When it comes to working as a receptionist, you are essentially a gateway to the company. It is an important job helping businesses to operate efficiently and effectively. You will be the first point of contact for any visitors, and most likely will be the initial person they speak with on the phone or via e-mail.
Becoming a receptionist is a great career choice for many as it doesn’t have any formal entry requirements. Often having GCSEs graded from A* to C in English and maths can help, but a lot of the time employers value experience and personality just as much.
As you are representing the business, it is important that you are friendly, personable, and patient; that you can deal with a number of situations practically and calmly. It is also important that you possess excellent written and spoken communication skills and that you are organised and competent in using office equipment and computers. In your interview, showing examples of when you have demonstrated this in the past will stand you in good stead.
If you are struggling to find work or want to improve your knowledge further, you may also want to consider gaining a professional qualification, which will train you to be a professional receptionist. There are a number of other courses to choose from and knowing what type of reception work you’re looking to specialise in will help you pinpoint what you need to know more about.
Your day-to-day job role will likely include greeting visitors and signing them into your system as arrived, handing out security passes, and managing the flow of visitors. You will also be required to answer enquiries via e-mail, phone, and in-person.
If you work in a hotel, spa, doctors/dentist surgery, or fitness centre, for example, you will need to manage a booking system and chase up appointments with those who have missed them. You will likely have to do a small amount of paperwork and admin, filing away or copying on behalf of other staff. You may also be required to take payments for treatments and arrange follow-up appointments.
Receptionist work is paid from between £14,000 to £21,000 and offers a great entry into business administration and office work. It’s an office-based job, usually with 9 am to 5 pm work, and progression can include working as a medical or legal secretary.
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