What Does A Virtual Assistant Really Do And How You Can Become One?

There are many job opportunities that have arisen because of the development of technology. One of which is to become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants have become one of the most common and decent-paying jobs in the world. And in this article, we would like to help you explore all about what it takes to become a virtual assistant and tell you what the virtual assistant job entails.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is an assistant that handles all their responsibilities virtually. Virtual assistants are professionals who are not limited to just one particular industry. They have a wide range of skills, ranging from handling schedules to bookkeeping to human resources work. Communication skills and the knowledge of using technology are basically the foundation of a virtual assistant job. More or less, some tasks you would have to do would be taught to you beforehand or you would be given specific instructions to follow. It also is a good job for many because it does not require them to go to the main office of their employer/s. Virtual assistants can do all their tasks in the comforts of their own homes. The salary would depend on the company or professional that you would assist, but it is almost always a guarantee that it will be a just price. Therefore, many have been interested in becoming a virtual assistant.

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant, here are some tasks that you have to do.

∙ Schedule and Calendar Management

Scheduling meetings and appointments are primary jobs for virtual assistants. You would usually be the one in charge of making sure that the schedule of your employer does not clash with other meetings. You are also responsible for updating the calendar and scheduling whenever the need arises. This means setting, rescheduling, and coordinating them with other clients or colleagues. A virtual assistant has to keep track of everything on the schedule because it is also your job to remind your employers of each scheduled appointment or meeting.

∙ Handle Phone Tasks

A virtual assistant would also be the one that usually answers the phone for their employer. But this isn’t a 24/7 job for all virtual assistants since some employers only have important calls forwarded to them when they are too busy to answer. In addition, transcribing voicemails and taking messages are usually part of your virtual assistant job.

∙ Take Care of Email and Other Formal Communication

Usually, as a virtual assistant, you would be tasked to handle the email messages of your employer. This means that you would have to screen them and bring the important ones to your employer’s attention. It also can mean replying to other emails, depending on the authority and discretion granted to you. You could also be tasked to update the information on their email lists. You can also be given the responsibility to be the bridge between your employer and other clients or organizations.

∙ Set Up Travel Plans

A common task that you would be asked to do as a virtual assistant is to set up travel plans for your employers. This means that you would handle getting them tickets for their flight and scheduling meetings or appointments around the time of their flight. You usually would also be tasked with finding the accommodations and transportation once their plane lands. When you become a virtual assistant, you would discover that these travel plans are not always connected to work or office.

∙ Managing Official Records and Documents

Another task you might have as a virtual assistant is to take care of important records and documents. You would usually be sent copies of documents that you would have to organize and keep track of for your employer. You would be responsible for knowing what documents should be kept, what needs to be sent out (and to send them out), and what needs to be received. Sometimes, you may be asked to make those documents, records, or presentations yourself.

∙ Accounting and Operations

While this is usually for a more advanced and higher virtual assistant job, there would be times where you have to do some accounting and bookkeeping tasks for your employers. This means handling their books and their accounts. This could mean handling payments and paying certain clients, partners, etc. You could also be asked to do research and set up certain parts of different business projects. As a virtual assistant, your job extends to making sure that everything runs smoothly.

∙ Potential Client/Employee Vetting

As a virtual assistant, you are a direct subordinate to your employers. This means that you are expected to know the people that they like working with or the employees or partners that they prefer as part of the company. Thus, you could be given the task to interview clients or employees initially before you send them to their office.

∙ Personal Errands

This kind of task depends on the type of employer. Some prefer to completely separate their personal life from their professional life. Nevertheless, do not be surprised that they would ask you to get gifts for family members or friends. You may be asked to make reservations on places for personal events, pay personal bills, get information about certain stores or products they need at home, make travel plans for them, and even plan a full event for them.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant?

1. Identify What You Have to Offer

Becoming a virtual assistant means being able to act as an extension of someone else’s job. Therefore, what you first need to identify is what skills you offer. While you can enter the industry with just the most basic skills, you have to learn what you can highlight that can attract clients to hire you.

2. Be Familiar with the Industry and Business Structure

If you want to be a virtual assistant, equip yourself with at least a background knowledge of the industry you want to work in. You'd want to also know what the business structure of the companies in that industry is. This would help you in tailoring your application to what would best work for them. It would also help you in talking to the right people about getting a virtual assistant job.

3. Create Your Own Website

Since a virtual assistant literally thrives with the advancement of technology and the internet, employers usually expect to find you online. Your own website can really make a difference for you to get the job. You can use it to showcase your skills and talents. You can also put in your contact information there so that they can easily contact you and eventually hire you.

Gary Sheng Strikingly Website

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

4. Build Connections and Social Media Presence

There are platforms you can join in so that you can form connections with the right people. Growing your network is a vital part of a virtual assistant job because by doing so, you would have more chances of landing a job and/or maybe even more opportunities for the future. A social media presence is also important because social media plays a big role in the business. Therefore, as a virtual assistant, you are also expected to have a social media presence, or at the very least, a social media presence.

5. Send Out Your Applications

By making connections and growing your network, you can use sites like LinkedIn to find employers that would hire you. Do not be proactive in finding a job. Employers appreciate and value initiative and confidence. It is helpful to have a website and social media presence that you can leave your contact information in but you can also send out applications proactively.

Get a Virtual Assistant Job With a Website or Online Portfolio

1. Decide on Your Theme and Concept.

This helps send to your employers the kind of attitude you have. It could also reflect how organized you are as a person and as a potential virtual assistant.

2. Sign up or Log in to Strikingly.

Strikingly is a good website builder that can help you build your own even if you have no experience or knowledge in creating a website.

Strikingly Home Page

Image taken from Strikingly Product

3. Choose Your Template.

From the hundreds of templates they have, you will probably find one that will best suit your needs and wants. You can also still add other elements that you think might help you become a virtual assistant.

Strikingly Templates Page

Image taken from Strikingly Product

4. Tell Your Story.

It is important that you frame your story. Meaning you have to showcase your skills, your talents, your motivation, your hobbies, and your philosophy in life. Any information that tells your employers anything about you can help you in becoming a virtual assistant.

Amy Chambers Strikingly Website

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

5. Gather Up Testimonials from Clients and Colleagues.

Even if you have no experience in being a virtual assistant, you could get feedback from past employers and colleagues and display them on your site. These testimonials would help your potential employers get to know you more. It would attract more employers to contact and hire you.

John Fang Strikingly Website Testimonials

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

6. Put in Your Contact Details and Information.

Finally, do not forget to put in your contact details and information on your website. You can also put in icons that will allow them to directly email you or visit your social media account. You can also add contact forms that would allow them to leave their contact details to you.

Samir Goel Strikingly Website Socials

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

A virtual assistant job is a job that usually pays well and it is one that wouldn’t require you to face the daily commute problem of going to the office. Like all jobs, it just involves the patience to continuously learn, a determination and hardworking nature, and a positive attitude. Make clients line up for you to take their offer by giving them the best first impression. With a good professional website and online portfolio, you can do just that and get the pick of the litter. Sign up with Strikingly now and get started on making a mark for yourself!