Clerical Skills List and Examples

Clerical Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Woman working at desk
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Clerical work involves making sure an office runs smoothly. It involves the day-to-day tasks of an office, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, making faxes, and filing documents.

Clerical skills are useful for almost anyone who works in an office. Most employees need to do at least some clerical work, so these skills can come in handy for almost anyone.

Office clerks and secretaries need to have particularly strong clerical skills.

These positions involve doing the majority of an office’s day-to-day tasks.

While some people use these job titles interchangeably, office clerks and secretaries are actually different from administrative assistants. Administrative assistants often need a college degree, and are giving more responsibilities, including spearheading projects and sometimes even managing teams.

In contrast, clerks and secretaries typically do not need extensive education beyond a high school degree (although there are higher education programs that focus on clerical and secretarial work). They manage the day-to-day operations of an office, but generally do not have managerial responsibilities.

Clerks and secretaries work in a variety of industries, including finance, business, medicine, government, law, and more. Some of these positions require specific skills. However, there are basic skills that are necessary for nearly every clerical position.

Read below for a list of clerical skills that employers seek in candidates for employment. Included is a detailed list of the five most important clerical skills, as well as a longer list of even more clerical skills.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process.

Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these keywords.

Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also review our other lists of skills listed by job and by type of skill.

Top Five Clerical Skills

Attention to Detail
Clerical work involves paying attention to the day-to-day details of an office – things other people might overlook, such as answering and keeping track of emails, tracking appointments, and more. A clerk or secretary needs to be able to focus on these details, and not let anything slip through the cracks.

Communication
Clerical workers need to have strong written and oral communication skills. They will typically answer phones, write memos, send emails, and greet clients and customers.

They therefore need to be able to speak and write clearly and effectively. They need to convey information in a way that is easy to understand.

Computer Skills
In this day and age, computer skills are critical for any clerical job. Clerks and secretaries need to be quick and accurate typists. They are also typically required to do some data entry, so they should be familiar with Excel and other data entry software. They should also be familiar with other Microsoft Office software, such as Word and PowerPoint. Any additional computer skills, such as the ability to design or edit web pages, would be considered a big plus.

Numeracy
Much clerical work involves numeracy. Some clerks are in charge, to a degree, of bookkeeping and/or accounting for a company. This requires numeracy skills. The ability to calculate sums quickly is definitely a positive quality in a clerk or secretary.

Organization
Clerks and secretaries must be organized. They are in charge of making sure the office runs smoothly. This involves keeping track of the employer’s schedule, answering emails and phone calls, and maintaining files. All of this takes a lot of organizational skill.

Clerical Skills List

Below is a detailed list of clerical skills, including the ones described above.

A – D

  • Accounting
  • Accuracy
  • Adaptability
  • Analytical
  • Answering phones
  • Attention to detail
  • Billing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Budgeting
  • Communication
  • Computer skills
  • Confidentiality
  • Correspondence
  • Creativity
  • Customer service
  • Data entry
  • Data management
  • Database fluency
  • Decision making
  • Delivering mail
  • Dependability
  • Desktop publishing

E – O

  • Efficient
  • Email
  • Expense
  • Faxing
  • Filing
  • Flexible
  • Front desk
  • Interpersonal
  • Language skills
  • Listening
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Multitasking
  • Numeracy
  • Office machines
  • Oral communication
  • Organization
  • Oversight

P – Z

  • Photocopying and collating
  • Physical demands (standing, lifting, pulling)
  • Planning
  • Prioritization
  • Problem solving
  • Processing
  • Proofreading
  • Reasoning
  • Record keeping
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Sending and receiving faxes
  • Sorting
  • Spreadsheets
  • Teamwork
  • Technology
  • Time management
  • Typing
  • Word processing
  • Writing

Related Skills Lists: Administrative Skills | Office Manager Skills | Receptionist Skills | Personal Assistant Skills | Computer Skills | Executive Assistant Skills | Office Assistant Skills