Consider Applying for a Job as a Receptionist

Professional receptionist jobs are open for people with & without experience. Read to learn if you should consider applying for a job as a receptionist.

Looking for work in 2021 is an experience similar to the California Gold Rush for some U.S. residents after losing longtime job positions to COVID-19 related shutdowns and layoffs in 2020. The gold today is new employment, however. Qualified workers are rushing to search online job board websites and classified ads on local websites to find new jobs. If you are one of the many Americans searching for new work in 2021 you might consider applying for a job as a receptionist.

Professional receptionist positions are available for applicants with prior experience today. Some employers also provide on-the-job training, which is beneficial for people making career changes in modern times. What are some typical job requirements for professional receptionists? What are expected qualifications and what types of industries commonly require full-time receptionists? Read ahead for important information to consider when applying for a job as a receptionist in 2021.

Professional Receptionist – Typical Job Requirements

Some requirements necessary to get hired as a professional receptionist tend to vary between positions, companies and industry types. For example, some small or family businesses might be willing to provide complete on-the-job training to a candidate whose personality is compatible with the company atmosphere and other employees. Other positions, especially those offered by larger, fast-paced corporations require a new receptionist to have enough experience to step in fast with minimal training.

All professional receptionist jobs require candidates to have a high school diploma or equivalency degree as a condition of hiring. An associate or bachelor’s degree in a related job field might be required for more intensive positions. Required or not, a college degree in a related field increases your hiring potential. Many receptionist jobs require candidates to have some level of previous experience as both a receptionist and with clerical/administrative processes & tasks. Additional typical job requirements for professional receptionist jobs include:

  • Cover letter & resume suitable for the position type.
  • Experience operating various office-based phone systems.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office and/or other office-based software.
  • Applicable personal & professional references.
  • Strong verbal & written communication skills.
  • Positive, confident & adaptable personality.                


Job qualifications are separated into hard and soft skills. Hard skills pertain to specific skill sets and experience you have related to your job. Soft skills are related to your personality and personal attributes/qualities and how they enhance the company profile.

Personal qualifications/soft skills often play an equal role to hard skills in the hiring of a receptionist. This is because a receptionist is the face and voice of an organization and commonly the first person customers see or speak to when contacting a business. A professional receptionist must maintain a high-quality professional style of dress. Speaking to customers with a smile, whether on the phone or in person, is also crucial. Therefore, professional receptionists must have affable, strong, positive & adaptative personalities capable of dealing with all manners of customer interactions (regardless of how intense).

Professional receptionists are required to be punctual. Often a receptionist is responsible for opening an office/business and turning on all communications systems. A receptionist must also be versatile, capable of handling any number of various tasks and duties requested of them each workday.

Common Duties

Tasks required of a professional receptionist vary between positions but certain duties are common field wide. Because a receptionist is commonly the first person customers see or speak to when contacting or entering a business a primary duty of a receptionist is to greet customers/clients and inquire as to the nature of their visit. Professional receptionists are also tasked with accepting company deliveries and alerting bosses/employees when people visiting for appointments arrive.

Professional receptionists are asked to organize files, fax/email papers and send/receive/screen applicable messages. The latter duty also involves placing customers/clients on hold and appeasing them when impatient. Professional receptionists are charged with office directory maintenance, data entry and research-related tasks. Depending on the nature and intensity of the position and company, a receptionist might also be asked to help bosses or other employees handle overflow jobs so the company does not fall behind on the day’s workload requirements. Additional common duties assigned to professional receptionists include keeping inventory on office supplies, ordering supplies, scheduling office parties/meetings and sending out vital memos on changes in company policies.

Types of Industries Commonly Requiring Full-Time Receptionists

Any industry where customers and/or clients must be greeted and placed on hold or in waiting areas commonly requires a receptionist. This includes medical offices, finance corporations, large apartment complexes (rental offices), travel agencies and more. Industries where the boss is frequently tied up outside the office or primary location also requires a receptionist. Such jobs include sales offices, construction companies and car dealerships. A small-town local lawyer’s office might have a receptionist also doubling as a paralegal. A mega-corporation such as Carnival Cruise lines likely has multiple receptionists in various positions and on many floors of main corporate and remote office locations.

Job Searching Sites & Recruiting Platforms

One of the best ways to find a professional receptionist job in 2021 is to research the multiple job searching sites and recruiting platforms available today. What are job searching sites and recruitment platforms? Essentially both these types of websites and services replace printed classified ads in modern times. Job searching sites and recruiting platforms are largely online-only services where employers and businesses from around the nation (and world) post available positions for a variety of vocations, including professional receptionist. Indeed is one of the top job boards in the world in 2021. Simply go to the website and type in “professional receptionist,” to view literally tens of thousands of available receptionist jobs in real-time. Add your zip code/location to the search query to zone in on professional receptionist jobs near you.

All job searching sites and recruiting platforms work in similar fashion. The best services provide accurate information from reliable employers looking to hire you today. The most popular job searching sites and recruiting platforms for 2021 include: