Finding and placing quality personal assistants is one of Coby Philips staffing specialties.

A personal assistant is someone who helps an employer manage various details of his or her business or personal life. So, how does one go about becoming a standout Personal Assistant?

Here are some of the most important qualities that employers and an agency will look for in potential applicants:

Proactive approach

Employers don’t want to hold their assistant’s hand. At the end of the day, they’re busy people and that’s why they’re looking for an assistant. Of course, it goes without saying the employer is expected to show you the ropes, but a good personal assistant should be extremely proactive. Taking a proactive approach to both work and responsibilities is the first step toward success. You should be able to pre-empt what your boss needs, sometimes before they even realise they need it themselves. As a personal assistant, you should have top quality skills in decision-making, organisation and taking care of anything your employer needs.

Interpersonal relationship skills

A personal assistant will encounter a variety of people over the course of any given workday. To be a successful personal assistant, you should have brilliant communication skills to effectively communicate with all members of the business. A great personal assistant has mastered the skill of remaining polite while stressed; he or she is also able to seamlessly balance courtesy with assertiveness when the situation demands it.


A personal assistant’s job is naturally more hectic than most. Your work requires you to support your employers needs, as well as their personal needs. It’s likely you’ll be expected to make last-minute changes, juggle multiple tasks and adapt to changes. A lot of people can find these kind of demands frustrating, but a successful personal assistant will thrive off of them.

Organisational skills

A personal assistant’s obligations often include tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling the employer’s calendar, answering the phone, and taking messages, among many other responsibilities that often require precise attention. A great personal assistant has excellent time-management skills and is confident in his or her ability to organise and prioritise urgent assignments.


In the modern world that we live in, tech skills become more essential every day. You can no longer perform basic PA duties without having to immerse yourself into technology. From scheduling appointments, researching, booking flights or writing reports, you’ll be working with many different technologies and therefore it’s important you’re able to pick them up quickly.


The ultimate goal of any assistant is to become their employers ‘right arm’. Reliability is the biggest factor that determine how reliable you are to your boss. Making sure that tasks are completed on-time, you arrive for work early and stay late if necessary, all to ensure your boss has a smooth schedule. In the end, you want your boss to think of you as not just an asset, but as someone who is utterly indispensable.

Discretion and loyalty

It may seem like a lot, but what employers want most in a personal assistant is someone they can completely rely on, with no fears regarding their honesty or devotion to the tasks at hand. The best personal assistants are completely loyal and can be trusted to be discreet regarding all aspects of their employers’ lives.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career and want to apply to an agency that can help you get there, make sure to get in touch with Coby Philips today.