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How to become a virtual assistant

How to Become a Virtual Assistant



In the period where remote working is becoming the norm, the virtual assistant job is on the rise. This remote job covers a lot of different aspects, ideally for someone who is dynamic and wants to have a look at all areas.

Let’s find out how to become a virtual assistant, which skills you need to obtain, and how to build your portfolio.

Most important skills to have

The virtual assistant job can vary from employer to employer, but there are some general guidelines for this role. Usually, you are required to do administrative work for your employer.

Administrative work as part of a virtual assistant job includes:

  • Organizing documents for your employer
  • Arranging trips
  • Answering emails with predefined templates
  • Coordinating calendar, schedule
  • Making appointments
  • Billing and accounting
  • Maintaining clients’ social media profiles (usually LinkedIn, but not just)
  • All kinds of reporting
  • Answering calls
  • Or any other administrative stuff that you agreed upon.

The end goal for this role is that you are reliable for your employer. This means that you get things done for them on a regular basis, so they can focus on their main area of expertise.

There are several types of virtual assistants:

  1. Personal assistant
  2. Executive assistant
  3. Administrative assistant

Skills you need to have:

  • Excellent typing skills (because most work is done on computers)
  • Reliability – like a virtual assistant most often you will be your client’s right hand
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • To be comfortable using different computer programs
  • Communication style that matches your clients – this highly depends on the person hiring you, be yourself, and let them recognize you!
  • Open communication – we are stressing this again because this is very significant, and will best show your reliability.

Rest depends on the specific type of virtual assistant position, but with these skill, you are already equipped to start!

How to build skills for becoming a virtual assistant

Maybe you already have done social media posting, organized a trip for yourself and your friends, organized a birthday celebration, etc. All these tasks belong to virtual assistant tasks. There are also transferable skills that can get you far and make you stand out from the crowd. Transferable skills are the ones that you can easily transfer or apply to any job you are applying for.

Some of the transferable skills are:

  • Communication
  • Project management
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork
  • Initiative etc.

It is helpful to cover the basic skills that you may not know are valuable for these kinds of jobs. If you are always organizing events or have a detailed record of household finances, you are a suitable candidate. Cover these points along with your personal goals in the cover letter.

There are plenty of virtual assistant training and certificates online. Research them and spend some time obtaining them. You will be able to see if it is for you and build your portfolio at the same time.

You can work as a virtual assistant in three different ways:

  1. Virtual assistant for a virtual assistant agency
  2. Virtual assistant for the employer
  3. Virtual assistant freelancer

A virtual assistant freelancer is working on a contract basis for clients. For this type of virtual assistance, it is imperative that you know which exact services you provide, promote yourself on social media, create a profile on freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, People per hour, or others, and start networking.

Gather testimonials along the way, and collect examples of your work.

If you are proficient in languages and have basic project management skills, you can apply for the virtual localization manager role. It can be project-based and part-time, for a deeper understanding of this type of role check this localization manager – understanding the role article.

How to build your virtual assistant portfolio?

Start right away. You know the saying: a few months from now you will be glad you started now. Here are few tips and ideas:

  • Know your offer – get familiar with the exact type and niche you are focusing on. If you want to specialize in content creation for clients in the creative industry, start your own blog. It is free and simple with WordPress themes for example.
  • Start networking. Build your online presence. Publish on LinkedIn, share the stuff you have learned or you are learning, with your unique perspective.
  • Start using some free task management or finance software for your home logistics and finances. Keep track of your finances, plan your activities, and have a retrospective of them once a week, and that is already a kind of reporting. Put all these programs – the ones you worked in – in your online portfolio.
  • Volunteer
  • Create a profile on several freelance platforms.
  • Do not forget to self-study, obtain certificates, and learn the best practices in the area.
  • Help your ultra-busy friend for free and ask him/her to leave you a review or testimonial.

Working environment:
This is a remote-based role, so you will need to have a proper work desk, computer, high-speed internet, and additionally a printer and scanner.

Virtual assistant jobs

Some of the companies hiring:

Conclusion

Virtual assistant as a remote role has a lot of possibilities. It can be your main job, you can be self-employed offering this service, employed by an agency, or work for one specific client. This can also be your side job. You can develop in different directions, and change them more easily from personal assistant to administrative assistant to executive assistant.

A portfolio of transferrable skills will go a long way in helping you land a virtual assistant job.

Maybe you thought you did not have the skills needed for the virtual assistant role, and after reading this article, you realized you are wrong?

Congratulations, you are one big step closer to becoming one virtual assistant!

Take a few minutes now to research those best practices for virtual assistants, apply them, and read carefully all the job requirements for virtual assistants.

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