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9 Qualities a Virtual Assistant Should Have

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9 Qualities a Virtual Assistant Should Have

You may be considering hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) or becoming one yourself, there are unique qualities that make a virtual assistant become an asset to any business.

These days, it’s tough getting the right VA for your business needs at the right cost. Though the virtual assistant market is growing and highly competitive, it’s however not impossible to hire the right VA to join your team at the right cost.

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Before you begin your search, the starting point is to know what you’re looking for in a virtual assistant if you’re considering hiring. If you want to become a VA yourself, you need to understand and develop the right set of skills that will position you for opportunities and make you attractive to employers.

While focusing on hiring or acquiring the right set of skillset, there are vices or red flags to spot when you interview a potential candidate.

A Virtual Assistant should be like the second version of yourself but better. He or she should be able to cover for blind spots in your business operations, and not necessarily duplicate your efforts alone.

When virtual assistants get equipped with these skills, they become a flexible and better fit for the rudiments of the job and you will develop an efficient team right from any location in the world.

In this article, I will explain the qualities and skills a virtual assistant should have if you want to become one or what to look out for if you’re considering hiring one to join your team.

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Key Highlights

🎯 Many small and medium-sized businesses rely on virtual assistants making up a large percentage of their workforce.

🎯 A full-time employee is only productive for about three hours a day, but you pay them for eight hours. You pay a virtual assistant for exactly the amount of time worked.

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🎯 More than 90% of employers say they consider soft skills to be essential.

🎯 Communication skills are one of the most sought-after skills.

🎯 One in three jobs in the U.S requires soft skills.

SEE ALSO: 9 Vital Lessons For Aspiring Virtual Assistants

SEE ALSO: 7 Red Flags to Spot when Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Empower Your Personal Assistant to Run Your Side Hustle

Qualities of a Virtual Assistant

1. Reliability

Reliability in a virtual assistant is one of the most important traits to possess. This quality is essential. No matter how brilliant or the amount of work ethic a virtual assistant has, if they’re not reliable, the whole thing can fall apart.

You need to be able to rely on your virtual assistant and know that they will always come through. Trust me; if you ignore this part, it will hurt your business in the long run.

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2. Excellent Communicator.

One of the roles of a virtual assistant is exchanging information with clients. This exchange of information could be text-based or voice-based. No matter the method, it is vital that a virtual Assistant have effective communication skills.

Without fluent communication, your assistant will find it difficult to relate to your clients, especially when it comes to helping them solve a problem.

VA should learn multiple languages to bridge the gap. If you currently can speak one language, there are free online applications you can use to translate from one language to the other. Google translate is one of them.

Before hiring a Virtual assistant, you can know if they are proficient communicators through the test, emails, or phone calls exchanged during the interview process.

3. Trust and Honesty

If you can’t trust your employee, then why hire them. The first and most important quality any business or employer will look for in an employee is trust and honesty.

When hiring or working with a virtual assistant, trust and honesty is everything. Due to the distance between a virtual assistant and an employer trust must be a priority.

An employer needs to be able to trust his virtual assistant with proprietary business information.

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4. Working Under Pressure

Every business has pressure periods and a virtual assistant needs to know that. No matter how messy tasks can get behind the scenes, a virtual assistant must be able to work under pressure.

It’s important also that employers know what to delegate, it’s not all tasks that you leave to your VA.

Giving your assistant a higher workload should not be a regular practice, but your assistant should know that it is possible that a higher workload can occur, and your VA should be able to handle it.

5. Multitasking Yet Efficient

Multitasking is a skill I think we should all learn. Most times, it’s inevitable as it is an aspect of the job you must learn to handle gracefully.

Getting organized is pivotal to multitasking, especially when working under pressure. It’s important to also prioritize tasks in hours and time frames to know which is urgent in other to follow through.

Virtual assistants must give priority to deliverables through effective planning of their day in other to meet up with the employer’s requirements.  

6. Resourcefulness

A resourceful virtual assistant goes the extra mile to do great work. While your VA can’t know everything, it helps if you can sense your environment and be creative while applying initiative.  

Being resourceful is strong and attractive quality employers look for because you will not always be told what to do. You must strive to improve on your work and make your employer happy that he or she hired you.

Beyond executing a task, sit back and think of how you can do it better so that you always stun your employer or manager. To learn more about this quality, check this post on vital lessons for aspiring virtual assistants.

7. Friendly Personality

Is it just me, or do we all know that one receptionist, waiter, or server that is always cold to us no matter the circumstance?

We all know if they were better options, we would not even bother going to that place. This is the same for our business and virtual assistant.

A toxic personality by your VA can mean the loss of a client.

8. Organization skills.

A virtual assistant should know how to keep things organized. They must have the ability to stay focused on a task. Having a system that keeps track of things will help them do their work well.

9. Adaptability

There is one certain thing, and that is change. A business can change; there are good times and bad times. A good virtual assistant will be able to adapt to change.

Skills A Virtual Assistant should have

1. Word Processing

This skill is the basic skill of a virtual assistant. For beginners, 3 to 5 days should be enough to learn the basics of using a word processing application.

Word Processing is one of the most crucial administrative tasks, and almost every business uses a word processor in their business. With a Word processor, you can create a document of any kind and for data entry.

While typing into a screen looks like an easy task, word processing is complicated. You have to learn how to structure a good document, create tables, enter data correctly (data entry), and do so many other things you can do.

Fortunately, when learning word processing, some of the best word processing applications create shortcuts that can make work faster and easier.

2. Good Computer Skills

Good computer skills go beyond turning on a computer and launching a few apps. Most Virtual assistant tasks get done using a computer, so a virtual assistant must be excellent at using a computer.

A virtual assistant should first be able to navigate to all parts of a computer, except the extra technical part best left to an engineer. A VA should also be familiar with apps like Microsoft 365, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Sheets, Google docs, Google slides, and other word applications.

Having good internet skills is also crucial. As a virtual assistant, the skill of conducting quality research on the internet will help a lot. As a virtual assistant, you can get tasked to research people, businesses, and contact information to help support a particular project.

3. Great decision-making skills

A critical skill a Virtual assistant should have is decision making. This one skill should not get taken for granted. Times will come when this skill is the only one that can break or build a business.

As a virtual assistant, you make little decisions every day when working, but some days you may be left to make big ones and time like this is where your decision-making skill comes into play.

As a VA, it is likely that your employer isn’t available or might live in a different time zone, which means they are not always available to answer your questions. As a virtual assistant, you should be able to research and explore to find the most likely answer to your question.

4. Social Media Management

Social media platforms are blowing up, and many businesses represent themselves on various platforms. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, and TikTok.

One advantage of these social media platforms is that it helps potential buyers and sellers meet, communicate, and helps businesses increase awareness among more people.

Having a virtual assistant manage your social media accounts if you are on more than one social platform is ideal. Some of the tasks in social media management are repetitive, which a virtual assistant can handle with ease.

If you operate a small business, having an updated presence on social media can help expand your reach.

5. Willingness to Learn

We live in a world where things are changing. More than three new versions of iPhones can come out before your next birthday. A Virtual Assistant should have the desire to learn new skills that can help her do her job better and faster.

If you develop the attitude of learning new things, doing your job becomes more fun, and your employer will trust you more by giving you more room to grow.

If you continue to seek knowledge, there is no telling how valuable and far you can grow.

6. Email Management

The first rule in Email management is never to leave your inbox crowded. When your business email inbox begins to get crowded (which means there are many unanswered emails), it is a sign you need an assistant to help you manage your emails.

Reading emails first thing in the morning is very important, and it is a task best done by an assistant seeing that they will likely get the day started before you. A virtual assistant should know how to categorize your emails by priority (by importance and urgency).

Another thing a virtual assistant should know is how to schedule an appointment. Some of the emails you will receive will be requesting to schedule an appointment, and as a Virtual Assistant, you will be able to do this task with ease. Apps like Canlendly make it super easy to schedule appointments.

Final Thoughts

Finding the best virtual assistant that fits your business best can be difficult; this is the same for being qualified to be hired.

Finding a VA to work for you should be taken seriously. This is because a VA will affect your business in so many ways. Settle down, be patient, and make sure they have the qualities and skills that best fit your business.

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