A general clerk is often the unsung hero of an office. While the work may not be glamorous or require a great deal of formal education or training, a good general clerk can often be the difference between an efficient, well-run office and one that is disorganized and struggling to keep up. A general clerk is something of a jack-of-all trades; he/she will typically have a variety of administrative tasks that include, but are not limited to: answering, directing, and screening phone calls; word processing; document creation; filing, faxing, and copying; and other general office tasks.
A general clerk is required to have excellent computer skills and be proficient in typical Office suite software. They should also be able to assist office professionals in typing written reports, memos, proposals, and other documents, and they themselves may generate documents such as spreadsheets for tracking orders and inventory of office supplies.
Good organizational skills are also essential for general clerks. Most offices have document-filing needs, and the clerk must adhere to these with great accuracy. Many office professionals may generate memos and directives, and the clerk will be responsible for ensuring that these communications are delivered to the intended recipients in a timely manner. In some cases, he/she will be asked to perform general labor around the office, such as organizing and cleaning to help ensure efficiency and productivity. Often, the general clerk will have multiple responsibilities at once, so he/she must rely on organizational and multitasking skills to juggle the work effectively.
Typically, formal education requirements are not strict for general clerks. Some companies may prefer applicants with vocational training in clerk or office administration, while others may simply prefer those who demonstrate competency and have have excellent work history and/or practical experience. A general clerk typically works in an office environment during traditional weekly business hours.
General Clerk Tasks
Answer phones, direct calls and take messages.
Operate office machines; photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems and personal computers.
Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing and database systems.
Open, sort and route incoming mail, answer correspondence and prepare outgoing mail.
Complete and mail bills, contracts, policies, invoices and checks.