Here are some skills you want to look for in an assistant.
- Good Spoken English – An accent is fine, but you need to make sure you are going to have an easy time communicating. Don’t forget that there are cultural differences that can make it difficult to communicate–even if you are speaking words clearly.
- Good Written English — Since much of your work with a virtual assistant will be done over email, it is vital that you can communicate effectively in writing. Keep in mind that what is acceptable written English for communicating with you, may not be acceptable for writing to your coworkers or business partners.
- Proactive – This is the most important skill you can find in a good assistant. Someone who can extrapolate what you want them to do in the future based on what you have asked them to do in the past. An assistant who can work off a to-do list can be helpful, but one that can anticipate what you need without requiring you to even think about it is incredibly valuable.
- Quick Learner – If you need to explain how to do a new task, you don’t want to have to explain it 10 times. You need someone familiar enough with the technology or systems you use that they can quickly grasp what needs done.
- Organized – Your assistant needs to know how to take incoming information and organize it in a useful manner. This includes creating folders to organize the work you have assigned, keeping track of multiple versions of documents, and recording any important information that they may need again in the future.