Not sure what to look for in a virtual assistant? There are a variety of hard and soft skills every virtual assistant must have to provide you with the best possible experience. Learn more about what makes a great virtual assistant and how to find the person for your needs with We Are Working.
What are the qualifications of a virtual assistant?
Virtual assistant must-have skills vary per industry. Some roles are more technical, some more creative, but all great virtual assistants will have baseline qualifications such as:
- Strong communication: Written and verbal communication skills are key for any remote employee.
- Time management: Completing assignments on or before deadlines ensures an efficient workflow.
- Attention to detail: Ensuring excellence in every assignment is vital regardless of the role at hand.
- Self-motivation: Working remotely requires a certain level of self-discipline and ambition to stay focused and productive.
In-demand virtual assistant skills depend on the job at hand. For example, a remote bookkeeping assistant will need proficient accounting skills, whereas a freelance social media manager will need to understand the ins and outs of the various platforms.
There are many hard and soft skills that make a virtual assistant great. Finding the right balance of skills helps facilitate the best possible remote-employee experience.
Top 5 hard skills of a virtual assistant
Hard skills are talents that are learned through education and/or first-hand experience. These skills are easily defined and measured, and can be demonstrated through a skills test, portfolio, or licensure/certification.
Some of the most in-demand virtual assistant hard skills include:
- Foreign languages: Speaking and writing in multiple languages helps set virtual assistants apart in a global economy.
- Copywriting/copyediting: Even for non-creative roles, basic copywriting and copyediting skills help foster communication and maintain brand standards.
- Planning and scheduling: Staying on top of one’s schedule and planning for all sprints or steps of a given project are key skills. This applies to one’s own to-do list and managing others’ lists when necessary.
- Computer skills: Remote employees must have strong computer skills, which ranges from project management tools to analytics systems and website development platforms. More technical roles will require specific knowledge of the company’s preferred software and systems.
- Research skills: Basic internet research skills help ensure accuracy and relevancy for a wide range of projects, whether it’s delivering the latest developments in one’s industry or staying up to date on best practices.
Top 5 soft skills of a virtual assistant
Soft skills are less tangible than hard skills but are equally important. These abilities help foster seamless, productive working relationships between virtual assistants and employers. Soft skills are often more innate personal traits but can be developed through ongoing workplace learning.
- Integrity: Virtual assistants should hold themselves to a high level of quality and professionalism. Because they won’t be reporting to a physical office, their work needs to speak volumes and maintain excellence.
- Reliability: When working remote, response time and reliability are crucial to help employers and teams get in touch quickly and easily. Virtual assistants must show up and complete work within reasonable time frames so as not to delay progress.
- Flexibility: A willingness to switch gears and learn new procedures quickly is valuable in our fast-paced world. Virtual assistants who can keep an open mind and readiness to adapt will contribute to an effective work environment.
- Teamwork: Virtual assistants don’t work in a vacuum; smooth integrations with teams are necessary to become a valued member. Communicating progress, asking questions, and collaborating freely create solid team spirit.
- Kindness: Being nice to work with makes the entire virtual experience that much easier. A respectful, easy-going attitude makes all the difference when communicating remotely.
Virtual assistant technical skills
Knowing how to use the latest project management software and team collaboration tools is important for virtual assistants. While every business is likely to use a different technology combination, having familiarity with many of the top systems makes training and onboarding easier.
Technical skills can include proficiency with:
Project management tools:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Microsoft Office
Video conferencing tools:
- Google Meet
Find the right virtual assistant with We Are Working
Not sure which skills you need when hiring a virtual assistant? At We Are Working, we know what makes a great virtual assistant and how to find the right talent for the task at hand. Our team of fully vetted remote workers specialize in a wide variety of industries and functions, from bookkeeping, marketing, data entry, and more. We take the hassle out of hiring by pairing you with the right skill set for your business.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our staffing solutions can serve your needs.