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The job of any executive or administrator requires an extensive amount of work and time. There are numerous day-to-day tasks to stay on top of, just to keep the company running smoothly. Virtual assistants are designed to take the load off of you. They help carry out all of your administrative tasks so you can focus on the aspects of your company that matter most. However, not just anyone will work well as an assistant. You need someone who meets certain qualifications to ensure the work he or she produces will meet your expectations. 

Here are five characteristics you should consider when looking for a qualified assistant to handle and manage your day-to-day tasks.

Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are a necessity in a virtual office assistant. When using a virtual assistant service, your main form of communication with your assistant is online. You may send emails, instant message or video conference to relay messages and explain projects to one another. Your assistant needs to be familiar with online programs and able to communicate through them in a professional and concise manner.

Your assistant must be willing to communicate with you regarding project updates, work schedules and upcoming meeting changes. When your assistant doesn t relay these important messages or doesn t take priority in keeping you continually updated, you become lost in the shuffle.

Experience

For many virtual assistant companies to hire an assistant, he or she must have several years of experience. Some companies will not even consider applicants unless they have five to 10 years of experience. There are numerous tasks that an assistant may be required to complete throughout the day. Make sure the assistant has experience completing those projects. Also, if you are looking for an assistant who will handle a lot of tasks in a specialized field such as writing or graphic design, many virtual assistant companies hire specialists in these fields who can more effectively and professionally complete your work.

Time Management

Strong time-management habits should be a priority for any employee. Part of an assistant s job is to manage your schedule. If time-management skills are not evident, the executive or administrator s job may struggle. Additionally, punctuality is a necessity. There is no use having an assistant who shows up after the boss has already begun working.

Honesty

An assistant has a close look into your personal life. He or she may set up your personal appointments, book your travel and make purchases. Many tasks may require confidentiality and complete honesty with personal information such as credit card information, telephone numbers and addresses. If there is any reason not to trust your virtual assistant, there is no reason to continue working with him or her.

Professional & Personal

Your assistant represents you. He or she is often your client's first point of contact. You need to ensure your assistant is professional and can handle all of a customer s calls and complaints. Furthermore, the assistant needs to be friendly and willing to work closely with you. He or she must accept your task requirements and assist you without complaint.

Without certain precautionary steps, hiring a virtual assistant can be a horrible experience. However, by taking the time to ensure you know exactly what you need from an assistant, it can be highly rewarding.

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