A receptionist takes a phone call

5 Essential Traits of a Successful Receptionist

A receptionist position, whether with a small business or a Fortune 500 company, can provide both stable employment and opportunity for advancement. However, because administrative support, like any other field, is competitive, only an exceptional receptionist will get the best positions and the compensation they bring. To get such a position, you will need these five traits of a successful receptionist.

  1. Friendliness
    Because receptionists interact with most everyone working at and coming into an office, your attitude can have far-reaching effects. An irked co-worker might make your job harder than it already is, and an irked customer might tattle to your boss. No one likes a grouch, and a grouchy receptionist will most likely not be employed too long.
  2. Neatness
    For most people entering a business, receptionists often serve as the company face. You should, therefore, maintain both your physical appearance and your surrounding workspace. Keep your dress professional, your trash in the trashcan, and your desk free of clutter. When drinking at your desk, you should keep any cups or cans out of sight.
  3. Patience
    For too many reasons to list, receptionists must often deal with disgruntled clients. If you lose your patience with one of them, your company might just lose a customer. Moreover, co-workers can get disgruntled too. In either case, demonstrating your patience will likely win you friends, allies, and maybe even a promotion.
  4. Punctuality
    Since receptionists sometimes receive all visitors and phone calls, your tardiness can throw an entire office into chaos. If you get stuck in traffic for even a few minutes, your boss might miss a meeting. And you should never expect any favors from a boss whom you have kept waiting.
  5. Flexibility
    On occasion, every business encounters some difficulty requiring a change of plans. As a crucial part of your company's operation, you must sometimes bear the burden of that change, either coming in early or staying late. However, bosses seldom forget such flexibility when salary reviews come around.

Receptionist positions can be rewarding, both personally and professionally. However, to reap all the rewards, you will need exceptional skills, character, and experience. If you encompass all of these five traits, you will impress everyone in your office. Who knows? You might just end up hiring your own replacement after you get promoted.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015