Key Difference – Secretary vs Receptionist
Secretary and Receptionist are two important posts in any organization between which some differences can be emphasized. These two posts have different roles, functions and duties to perform contrary to the popular misconception that these are one and the same jobs. Whereas a secretary is more of a personal assistant or administrative assistant, a receptionist is the first person one encounters when he enters an organization. Let us see the difference between the functions of a secretary and a receptionist.
Who is a Secretary?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Secretary is an administrative official in an organization who is employed to type letters, keep records, etc. The functions of a secretary vary depending upon the size of an organization. Whereas in a small company, she may have to perform the dual duties of a receptionist as well as a secretary, in large organizations, she is the person who organizes the schedule of her boss, receives and replies to all the mails, order supplies, schedules appointments with her boss, types important letters and so on.
A secretary must have a high school or equivalent diploma and must have fast typing skills. Many companies prefer to hire persons having an additional certificate of secretary level skills. Now let us move on to an understanding of the roles of a receptionist to get a clear idea of the difference between the two.
Who is a Receptionist?
A receptionist is normally required to greet people at the front desk and direct them to different departments depending upon their requirements. She is also the person who has to attend to the incoming calls and answer to the queries and also to listen to complaints. People desirous of meeting an important person in the organization have to meet this person to get the date and time of the meeting.
When you make a call to any company, the voice you normally hear is that of the receptionist. A receptionist has to attend to all visitors and must have a pleasing personality, a helping attitude and a sweet voice to impress them. She must have telephone etiquette so that she attends all business queries with utmost efficiency and turns casual queries into real customers.
It is clear then that there are major differences in the roles, responsibilities and functions of a secretary and a receptionist.
What is the Difference Between Secretary and Receptionist?
Definitions of Secretary and Receptionist:
Secretary: An administrative official in an organization who is employed to type letters, keep records, etc.
Receptionist: A person who greets and deals with visitors to an office.
Characteristics of Secretary and Receptionist:
Secretary: A secretary organizes the schedule of her boss, receives and replies to all the mails, order supplies, schedules appointments with her boss, types important letters, etc.
Receptionist: A receptionist greets people at the front desk and directs them to different departments depending upon their requirements. She also has to attend to the incoming calls and answer to the queries and also to listen to complaints.
Secretary: A certificate of secretarial skills is necessary.
Receptionist: A specific skill is not required; however the individual must have a pleasing personality, a helping attitude and a sweet voice. She should also be efficient in her work.
1. 32B Secretary Treasurer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Receptionists” by Evan Bench from paris, france – Reception. [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Being a Receptionist / Secretary does not make you a women, One might consider rewriting this article a touch less sexist.
Thank you! I’m a male and receptionist and I was reading that just going “what happened to using gender neutral wording!”