A receptionist is the front line of contact with the public in an office setting. The job primarily involves greeting visitors and answering inquiries for the general public and customers. A receptionist also keeps a log of visitors and announces them to employees as necessary for appointments or other meetings. A receptionist will be able to operate a telephone switchboard in order to answer calls, screen calls, route calls, and relay messages. The job also includes administrative support tasks such as typing, proofreading, making calculations, preparing and processing outgoing mail, sorting and distributing incoming mail, and receiving deliveries at the front desk. A receptionist should be familiar with the basic use of office equipment such as computers (for email, internet orders, and word processors), fax machines, printers, scanners, copiers, and postage meters. A good candidate for this position will have a cheerful and professional demeanor, will speak English clearly in person and on the phone, and will function well in a fast-paced work environment. Previous experience as a receptionist, administrative assistant, or secretary would be ideal, but experience in customer service or retail will also be useful in preparing to become a receptionist, as those fields of work rely heavily on an ability to deal pleasantly with the public. No college degree is required, but a high school diploma or GED is typically preferred or even required. Office hours are usually Monday through Friday, from eight or nine in the morning until early evening (anywhere between four to six), and overtime is not often a factor when working as a receptionist.
- Perform administrative support tasks; proofreading, typing, operating calculators, facsimile machine and computers.
- Operate telephone switchboard to answer, screen, route calls and relays messages.
- Greet and answer inquiries for general public, customers and visitors; announce and log visitors.
- Process outgoing mail and receive deliveries.