Receptionists are the first faces you see at nearly every business. They embody a business's personality and set the tone for a guest's visit. Beyond the smiling face and charming voice, however, receptionist jobs require someone who is a multitasker, who can handle office security, office supply inventory and ordering, and assisting with various administrative projects. As a receptionist, you'll also greet and direct visitors, monitor a logbook, issue visitor badges, and operate a multi-line telephone system.
Receptionist jobs are great entry-level positions that allow you to get a first-hand look (and perhaps some experience) at other jobs you might want to try. It can also be a stable long-term career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a steady demand for receptionists, especially in physician and dentist offices. The need for bilingual receptionists is growing, so knowing a second language can increase your job opportunities and salary.
Receptionist positions are just one of the many administrative jobs you can consider in your search. Others include:
While a college degree is an asset, employers may hire you as a receptionist right out of high school. You’ll receive on-the-job training particular to that workplace. Any past job experience where you interfaced with the public, such as working in retail or as a restaurant server, will give you some background you can use in a receptionist position. Experience with Microsoft Office software and multi-line telephone systems also gives you an edge.
Receptionist jobs are ideal for anyone who is organized, has good communication skills, and can handle pressure with grace and professionalism. Take a look at this typical receptionist job description to see what other skills employers are looking for.
Show off your written communication and organizational skills with a polished and professional resume. If you need to put together your first resume or update what you have, take a look at our receptionist resume sample. And don’t forget a cover letter to send along with that resume—we’ve put together some writing tips and a collection of cover letter templates to help you get started.
Whether you interview with a company in person, by telephone, or on video, you’ll find that there are several questions that always come up. Be ready by practicing responses before the big day. Here are some of the interview questions you may encounter as a candidate for receptionist jobs, including:
Get ready for a prospective employer to ask for your salary requirements. Employers may do this before they reveal their budget for a position, so it's helpful to know what you’re worth before you apply. The median pay for a receptionist in the U.S. is $13.68 per hour. Salaries can vary depending on where in the country you're working, so look up salaries for your location with Monster's Salary Tool. You'll also see what skills may increase your value to an employer and some ideas for the next steps in your career.
Go into your interview knowing something about the company by checking out the company profile. This information can also help you decide if the workplace is a good fit for you. You can learn things like:
Ready to start your job search? Don't worry—we've got your back. Click on the jobs on this page to see who's hiring receptionists in your area now. Then, increase your chances of an employer or recruiter finding you first by posting your profile on Monster.