A receptionist/telephone operator typically works at a company's headquarters or central location, helping facilitate - and act as a gateway for - communications coming into and leaving their offices . Additionally, this person is typically one of the first “faces” that outsiders encounter. Thus, it is important for this worker to be personable and friendly and make a favorable initial impression on outside visitors.
In the receptionist role, this employee typically has one or more high-level managers or supervisors that he or she controls access to. He or she typically has an available daily schedule for each manager and helps schedule meetings and appointments. They also act as a gate for access, helping prevent distracting and unnecessary meetings and visits.
When this employee acts as a telephone operator, he or she greets guests with a standardized phone greeting. He or she then either connects calls as necessary or screens them for management. When these upper-level personnel are out of the office or in meetings, the employee takes detailed messages and ensures that the intended managers and employees get their messages as soon as possible. Typically, receptionist and operator functions are performed at a central desk in the building's lobby.
To work as a receptionist/telephone operator, a person typically needs a high school diploma or equivalent. Smaller companies typically treat this as an entry-level position, while larger companies with more traffic look for candidates with relevant experience. Receptionists typically work during regular business hours in an office environment.
Receptionist/Telephone Operator Tasks
Answer calls originating from external and internal sources.
Handle all incoming urgent matters or emergencies for staff.
Write messages using proper grammar and spelling.
Verify names and telephone numbers.
Direct caller to appropriate extension.