The Columbia CV template effectively communicates Susan's skills and expertise. With over five years of experience as a secretary, she adeptly combines clear communication, attention to detail, and a highly professional demeanour.Start now
"Organised secretary with 5+ years of experience. Proficient in managing office tasks and delivering top-notch administrative support. Highly skilled in communication, interpersonal finesse, and keen attention to detail. Able to handle confidential information with professionalism in dynamic work settings."Susan Maxwell - Secretary
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How to Write a Secretary CV: Step-by-Step Tips and Examples
Secretaries play a pivotal role in supporting workplaces across the UK with crucial administrative and organisational tasks.
Attracting individuals with a keen eye for detail, exceptional self-management and the ability to communicate effectively, secretaries contribute to the success of legal and medical offices, educational institutions, hospitality and public and private sector administrator roles.
While competition for secretary roles in the UK is tough, landing your dream job is not impossible. This step-by-step guide shows you how to write a good CV, give you direct examples to inspire your modern CV plus a ready-to-work secretary CV template.
The Columbia CV template effectively communicates Susan's skills and expertise. With over five years of experience as a secretary, she adeptly combines clear communication, attention to detail, and a highly professional demeanour.
Secretarial work is more than managing schedules and completing organisational tasks. Professionals in this field are the point of contact for a spectrum of stakeholders, the linchpin of office administration and provide advice and support in a range of company matters.
Just like receptionists or office managers, secretaries perform diverse duties in various sectors that require specific personas or traits. Your secretary CV can vary based on the role you're applying for but we recommend to incorporate details like typing speed, language proficiency, and industry-specific expertise in fields such as medical or legal environments.
Once you've reflected on these points, it's time to sketch out the structure of your CV. To do this efficiently, we recommend starting with a master CV.
This all-inclusive document covers your hard and soft skill sets, complete work history and all relevant education and training. Although not sent out to employers, your master CV acts as a starting point for creating job-specific CVs and gives you a good idea of how long your CV should be.
To effectively put your skills on your CV, categorise your abilities into soft, hard and technical. Place hard and technical skills under a distinct heading, showcasing your proficiency in specific tools and procedures such as diary management, audio typing, or RIO NHS System.
Meanwhile, highlight soft skills on your CV within the personal profile and work experience sections, demonstrating how your interpersonal abilities and work ethic have contributed to past roles. This structured approach ensures your CV captures attention by presenting a balanced, comprehensive picture of your professional capabilities.
Time management: Effective allocation and prioritisation of tasks to meet deadlines.
Organisational skills: Ability to keep files, schedules, and tasks orderly.
Communication: Proficient in conveying information clearly and listening actively.
Discretion: Handling confidential information with integrity.
Adaptability: Flexibility in responding to changes or challenges.
MS Office proficiency
Industry specific software e.g RIO NHS
Attention to detail
Video conferencing tool
Diary management software
If space allows, offer a brief definition of your essential skills to underscore your value.
Writing a personal profile on your CV is a chance to make an immediate impression as a secretary. Similar to other roles blending organisational with personal skills like an estate agent or customer service, a strong secretary’s profile includes a blend of personal and professional strengths.
Key to grabbing attention, this section combines your administrative expertise, soft skills, such as telephone manner, and personal qualities, like discretion, in a concise, engaging snapshot. Strive for a compelling opening, keep it under 70 words and highlight your distinctive contributions to the role. A confidently written personal profile sets your application's tone, ensuring you remain at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.
Legal secretary CV personal profile example
Detail-orientated Legal Secretary with over 5 years experience in fast-paced legal environments. Demonstrates exceptional organisational skills, proficiency in case management systems and a commitment to maintaining confidentiality. Excels in supporting legal teams by managing complex diaries, coordinating meetings and streamlining document handling processes. Known for a proactive approach and building strong client relationships.
Medical secretary CV personal profile example
Dedicated Medical Secretary with 7+ years of experience supporting healthcare professionals and managing patient information. Skilled in medical terminology, patient scheduling and maintaining confidentiality, with a strong background in NHS systems. Works well under pressure, ensuring accurate and timely communication between patients and healthcare providers. Committed to patient care and efficient clinical administration.
Executive secretary CV personal profile example
Highly-efficient Executive Secretary with 4 years experience in high-pressure environments. Demonstrates impeccable organisational skills and a strong ability to manage executive schedules and communications. Known for a detail-oriented approach and a diplomatic communication style, effectively liaising with all levels of management. Adept at prioritising tasks, managing confidential information and supporting complex project coordination.
Administrative secretary CV personal profile example
Resourceful Administrative Secretary with 5 years of experience, specialising in supporting multi-person teams and managing complex schedules. Expert in coordinating meetings, handling internal and sensitive communications and streamlining processes. Known for exceptional organisational skills, detail-oriented approach and the ability to work effectively under pressure.
The role of a secretary isn't always quantified by results in the traditional sense. Secretarial work is a mix of providing crucial support whilst enhancing office efficiency. However, try to include quantifiable results where possible.
In detailing your work experience on a CV, consider the following:
Focus on specific tasks you've managed and the positive impact you've made.
Start with a brief paragraph describing your core duties
Follow up with bullet points highlighting quantifiable achievements.
Include references to administrative processes or the implementation of new systems for managing schedules or documents.
Match your work experience highlights with the soft skills and duties listed in the job advert, emphasising your contributions to organisational efficiency, problem-solving abilities and how you've supported your team or executives effectively.
Administrative assistant | Blue Eagle Bank, London | June 2018 - Present
Responsible for providing comprehensive support to senior executives, managing complex calendars, coordinating international travel arrangements and facilitating communication between department heads and external partners. Ensure the smooth operation of executive offices by handling confidential documents with discretion and organising high-level meetings.
Implemented a new digital filing system, reducing document retrieval times by 40%
Spearheaded the organisation of an annual international conference for 200+ participants, resulting in a 15% increase in stakeholder engagement
Personal assistant | Mega Sports Stores Group, Shirebrook | March 2020 - 2023
Responsible for enhancing the efficiency of senior leadership through administrative support, including handling sensitive communications, coordinating with stakeholders and leading special projects alongside routine tasks. Excelled in creating streamlined processes for internal and external communication, ensuring leadership was well-prepared and informed for all engagements.
Successfully managed a complex diary system for 3 Executive Directors, improving meeting scheduling efficiency by 30%.
Led a project to digitise meeting documentation, resulting in a 25% reduction in paper use and enhancing document accessibility for all team members.
Company secretary | Big Balloon Real Estate, Wolverhampton | January 2018 - 2021
Oversaw corporate governance and compliance for the organisation, ensuring adherence to legal standards and board directives. Managed consortium relations, organised board meetings and maintained corporate records with utmost confidentiality and precision. Instrumental in streamlining communication between the board, management, and stakeholders.
Developed and implemented a comprehensive compliance framework, reducing regulatory risks by 45%.
Enhanced efficiency of board meeting preparations, cutting down preparation time by 30% through the introduction of a digital scheduling system.
If you’re applying for secretary roles with little to no experience, as a school-leaver or during a career change, focus on transferable skills and experience built up during previous employment or studies. Take a look at the work experience entry example below for inspiration.
Student volunteer | University Events Team, Bristol | 2019 - 2022
Played a pivotal role in organising campus events, from planning stages through to execution. Showcased strong organisational skills, teamwork and the ability to communicate effectively across diverse groups. Demonstrated leadership by coordinating with fellow students and university staff, ensuring events ran smoothly and met all objectives.
Led a team of 10 volunteers in organising the annual university fair, attended by over 1,000 students and faculty.
Introduced a digital tool for tracking event tasks, improving team productivity by 30%.
Including education on a CV as a secretary underscores your ability to meet the professional demands of the role, highlighting your preparedness through formal training or qualifications.
List your qualifications in reverse chronological order. Start with the most recent educational achievements and work backwards. This section should include the name of the qualification, the institution where you studied, and the dates of study. For example:
Secretaries in the UK come from a variety of educational backgrounds, either as school-leavers or university graduates. However, you will be expected to pass English and Maths GCSE grade C (level 4) or an equivalent qualification.
Master of Business Administration (MBA), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, 2021
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), University of Manchester, UK, 2016
Windham College | Norfolk, 2017 - 2022
Maths: Grade 4 (C), English: Grade 5 (B), Combined Science: Grade 4 (C), Computer Science: Grade 4 (C), English Language: Grade 6 (B)
National 5 (N5) certificates:
JM Barrie High School | Dumfries, 2017 - 2022
Scottish N5s: English C (4), Maths C (4), History B (6), Chemistry B (5), Art & Design C (4), Computing Science B (6) — GCSE level equivalent in brackets.
For those with limited work experience such as students or apprentices, more emphasis can be placed on educational achievements, including relevant coursework or projects that demonstrate transferable skills.
Secretaries have to operate on multiple fronts, and showing you have additional skills and competencies to do so can be a big differentiator. For example, listing languages on a CV - even those you are still learning - demonstrates you are an internationally orientated individual with a desire to improve and learn.
Language proficiency is typically classified into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels or using the CEFR standard of A1 through to C2. Prioritise languages based on their relevance to the job you're applying for.
Proactively including references on a CV compounds your professional offer with real-world proof.
Think creatively about how you can improve your CV to provide an extra dimension to your application. Take a look at other professions such as credit controller or travel agent to see how they handle to CV writing process.
Let’s break it down and take a look at five key considerations for creating a professional secretary CV.
Create a master CV: Start with a comprehensive document that details all your skills, experiences, and education. Use this as a base to tailor specific CVs for each job application.
Highlight key skills: Focus on categorising your skills into soft, hard, and technical. Make them stand out by placing them under distinct headings and including brief definitions.
Craft a concise personal profile: Write a compelling introduction that merges your professional and personal strengths in under 70 words, making a memorable first impression.
Quantify work experience impact: Instead of just listing tasks, use bullet points to describe how you've improved processes or contributed to your team's success, providing specific examples and numbers.
Showcase additional competencies: Add sections for languages, volunteer work, or other unique skills to present a well-rounded profile and differentiate yourself from other candidates.
To accompany your CV, discover our cover letter templates. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, connect with our professional CV Writing Service. Draw inspiration from our blog for tips on how to save time, emphasise important sections and make it easier for hiring managers to grasp your unique professional offer.
Managing diaries and organising meetings and appointments.
Handling correspondence, including emails and phone calls.
Producing documents, briefing papers, reports, and presentations.
Maintaining filing systems to ensure efficient document management.
Arranging travel and accommodation for staff or management.
Also known as a personal profile, this section should highlight your experience in administrative roles, proficiency in managing communications, organisational skills and your ability to multitask and prioritise work efficiently. It should encapsulate your professional demeanour, attention to detail and any specific software or industry knowledge relevant to the role.
The salary for a secretary varies based on location, experience, and sector. In the UK, starting salaries for secretaries can range from £17,000 to £22,000 annually. With experience and in specialised sectors like legal or medical, salaries can increase to £25,000 - £35,000 or more.
To start as a secretary, you can pursue several paths including:
Completing a vocational course in business administration or secretarial studies.
Gaining experience through entry-level positions such as an administrative assistant or receptionist.
Undertaking an apprenticeship in business administration to gain hands-on experience.
Building key skills such as communication, organisation and proficiency in Microsoft Office and other relevant software.
Educational requirements vary depending on the employer and the specific role. However, a foundational level of education is often preferred, with many roles requiring a high school diploma or equivalent as a minimum. Additional qualifications, such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Business Administration, a Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills, or even a T Level in Management and Administration, can make candidates more appealing. Advanced roles may require further education, such as degrees in business or management, particularly for specialised sectors like legal or medical secretarial work.
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