How To Become A Virtual Assistant

how to become a virtual assistant

The virtual assistant market is competitive due to the increasing popularity of virtual services. Small and medium-sized companies around the globe use virtual services to provide superior customer service, manage their online presence, and expand their business’s reach.

In turn, virtual assistants provide invaluable support to a varied clientele, all via a flexible schedule. While some of our virtual assistants work full-time for years on end, others work for shorter spans of time, or they work seasonally to enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. The possibilities are endless.

Steps To Land A Virtual Assistant Position

As a virtual assistant, you’ll become the right-hand support person for the client. Because you work virtually, there’s rarely an opportunity for the boss’s coffee runs or dry cleaning pickups. Instead, your work is 100% dedicated to streamlining our business owner, and executive clients' work lives while also serving as an ambassador for their company’s brand.

Here are some important steps toward landing a virtual assistant position.

Cultivate your skillset

Personal assistants require a specific skill set. The more skills you have, the more attractive you are to potential clients. Remember, the bulk of our clientele use virtual assistants because they are small to medium-sized business owners who aren’t ready (or don’t need) a full-time, in-person assistant. Their needs may be multifaceted so the more experience, knowledge, and skills you bring to the table, the better.

The most in-demand skills desired by our clients include:

  • The ability to work autonomously and with very little supervision
  • The ability to take ownership of tasks and initiative
  • Reliability
  • Fluency and written language skills
  • Bilingual skills are a major plus
  • Fast typing speed
  • Exceptional organization
  • Strong multitasking skills
  • Digital expertise across multiple platforms
  • The ability to keep calendars updated and synced
  • Attention to detail
  • Experience booking and managing travel arrangements
  • Social media management finesse
  • Experience with website/blog content creation
  • Bookkeeping skills
  • Creativity
  • The ability to remain calm and clear under pressure

Our experience has also taught us that the best virtual employees have empathetic and intuitive skills. Without all of the body language input available in traditional brick-and-mortar settings, you must rely on clients’ wording, vocal tone, and other subtleties to really sense how they’re feeling and what they need.

The ability to be a chameleon of sorts, adapting to the client and customers’ needs without instruction or explanation, makes all the difference.

Invest in high-quality technical equipment and software

First and foremost, you need to have a dedicated home office space - the more soundproof, the better. This is not a job that should be performed in a local library or public internet cafe. Your professional office setting supports the reliability and consistency expected from you. While your location can be flexible, this isn’t the type of job you take on while traveling in parts of the world where internet services (or power) can be spotty.

Virtual assistants must invest in top-quality technology and high-speed internet service. While technical glitches are bound to happen very occasionally, they should not be the norm. You should have:

  • A computer or laptop that is less than three years old
  • Full rights to all of the major professional software used by most offices (Microsoft Office, Adobe, Zoom, Trello, Google Workspace, etc.)
  • Earphones and microphone for clear, static-free communication
  • Reliable, high-speed internet service
  • Cell phone
  • Dedicated landline (optional)
  • Willingness to download other software or tools related to your client's needs

Without these items, you won’t be able to meet your client's needs consistently and timely.

Create a compelling resume

Your resume is one of the first things virtual services agencies and their clients will see. It’s your first “handshake,” so to speak, so you want it to be compelling.

We recommend reading How to Create a Compelling Resume. These days, resumes are frequently vetted by computer scanners (AI) programmed to pick up on keywords or phrases. The more tailored your resume is to what these scanners are filtering for, the more likely yours is to reach the right hands.

Build your referral portfolio

Building a portfolio with real testimonials from previous clients willing to vouch for you goes a long way. Many of the business owners using your services have been “doing it all” for a long time. It requires a big leap of faith for them to hand over the reins to someone they’ve never met in person. 

Reading real testimonials and having the ability for them to connect with your prior clients and learn more about you and the work you provided goes a long way toward putting their minds at ease with the new transition.

Market yourself wisely

Create a professional online presence and market yourself wisely. You can do this with a simple but high-quality website and social media channels. The website is a great place to cultivate that referral portfolio mentioned above and show off your writing, communication, and social media skills.

Connect with virtual services agencies

As we mentioned at the beginning, the market for competent virtual assistants is booming right now. Competition is fierce, so it’s not easy to strike out alone. We recommend connecting with reputable agencies that provide virtual services when you’re first getting started. 

They are always on the lookout for fresh, skilled virtual assistants and receptionists. These agencies serve as a hub for virtual assistants and prospective clients alike. The simple act of aligning yourself with a virtual services agency means never having to go alone when finding clients.

Contact Zen Resources To Learn About Virtual Assistant Career Opportunities

Zen Resources provides virtual assistant services to exceptional clients around the world. Contact us to learn more about what we look for in our virtual assistants. We’d love to learn more about you and your work experience. If it feels like a good match, we’ll welcome you to the Zen Resources team.

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