Hays Ireland blog


5 Examples for PAs/EAs on how to add value to your CV

By David Shatwell, Hays Senior Consultant

I specialise in recruiting for PA/EA roles. These roles are crucial to the effective running of an organisation. You are the glue that holds a business together, ensuring it operates smoothly and effectively.

There is a reoccurring challenge I come across when recruiting for PA’s, EA’s and team administration roles. This challenge lies within the description of your skill set. I see a lot CVs that have “organised”, “professional”, “excellent time management” and “ability to prioritise”…these are all necessary for your role. So how can you show recruiters, like me, and hiring managers, evidence of these traits on your CV?

The solution is simple. Turn your intangible skills into tangible ones; this is achieved by providing figures and statistics from your professional experience to back them up.

Here are 5 examples on how to quantify intangible skills on your CV.

1. Good organisational skills.

This is a generic skill and one I see on every CV. My advice is to make the most of your top-level organisational skills.

Intangible on your CVTangible on your CV Tangible on your CV
Organisational skills Organisational skills: I manage over 270 emails per day, along with the diaries for 2 executives who have, on average, 20 meetings per week.


2. Ability to prioritise.

This is an important skill particularly where you may have been supporting more than one person in your role.

Intangible on your CVTangible on your CV Tangible on your CV
Ability to prioritise Ability to prioritise: I manage bookings for 12 meeting rooms used by 80 people in the building. I also prioritise tasks for 2 directors who both want their work given number one priority.

3. Excellent time management.

This is another skill I see on many CVs, however, when I ask for examples a large majority of candidates cannot give any. Many people do not fully understand what time management is.

So what does this skill actually mean? Time management is the act of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productively.

Excellent examples of this skill are anything you’ve introduced into your workplace to increase efficiency.

Intangible on your CVTangible on your CV Tangible on your CV
Time management

Time management: I implemented a new system for processing expenses, resulting in a streamlined process that saved me 30 minutes a day.

4. Ability to work under pressure.

Your role involves working under internal and external pressures. In describing this skill it’s important to highlight time constraints and think about the deadlines you must meet for specific tasks in the workplace. These may include, writing up reports, preparing presentations, booking lunch/breakfast/dinner for a number of people, along with organising travel itineraries etc… 

Intangible on your CVTangible on your CV Tangible on your CV
Ability to work under pressure

Ability to work under pressure: I organise travel itineraries within deadlines for 3 members of senior management.

5. Good communication skills.

This is a great skill to have on your CV, I’d advise you to back this up with examples of written and verbal communication you would typically engage with on a daily basis. It’s important to highlight the different levels of management you communicate with (directors, C-suite, senior management) as well as the different departments of the business (finance, HR and sales).

Intangible on your CVTangible on your CV Tangible on your CV
Good communication skills

Good communication skills: I email 3 members of senior management in HR on a daily basis, updating them on their meetings for the following day. I provide minutes for in excess of 20 meetings per week involving 3 senior board members.

If you would like further advice on your CV or are interested in PA/EA roles you can email me at  or call me on 01 517 0010

David Shatwell, Hays Senior Consultant, works exclusively with office managers, PA’s, EA’s, team administrators, reception roles, project administrators, technical administrators and customer service roles.


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