Most Important Clerical Skills to Have (Resume or Cover Letter)

What are clerical skills? You may notice that some clerical abilities are included in job descriptions when you apply for jobs. Almost every office employee, from executive assistants to accountants, should have some clerical abilities.

What are clerical skills?

Clerical abilities entail mastery of day-to-day activities and contribute to administrative efficiency. Although clerical skills are often basic administrative knowledge and easy to master, they are critical to the efficient operation of an office.

clerical skills

These skills are highly valued by hiring managers, and in certain cases, they may be needed for specific employment. Employers want to know that you have a basic grasp of administrative work, and displaying these abilities on your resume can help you stand out.

Why are clerical skills important in the workplace?

Clerical skills are the abilities you employ to keep an office running smoothly and efficiently. They will be concerned with the administrative duties that emerge in office settings, such as meeting scheduling and file sorting.

For everyone who works in an office, clerical skills are essential. Even if you're a senior executive, you'll need to be able to submit paperwork and communicate with coworkers. These skills are especially useful if you plan to work in an administrative capacity.

Office skills are used on a daily basis by administrative assistants, office clerks, typists, archivists, and other clerical employees. If you're looking for one of these jobs, it's a good idea to include your clerical experience on your resume.

Employers appreciate clerical skills because they make it impossible for an office or department to function without them. Consider how an office would function if the assistant couldn't answer the phone. What might a secretary's meeting calendar look like? On behalf of the office manager, who would conduct communications?

Types of clerical skills

Here are examples of clerical skills in the workplace.

Verbal communication skills

Communication abilities, both verbal and written. It is highly beneficial to have verbal and written communication skills when working on an administrative team. In office employment, you deal with a variety of individuals and circumstances on a regular basis. It is essential to be able to communicate properly with coworkers, superiors, and clients.

clerical skills

The majority of professions need excellent verbal communication. Written communication is as crucial in administrative roles. A written message will be used in many of your encounters. Written communication skills that are clear and succinct can help you become a better team member and employee.

Computer skills

Candidates with basic computer abilities are frequently sought by administrative employers. This may be anything from typing speed to data entry knowledge. However, don't be put off by this.

  • Experience with video chat software.
  • Experience with team collaboration tools.
  • Excel spreadsheets.
  • Knowledge of word processors (e.g. Microsoft Office, Google Docs).
  • Database software and filing.
  • Email and calendar tools.

Attention to detail

Before a project is delivered, employees should be able to see any errors. Supervisors value meticulous attention to detail and will look for it on a resume. Maintaining a high level of detail during each assignment can help you regularly provide high-quality work to supervisors or clients.

If you're looking for a position as an administrative or executive assistant, you may need to double-check supervisors' work for grammatical faults or accuracy issues.

Organizational skills

All employers place a high importance on organizational abilities. These abilities can assist you in being productive and efficient. Both digital and physical documents should be filed and preserved so that you know where they are in case you need to access them fast. Supervisors can also rely on organizational abilities to ensure that private information is kept in a secure location, decreasing the chance of it being lost or stolen.

These abilities can also aid with the recall of forthcoming projects, assignments, and meetings. Organized employees can return to vital knowledge later when they need it by taking notes during a presentation or a work lesson.

Mathematical skills

You may need to know basic math and how to input numbers depending on the profession you seek. Microsoft Excel is a popular choice for organizations wanting to collect and organize numerical data, and it's a program you should be familiar with if you work in bookkeeping, budgeting, or accounting.

While an office job is unlikely to demand you to perform calculus, employers still need to know that you can perform simple arithmetic calculations quickly.

clerical skills

Juggling a lot of numbers is a common part of administrative job. Simple arithmetic skills can help you utilize spreadsheets more efficiently and do daily chores faster.

Critical thinking

Issues happen in an office setting, just as they do in any other employment. This has no bearing on a team's ability to operate together. It's a natural part of existence.

Your capacity to identify and deal with these difficulties, on the other hand, can significantly boost your work performance. This talent is referred to as critical thinking abilities. Recruiters want individuals with excellent critical thinking skills because they want employees who can cope effectively with unexpected situations.

The following are some examples of critical thinking abilities:

  • Early detection of issues.
  • Identifying the most effective line of action.
  • Excellent communication.
  • Creating comprehensive business strategies.

Time management

A typical administrative job schedule is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The quality of employee you are is determined by what you do with these eight hours each day.

In an office job, you'll be responsible for a variety of tasks throughout the day. You may break down larger projects into more manageable missions if you manage your work time effectively. Time management allows you to stick to a hectic administrative schedule while still completing your task on time.

The following are some examples of time management skills:

  • Creating attainable objectives.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Setting strategy.
  • Multitasking abilities.
  • Keeping to a routine.
  • Developing outlines.
  • Sticking to deadlines.
  • Taking stock of your achievements.


Flexibility is beneficial in a variety of sectors, but it is especially important when applying for administrative positions. The capacity to adjust to change or unforeseen situations with a good attitude is referred to as flexibility.

Rather of being upset by obstacles, flexible individuals are inspired by them and eager to learn. Employers value this quality, particularly in today's environment.

Other clerical skills to consider

Here are other clerical skills to consider when writing a cover letter, resume, or while being interviewed.

How to improve your clerical skills

Here's how to improve your clerical skills while working in an office.

Before you begin, take a practice test

Before you begin, take a clerical ability test to determine your aptitude for these types of skills. This should include data entry, typing speed/skills, and general computer skills.

Find a mentor

Mentors are excellent for honing your abilities in common jobs. A mentor can give concrete solutions when you're unsure how to go with something or believe there's a more efficient or effective method to accomplish something.


Pay attention to what someone is doing if you notice them conducting a clerical work in an unusual way. If you want a whole lesson, ask if they'd be prepared to teach you how they do things.

Take classes

There has never been a better time to take an online course. There are classes in everything. So whatever very hard skill or soft skills you want to learn, you'll be able to find one. Although paid courses may provide certificates, simply viewing a good YouTube channel can help you improve your skills.

Ask for feedback

Accept constructive criticism with open arms and aggressively seek it out. Inquire about how you can enhance your email etiquette, typing accuracy, memo copy, or whatever it is you want to improve. Look for methods to improve whatever duties your organization appreciates the most.

Clerical skills on your resume

It's time to properly show your clerical abilities on your resume once you've determined on the clerical skills that are most appropriate to your work style and performance.

When applying for an administrative position that demands clerical talents, include them in the skills part of your resume and sprinkle them throughout your relevant professional experience section.

When addressing your clerical hard and soft skills, be as precise as possible. Mention any experience you have with a certain word processor. Give details if you hold a qualification in an industry-specific course.

Consider the job you're applying for and what they're searching for in a candidate. Customize your relevant abilities to suit these requirements.

In the skills section

Technical skills: SAP software, Google Docs, Payroll systems, ERP

Soft skills: Attention to detail, preparing cash accounts, preparing invoices, calculating vendor bills, paying liabilities, and general use of Microsoft Office

In work experience

Collar City Accountants

Administrative Assistant May 2021 - July 2021

  • Used Microsoft Office Suite to generate monthly and weekly reporting for our staff accountants.
  • Generated monthly reporting of productivity to our senior-level staff.
  • Produce up to 60-words per minute through Microsoft Word.
  • Ability to keep the office clean and utilize my hard skills to address the needs of the workplace.

Clerical skills on a cover letter

Dear Ms. Masterson

I had to apply after reading your job posting for Administrative Assistant.  With over 4 years of expertise assisting office spaces in running well, I am confident that I can contribute significantly to the ING, INC.

I made it a mission in my previous work as an Administrative Assistant at ING INC. to simplify everyone's responsibilities while ensuring that everyone got the tools they required. I led a project to totally automate all of our paperwork operations, saving the firm more than $12,000 per annum in fees from our vendor relationships.

Other notable accomplishments with ING Inc include:

Created and maintained an Excel spreadsheet that monitored Sales and Marketing targets using formula's and regex.

Used basic HTML knowledge to update our corporate website, write our About page, and post each job description of an open role.

In addition to this, I used my basic skills in HTML to improve the typing skills of our staff, by creating a game. This increased the productivity of each clerical job in the office. And generally, improved the output of all clerical tasks performed.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me for the position. If you have any questions please let me know.


Bryan Smith

clerical skills

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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