What Skills Do You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant?

5 minute read

written by Cápita Works

Sep 19, 2022

Virtual assistants are responsible for handling non-client-facing tasks for clients, such as administrative work and other essential responsibilities. There are many job opportunities for virtual assistants, and the field will grow by 25% over the next decade. 

The role of a virtual assistant is increasing rapidly, especially as people are more connected than ever through the internet and digital devices. If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant, you’ll need to learn soft and hard skills to succeed in this field.

Here are some essential skills to become a virtual assistant:  

A brief introduction to soft skills

Soft skills are the personal traits necessary for success in any profession. They used to overlook them in the hiring process, but they can make the difference between a great and a poor employee. 

Virtual assistants are no exception, and employers increasingly recognize the importance of soft skills. Giving greater priority to soft skills is especially true as remote work becomes more popular, and employers rely more heavily on the abilities of their VAs. Some of the most critical soft skills for VAs are communication, attention to detail, computer and typing skills, expertise in a specific area, and organizational skills. 

 Attention to detail is crucial for people in every profession. Still, it’s significant for a virtual assistant, and organizational skills are essential for keeping projects on track and delivering results on time.

Communication skills

Communication is the foundation of every successful business relationship, and the ability to communicate effectively is a must for every VA, which is especially true with remote teams.  

Good communication between you and your clients is essential for every VA. You can demonstrate your communication skills by using positive language and listening actively. That includes showing empathy when necessary, using plain and concise language, and keeping an open and honest dialogue with clients and coworkers. 

Computer and typing skills

Computer and typing skills are essential for VAs who do a lot of word processing, spreadsheet work, and other tasks that require keyboard use. If you spend a lot of time working on word processing, spreadsheet work, or other functions that require keyboard use, you’ll want to ensure you have the computer and typing skills to get the job done correctly.  

Basic computer skills include proficiency in operating systems and essential software. Beyond that, you’ll want to ensure you have the typing speed and accuracy needed for your profession. 

Expertise in a specific area

Specialized expertise can give you a leg up in the job market. Expertise in a specific area can give you an edge in hiring and help you stand out from the competition.  

If you have experience in a niche field, mention it in your resume and cover letter. Not only will it make you a stronger applicant, but it will also help broaden your career opportunities.

If you want to get hired by high-profile clients, it helps to have expertise in a niche field. While a general knowledge of many different areas is excellent, it doesn’t always impress hiring managers. Having expertise in a niche field shows employers that you’re focused on honing your skills and truly understanding the industry you’re working in.

Soft skills for success

To be truly successful in your VA career, you must develop your soft skills. To succeed as a virtual assistant, you’ll need strong communication skills, good computer and typing skills, practical organization skills, and a solid ability to handle stress.   

Communication is the foundation of every successful business relationship, and the ability to communicate effectively is a must for every VA. You’ll need to communicate well with clients, coworkers, and your manager. You’ll also need to be able to listen actively and construct effective communication in return.  

Practical organization skills are essential; not only do VAs have to manage their time efficiently, but they also have to be able to stay organized. The organization includes: 

  • Having a system for managing projects.
  • Keeping track of due dates.
  • Using the right tools to minimize time spent on administrative tasks.

Handling stress well is a must for VAs who work remotely. Since you’re not in an office environment, you don’t have the luxury of seeing coworkers daily to break up the monotony. Managing stress means having practical time management skills and a positive attitude toward your work. 

Hard skills that matter most for VAs

The hard skills that matter most for virtual assistants are the ones that can make or break your career. While soft skills are essential, some of the most challenging skills to master are typing speed and accuracy, computer skills, and attention to detail.  

Measuring these skills during the hiring process can be difficult, but they are important indicators of success.

  • Typing speed and accuracy are essential because you’ll be doing a lot of typing. If you’re a slow typist, it could take longer to complete projects, creating a messy workflow.  

 If you’re a fast and accurate typist, you might be able to complete projects faster, which can help you get ahead in the workplace.

  • Computer skills are vital because you’ll use computer programs to complete projects. It could hold you back if you don’t know how to correctly use the computer programs relevant to your work. It’s also important to know how to use small computer programs.

  •  Attention to detail is a must for every VA because every project has so many small pieces. 

 If you’re not careful, you could make mistakes that could cost you clients or a reputation for excellence. Even if you overlook the errors, your clients probably will.

Summing Up

Virtual assistants are the ultimate multipurpose support professionals. VAs can succeed in any profession but must possess specific soft and hard skills. Communication skills, computer and typing skills, expertise in a particular area, and organizational skills are some of the most critical soft skills. Hard skills that matter most for VAs include typing speed and accuracy, computer skills, and attention to detail.

If you’re looking for a remote job as a virtual assistant, you should check out our job openings at capitaworks.com/jobs and send your CV to jobs@capitaworks.com. At Cápita Works, we provide virtual assistants with private health and life insurance, life and on-demand training, social events, and wellness programs, among other perks.   


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