Contrary to common belief, clerical jobs require a lot of skills, and it can be said to be a responsibility oriented job. Initially, a person may get less payment and may be appointed at entry-level positions, but after a few years, the person has a chance to get in core administration positions, that are highly paid. A person needs to be patient and work efficiently so that his or her efforts are recognized by the company. After noticing the dedication and excellency in the job, a person is most likely to get a position of more responsibility and greater rewards. Clerks are basically administrative assistants, and their primary role is to provide administrative support to the company, that helps in the smooth functioning of the company.
Clerical Duties and Required Clerical Skills
Clerical jobs essentially consist of secretarial duties. There are various basic skills required to perform clerical jobs efficiently. Given below are some of the important clerical duties and clerical skills that form the primary aspects of the job.
A clerk must be good at business communication skills. He or she must have good verbal and written skills. This is important, because most organizations assign the task of handling the reception counter to clerks. They are required to make and receive the calls, as well as direct calls to concerned authorities. They also have to take a message in case the appropriate person is absent or busy, and also need to distribute the message across to the concerned people. A lot of people call to inquire about the company or to get certain details. So, a receptionist must be able to handle enquirers and work as well as information requests. They are also required to send and draft professional emails and letters as part of the formal communication of the company. For this, they need to have good command over language, so that they can communicate effectively.
Computer and Software Knowledge
Every industry or every company requires special software that help make their work easy. Some companies have special industry relevant software, and also have software for internal communication. In such cases, a clerk must be able to learn this software fast and must be good at using a particular software. Many companies provide training to the employees to learn a particular software, whereas, in some companies, it is mandatory for candidates to be efficient in a particular software before applying. A clerk must be good at typing, photocopying, scanning and faxing, as he or she may have to distribute documents in bulk.
A clerk must be a good organizer. Filing documents regularly and neatly is one of the important clerical duties. Organizations are bound to receive and send various notices, letters, reports, etc., which need to be documented well for future reference. A clerk also must check the documents, correspondence letters, and annual reports, etc., before distributing it, to avoid any errors in the communication process. A clerk needs to arrange these documents section wise in different files in a logical and comprehensive manner. It can be manual documentation or computerized documentation. In some companies, managing petty cash is one of the important jobs of a clerk. In such cases, having good accounting software knowledge, data entry skills, and good filing system is very important.
In some organizations, a clerk is also expected to make travel bookings or hotel bookings for guests. They are also given the task of arranging transport, scheduling meetings and booking meeting venues, arranging and booking venues for conferences, etc. In order to do this, a clerk must have good organizational skills at work. He should also establish contacts with relevant industry people, and be ready to comply with any last minute demands by the administration or the executive personnel. For this, a person needs good problem-solving and prioritizing skills. The profile of a clerk is designed so that it maintains a smooth and regular flow of communication. A clerk must pay attention to every detail to avoid any blunders.
Qualification and Salary
For any clerical job, higher education is not the requirement. Any person with diploma from a recognized institution or vocational center can apply for such jobs. However, a person with a Bachelor's degree in office management is preferred by most companies. A clerk is expected to acquire different skills at various stages in his or her career, so he or she must always be ready to learn new things on the job. The annual average salary for a clerk is USD 33,000 and is subject to variation for different organizations according to their job responsibility, work type, and financial condition. Also, the salary may vary according to the experience of the candidate, and may go up to USD 38,000 if you have the latest skills.
In different organizations, there are various names for office assistant duties and clerical positions, such as front desk assistant, receptionist, customer representative executive, etc., but the nature of the job is almost similar. Generally, only a high school diploma is the basic qualification required for a clerical job. Training for other proficiencies must be provided on the job. From the above description, it is clear that clerical jobs form the back bone of the company's administration, and one cannot afford to undermine it's significance.