Top skills to look for in a virtual assistant

Top Skills to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

Top skills to look for in a virtual assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can transform how your business operates. To ensure you find the right fit, looking for a combination of soft skills and technical abilities is crucial. Here’s a detailed guide on the top skills that make a virtual assistant stand out.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful working relationship. A great VA should excel in both written and verbal communication.

Imagine working with a VA who can clearly and promptly respond to your emails, understand complex instructions, and convey information effectively during meetings. This level of communication ensures smooth operations and reduces misunderstandings.

Key Skills:

  • Clear and concise writing
  • Active listening
  • Professional email etiquette
  • Articulate verbal communication

Time Management

A top-notch VA must manage their time and prioritize tasks efficiently. This skill ensures that deadlines are met and projects stay on track.

Consider a VA using tools like Trello or Asana to organize tasks and set deadlines. They can juggle multiple assignments without dropping the ball, ensuring everything gets done on time.

Statistics: According to a study by Deloitte, organizations with effective time management practices are 33% more productive.

Key Skills:

  • Prioritizing tasks
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Multitasking
  • Using time management tools


In today’s digital world, a VA must be comfortable with various tools and software. Tech-savviness enables them to adapt quickly and use the best tools for the job.

A VA familiar with platforms like Slack for communication, Google Workspace for collaboration, and QuickBooks for managing invoices can seamlessly integrate into your existing systems and start contributing immediately.

Statistics: A report by McKinsey found that digitally advanced businesses are 23% more profitable.

Key Skills:

  • Proficiency in office software (e.g., Microsoft Office, Google Workspace)
  • Familiarity with project management tools (e.g., Trello, Asana)
  • Basic knowledge of bookkeeping software (e.g., QuickBooks)
  • Experience with communication tools (e.g., Slack, Zoom)

Problem-Solving Abilities

A VA who can think on their feet and resolve issues independently is invaluable. They should be able to handle unexpected challenges and find effective solutions.

If a deadline is looming and a key document is missing, a skilled VA will know how to track down the information or find a workaround, ensuring the project stays on course.

Statistics: Research from Harvard Business Review shows that effective problem solvers increase team performance by 21%.

Key Skills:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Resourcefulness
  • Decision-making
  • Creativity in finding solutions


The business world is ever-changing, and a great VA must be able to adapt to new situations and challenges. Flexibility is key to handling varying workloads and evolving job requirements.

When a new project management tool is introduced, an adaptable VA will quickly learn the new system and incorporate it into their workflow without missing a beat.

Key Skills:

  • Learning new tools quickly
  • Flexibility in handling different tasks
  • Adjusting to new work environments
  • Embracing change

Attention to Detail

A keen eye for detail ensures that tasks are completed accurately and that nothing slips through the cracks. This skill is crucial for maintaining high-quality work and avoiding costly mistakes.

When managing a busy executive’s calendar, a detail-oriented VA will ensure that all appointments are correctly scheduled, preventing any conflicts or missed meetings.

Statistics: According to Gallup, detail-oriented employees reduce error rates by 50%.

Key Skills:

  • Thoroughness
  • Accuracy
  • Proofreading
  • Organisational skills

Interpersonal Skills

Strong interpersonal skills enable a VA to build positive relationships with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. This fosters a collaborative and productive working environment.

A VA who can effectively manage relationships, handle customer inquiries with tact, and work well within a team will contribute significantly to a positive workplace culture.

Statistics: A study by LinkedIn found that interpersonal skills are the most in-demand soft skills, with 92% of talent professionals rating them as crucial.

Key Skills:

  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Conflict resolution
  • Teamwork


Finding a virtual assistant with the right mix of soft skills and technical abilities is essential for maximizing productivity and ensuring a seamless working relationship. Look for communication skills, time management, tech-savviness, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, attention to detail, and interpersonal skills. With these skills, a VA can become an invaluable asset to your team, helping you achieve your business goals.

By focusing on these top skills, you can hire a virtual assistant who meets your needs and exceeds your expectations, driving your business toward greater success.

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