Skills of a Receptionist

Medical team having a conversation at the reception

Receptionists require a well-rounded skill set, including communication, organisation and planning, attention to detail, customer service and teamwork strengths.

This artcile will help you write your resume if you are a receptionist or you want to be one.

If you are applying for a role as a receptionist, these are the skills you need to prove to a potential employer you have.

If your current role is receptionist, this article will help you write your resume’s career history section.  In your achievement stories, you should use specific examples of when you have done these tasks well or demonstrated these skills.

Role of a Receptionist

A receptionist is the front-line representative of an organisation, responsible for greeting visitors (clients, students, patients, or customers) and answering phone calls.  A receptionist will respond to general inquiries or take messages and direct calls to an appropriate contact.  

Additionally, receptionists often handle various general administrative tasks, including preparing meeting and training rooms, sorting and distributing mail, and making travel plans. You can perform the role of receptionist in diverse settings, for example, hospitals, schools, corporate offices, health services, and real estate agencies.

Receptionist Job Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a receptionist will vary based on the industry and organisation; however, here is a list of the typical accountabilities of a receptionist.

If you are a receptionist, this list will help you convey the scope of your role in your resume. In other words, it will help you to write about what you do each day in your role.

If you are applying for a job as a receptionist, try to include examples in your resume of when you have performed similar tasks well. You can use examples from your past jobs, volunteer work or education.

  • Attend to enquiries from clients (or staff, students, customers, parents)
  • Assist in the planning and execution of events, functions and meetings
  • Manage and maintain the reception area in a clean and tidy state
  • Welcome and sign in visitors, including issuing visitor passes
  • Monitor and action emails directed to the reception desk
  • Provide administrative support to other departments
  • Typing letters, emails and other communications
  • Develop advertising and promotional material
  • Maintain the telephone and voicemail system
  • Process cash and other financial transactions
  • Coordinate bookings for meeting rooms
  • Open, sort and distribute incoming mail
  • General filing and records management
  • Maintain office supplies and stationery
  • Set up catering for meetings
  • Process all outgoing mail
  • Make appointments
  • Data entry

Skills of a Receptionist

To perform these duties and responsibilities well, you will need these key skills:


Communication skills cover both written and verbal communication competencies. As a receptionist, you will apply your written communication skills to respond to clients in writing and prepare formal correspondence and reports.  Good quality written communication uses the correct tone, is easy to follow, and is free from grammar and spelling mistakes.

As noted, a receptionist has a crucial role in attending to enquiries, either via phone or in person, from clients (or staff, students, customers, parents). Therefore, strong verbal communication skills are essential.  A skilled communicator will appropriately adjust their communication style to suit the audience. Also, they will convey messages clearly and succinctly and speak at an appropriate volume and pace. Additionally, good communication required good listening. Good listening skills are particularly important for a receptionist. Active listening will ensure you understand what the other person is communicating and allow you to respond appropriately.

Receptionist at desk

Organisation & Planning

Having strong organising and planning skills means you can deliver the required outputs to deadline and quality expectations. In other words, time management skills. As a receptionist, you will be frequently interrupted and potentially have several demands on your time and attention. Therefore, being able to reschedule and reorganise your work to reflect changes in priority will be critical. As will your ability to remain calm and composed when under pressure.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail refers to your ability to identify errors or verify the correctness of your work. As a receptionist, there are many tasks you perform that will benefit from your detail orientation and accuracy. For instance, accurately recording client information, processing payments, or completing invoicing. Someone with good attention to detail, performs tasks with care, identifies when information is missing and makes few if any errors.

Technical Literacy

Technical Literacy is the ability to manage, understand and use technology. As a receptionist, you will be required to use vast technology, including diverse office equipment, phone systems, various computer software and databases. Someone with good technical literacy is able to learn new systems quickly. Also, they will be able to share their knowledge with others and confidently explain to a colleague how to navigate IT systems.  In addition, they will be able to adapt to changing technology. Importantly, they will be able to identify opportunities to use technology to improve ways of working.

Customer Service

Guests checking in to a hotel

Again, having an important and prominent role as the face of the organisation makes exceptional customer service and strong interpersonal skills essential. Good customer service generally means you deliver to customers timely, appropriate, and helpful service that meets their needs. As a receptionist, there may also be times when you need to deal with difficult people or circumstances, and you will need to be able to maintain your composure and focus. It is helpful to be a people person. That is someone who is friendly, relates well to others, and enjoys meeting and interacting with people.

Team Work

As a receptionist, you have a key support role. It is your job to help your colleagues. In other words, a good receptionist puts put team success first. Working as part of a team, you will share your knowledge, skill and expertise with your colleagues and keep everyone informed of any issues.  

Related: What is a Team Player & How to Prove You’re One

Receptionist Resume Tips

How to Include your Receptionist Role in Your Resume

Here are some small excerpts from receptionist resumes.

These examples will help you present your experience as a receptionist on your resume.  

A Note on Resume Writing Conventions: The examples provided show different approaches to writing your resume. That is, varying degrees of ‘resume writing speak’ (or resume writing conventions). For example, writing in first-person implied (leaving out pronouns), eliminating articles (a, an, the), or using short sentences. Your resume should have an authentic voice. Therefore, the best approach is the one that feels genuine for you. For more information, see Resume Writing Conventions.

Receptionist Resume Example

Receptionist Resume Examples (Text Version)

Example One

Medical Centre

As Receptionist, I was responsible for frontline communication and service delivery, alongside broad administrative responsibilities to provide business and operational support.


  • Awarded the practice ‘Star of the Week’, nominated by a customer for providing helpful and friendly customer service
  • Referred a patient to the emergency department, applying sound judgement and safeguarding the patient’s wellbeing by ensuring they accessed required emergency health care
  • Achieved record of 100% accuracy in appointment bookings through clear communication and active listening, confirming patient understanding and providing written confirmation
  • Assisted in the recruitment and training of new receptionists to secure smooth handover of duties and minimal disruption

Example Two

ABC Realestate

As the first point of contact for ABC Realestate clients, I leveraged my customer service strengths to deliver a positive first impression and build rapport with clients. In this role, I also delivered general office administration and marketing support.


  • Meet the challenges of a busy office environment. Delivered administration support to a team of eight agents while also meeting the demands of a high flow reception area
  • Overhauled all real-estate agent profiles, updating all collateral and images.  Achieved a 10% increase in enquires via ‘contact this agent’ links

Example Three

XYZ Bank

For XYZ Bank, I greeted and directed visitors, answered telephones, and performed general administration in support of an office of 400 staff. My accountabilities included organising couriers, maintaining office equipment and supplies, arranging travel and accommodation, and organising catering. Additionally, I regularly performed additional responsibilities as a Personal Assistant to the Office Manager.

Selected Achievements

  • Supported new business bidding by taking on additional responsibilities, including coordinating the greeting process for over 60 delegates
  • Coordinated a large and complex group travel booking for 15 staff, demonstrating high attention to detail in tracking specific requirements for each individual and intricate financial arrangements

Key Contributions

  • Proactively assisted mailroom in the delivery of their work, demonstrating a team focus and willingness to help out, especially during the busy or difficult periods
  • Maintained security records for compliance; ensured visitors signed in and managed the issuing of temporary access cards

How To Write a Resume for a Receptionist Position

To prove you have what it takes to be a great receptionist you need to convince your potential employer you have the skills listed above. To do so, you need to provide examples in your resume of when you have demonstrated each of these skills in the past.

All of these skills you have applied in your previous employment, education or volunteer roles.  Where you can, you should also provide examples of when you have performed each of the tasks or job requirements to a high standard.

For additional help writing your resume, see this step by step guide:

  1. The Fundamentals of a Good Resume & the Basic Structure 
  2. Setting out the Scope of Your Past Experience
  3. Achievement Stories
  4. The First Page
  5. Editing & Proofreading 
  6. Targeting & Keyword Optimisation

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