What is a receptionist?

Receptionist or sometimes referred to as an administrative assistant is an employee who receives and greets visitors, patients, or clients and answers telephone calls. 

Receptionists need to have an ear to the ground and be aware of everything that’s going in an organisation, from knowing which important meetings will be taking place to coordinating deliveries and organising travel arrangements for staff.

How to become a Receptionist?

You may not need any formal qualifications to apply directly for work as a receptionist. Although some employers will prefer you to have a good general education, with GCSEs and IT skills.

Getting a college qualification may be helpful. Courses are widely available and include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Business and Administration (office administration)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Front of House Reception (hospitality and catering)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Reception Operation and Services (hospitality and catering)

Receptionist Duties:

There are many roles and responsibilities of a receptionist, including:

  • Receiving visitors at the front desk by greeting, welcoming, directing and announcing them appropriately
  • Receiving and sorting daily mail
  • Notifies company personnel of visitor arrival
  • Informs visitors by answering or referring inquiries
  • Maintains security by following procedures, monitoring logbook, and issuing visitor badges
  • Supports continuity among work teams by documenting and communicating actions, irregularities, and continuing needs
  • Update calendars and schedule meetings

Receptionist Skills:

To be an effective receptionist, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Professionalism
  • Telephone Skills
  • Supply Management
  • Can work under pressure
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Technology Skills
  • Organized

How to find a Receptionist job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the receptionist jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for receptionist jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Receptionist Job Titles

When you search for receptionist jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for receptionist jobs include;

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Front Desk Officer
  • Front Desk Executive
  • Front Desk Attendant
  • Information Clerk
  • Office Assistant
  • Secretary

What does a Receptionist do?

The day-to-day tasks of a receptionist include;

  • Meeting and greeting clients
  • Booking meetings
  • Keeping the reception area tidy
  • Answering and forwarding phone calls
  • Screening phone calls