearly communicate your professional skills. If you can not communicate your professional skills on your resume, then you are probably not going to make a very good receptionist in the workplace.

Take your time, make multiple drafts, have your friends review your resume, and read as many other receptionist resumes as you can so you can better gauge the quality of your own.

Try to quantify skills whenever possible when writing your resume. This is one thing many receptionist forget; that is, people want to see your achievements in terms of percentages or dollar figures. How can you do this as a person who deals with people? Well, there are many ways, including customer satisfaction levels if the company you worked for evaluated responses of people you work with.

If you were able to increase efficiency or reduce costs while you were a receptionist at a company you want to include that to show your ability to think critically and always keep the best interest of your company at heart.

In terms of the style, the fonts and format will be pretty standard for a receptionist resume. You want to choose a professional conservative font such as Arial or Times Roman, and avoid anything too fancy or too artistic. You want to choose a standard size such as 11.5 or 12 point font. You can include some lines for separation and choose other subtle yet professional forms if you want to try to stand out.

Likewise, you want to be sure the key elements to a good resume are there, including an introduction such as a professional profile, where you list your years of experience, your strong analytical capabilities, or other key attributes that you want to address first. That will be followed by the standard professional experience section, an education section and an additional skills and certification section which  we will talk about later.

Sample Bullet Points

Below is a compilation of bullet points you can use for your receptionist resume. These bullet points have been selected based on their relevancy to a job where communication skills, organizational skills, and problem solving skills are at the forefront.

When copying, pasting, and editing these bullet points, be sure to include skills unique to you your and your background as the points below are very much a “one-size-fits-all”solution.

Sample Receptionist Bullet Points

Task
Operate telephone switchboard to answer, screen, or forward calls, providing information, taking messages, or scheduling appointments.
Greet persons entering establishment, determine nature and purpose of visit, and direct or escort them to specific destinations.
Schedule appointments and maintain and update appointment calendars.
Hear and resolve complaints from customers or the public.
File and maintain records.
Receive payment and record receipts for services.
Perform administrative support tasks, such as proofreading, transcribing handwritten information, or operating calculators or computers to work with pay records, invoices, balance sheets, or other documents.
Transmit information or documents to customers, using computer, mail, or facsimile machine.
Analyze data to determine answers to questions from customers or members of the public.
Collect, sort, distribute, or prepare mail, messages, or courier deliveries.
Provide information about establishment, such as location of departments or offices, employees within the organization, or services provided.
Calculate and quote rates for tours, stocks, insurance policies, or other products or services.
Process and prepare memos, correspondence, travel vouchers, or other documents.
Keep a current record of staff members' whereabouts and availability.
Take orders for merchandise or materials and send them to the proper departments to be filled.
Perform duties, such as taking care of plants or straightening magazines to maintain lobby or reception area.
Schedule space or equipment for special programs and prepare lists of participants.
Enroll individuals to participate in programs and notify them of their acceptance.
Conduct tours or deliver talks describing features of public facilities, such as a historic site or national park.

Receptionist Professional Profile

If you are an experienced receptionist, you want to start your resume off with a professional profile. Professional profiles are like career objectives for the more experienced candidate where you mention your years of experience as well as the industry-specific experience you may have.

You use a career objective if you are an entry level candidate with 2 to 5 years of experience. In your career objective you will state your aspirations as a professional, focusing more on your skills and less on your experience.

If you are fresh college graduate, then a professional profile is not for you. You can try using a career objective where you talk about your skills and your educational or internship background, beginning with your most recent internship experience or your most relevant coursework.

Additional Skills & Certifications

All receptionists must have excellent Microsoft Office skills, high word per minute typing rate, and the ability to pay a fine attention to detail. You also want to include experience with answering calls, doing recall systems, handling multiple phone lines, and problem resolution with clients.

You will also be strong in customer service skills as a large portion of your job be spent dealing with customers. Don not forget to include technical skills outside of Microsoft Office which include any sort of industry-specific planning software.

Also, do not forget to include that you are good at multitasking and you have strong organizational skills, as you may at times be called upon to perform office administrative tasks in addition to being a receptionist.

Useful Skills to Include

Below is a selection of skills that would look good on any receptionist resume. Again, we must caution that these skills are written for a generic applicant and they should be used first and foremost as inspiration when writing your own personalized skills that you have developed while working in various jobs.

Resumes are all about being specific, and the more specific you can make your skills for job, the more of a perfect match your resume will seem to the reader.

For example, if you are applying to be a receptionist at a hospital, you want to include skills including handling insurance forms, skills dealing with working with Medicaid and Medicare, or even actual medical-related skills like CPR knowledge. These are the types of industry-specific skills you should include on your resume to make it tailored for whatever industry applying to.

Useful Receptionist Skills

SkillSkill Description
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Additional Resources