Job Description & Responsibilities
A receptionist performs an important function as the face of the company. They should be poised and professional. They are the first person visitors interact with and the first voice callers hear. A receptionist is responsible for answering multiple phone lines, directing calls, greeting clients and visitors and sorting and distributing mail. They are usually responsible for the administrative tasks of filing, faxing and making copies, and often provide clerical support to sales staff, manage employee calendars and help with overflow work or fill in for absent administrative staff.
Depending on the industry, additional responsibilities fall on the receptionist. In a law office, a receptionist may be responsible for scheduling mediations, preparing legal documents and contacting litigants. In medical and dental offices, receptionists access patient records, verify insurance and direct patients to the correct examination room. In a salon, a receptionist books appointments and promotes retail sales at checkout. At a car dealership, a receptionist works closely with the sales and service departments as they assist customers with a purchase or needed repairs.
Education & Training
While a high school diploma is enough for many receptionist positions, larger companies often prefer candidates with at least some course work in business and experience as a receptionist in a similar industry. Some companies require a bachelor’s degree, but often, organizational skills, internet competency, and familiarity with database/spreadsheet software are more important than a degree.
The salary range for receptionists is $17,000 to $40,000 nationally, with a median salary of $29,000. Salary is very much determined by the industry, the size of the organization and the identified job requirements. As you prepare your cover letter, it’s important to let the hiring manager know that you’ve done you research on their company. You want to highlight your experience dealing with the public that’s on your resume and show the clear communication skills you possess. The sample cover letter below can get you started as you picture yourself behind the receptionist desk.
When you get the interview because of a well written cover letter and a finely crafted resume, keep in mind that this entry level position could lead to promotions down the line, so be sure to present yourself with polished and professional behavior. You enjoy meeting and helping people, you’re pleasant on the phone, and you know your way around a computer. Why not get paid for being a people person?