Skills You Need to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

June 20, 2014 | by Pepper


Hiring people today is not limited to proximity. Outsourcing business solutions has opened opportunities for businesses to tap the global workforce that showcases skilled and talented professionals. Virtual assistants (VAs) are one of them. There are many considerations when hiring a VA with skill set being the leading factor. As we continue our series on outsourcing, we’ll zero in on what you need to look for in a VA to help you have a good head start in your working relationship.

Good Communication Skills.

VAs should primarily have the ability to communicate well with their clients. Communication is crucial to the success of your working relationship with them and this is the reason why it’s also a priority for VAs to work on this skill. Good communication involves clarity, consistency, and promptness. Your VA should know the importance of giving updates and responding promptly to emails. They also need to have the tools necessary to accomplish this such as a Skype account, working email address, Dropbox account for file sharing, and other basic platforms for communicating online.

Efficient Organizational Skills.

This is the main reason why VAs are hired. Business owners need someone to help them organize their schedule and tasks. Your VA should excel in time management because she will most likely handle multiple assignments. Proficient administrative skill is also a must as this ensures high attention to detail. Some VAs are even hired to do project management because of their ability to oversee several tasks with precision. Your VA should be comfortable multi-tasking but not to the extent of compromising the quality of her work.

Reliable Computer Skills.

This is a no-brainer when evaluating VA candidates. They should not be only adept in using Word but also equipped in data processing. They should be able to type fast and sort fast. Data encoding should be done with the combination of speed and accuracy hence the need for high level efficiency. They should also be knowledgeable in other software such as Excel and Powerpoint. Email management is necessary, too, so that your VA can filter your inbox in such a way that you can reply promptly based on priority and not quantity.

Advanced Internet Skills.

Internet skill is another non-negotiable skill for VAs. They should be experts in researching, using online tools, and navigating the web. This is because the nature of their job mainly involves internet use. The web is their oyster, so to speak. They should be able to help you update your blog, manage your social media activity, and assist you in online marketing. Some VAs can write compelling articles and even post them on WordPress. Bottomline, they should be able to weave their way through all the internet noise and find exactly what you want them to look for.

Personal Skills.

Look for VAs who are generally self-motivated and can work with minimal supervision. They should get things done at the time you expect them to finish the task. VAs that operate on a “can do” attitude allows them to work with enthusiasm whether it’s a challenging new task or a repetitive process. You should be able to depend on them to deliver the quality work you require. Your VA should be an active role player who can partner with you in improving your business processes and increasing your productivity.

These are just some of the many skills that your VAs should possess. Much like your in-house employees they work well with clear instructions and expectations coming from you. They should have the ability to work independently or collaborate with a group. Keep in mind that some VAs can be more skilled than others, which comes with experience and training. Don’t expect them to be all the same since they have different personalities, too. This is the blueprint of the skills that your VAs should have but their individual work style and work ethic are unique to them. Aside from the ones we mentioned, be specific with what you’re looking for in a VA. Remember that you’re looking for a team member and not merely a service provider and that sets the bar for the qualities and expertise you would want for your VA.

About Pepper Virtual Assistants

Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.

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14 thoughts on “Skills You Need to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

  1. bleshy sicat

    you should the following skills to be Virtual Assistant: Good Communication Skills.Reliable Computer Skills.Personal Skills.Advanced Internet Skills.Efficient Organizational Skills
    to be effective assistant you should practice and develop these skills in order you will serve your client well

  2. Crissa Bee

    To add up, there is one important thing you need to look for in a Virtual Assistant. One that has a mindset of “If I were the client, what should I do to become the VA he/she always wanted?” In this case, your VA has relevance with the job. From day to day we always look for someone with these so and so skills, but one thing: “If I were the client, would I want this…?” we have to know what the client needs, what the client wants, and what the client expects.

    1. Pepper Post author

      Great insight, Crissa! Putting yourself in your client’s shoes will really help you in working efficiently as a virtual assistant. Hope you’ll drop by again! :)

  3. Mary Hope

    This is a nice blog. I was now properly informed what the Virtual Assistant do, the skills needed and the attitude of every Virtual Assistant. This type of job for sure will become more in demand because technology now is growing faster.

  4. Kizza Marie Diaz

    I would have to agree with the point where in you said VA’s must have good communication skills. Yes, it is very important when working online with clients. It is not like we are just working in an office where boss’s are just around the corner. They need random email updates or chat updates with regards to your work everyday. This blog teaches a lot!

  5. Janine Adrielle P. Munez

    As a VA, it is very important to take into consideration the perspective of your client. It is not only about having all the skills mentioned above, but also about being able to be a factor in the success of your client’s business. It is all about dedication.

  6. Pam Fernandez

    It’s a cliche but I strongly agree. Trust is what we need in this business as we’re million miles away from our clients and doing the job/task preferably beyond to what the client is expecting – so the skills that you have is also a plus. But then again, it will all boil down upon how you communicate and be human to your client. For them to give their trust, they should also know you as a person and that would reflect on how you deal wit them and your job/task.

    1. Pepper Post author

      Hi, Pam! That’s true and earning that trust is a great accomplishment for any VA. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)

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  8. Pingback: VA Chronicles: An Inside Look at Virtual Assistance | Pepper Virtual Assistants

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