Receptionist duties have expanded to include a number of other functions as companies consolidate work tasks and responsibilities to create more efficient staffing practices.

This pivotal job function requires a range of skills to successfully perform all the activities associated with a receptionist position. Find a comprehensive list of both the tasks and skill requirements included in the current job description of a receptionist.

Depending on the company the receptionist can be responsible for any of the following:

Receive Visitors

  • greet visitors appropriately
  • determine visitor needs in a professional manner
  • maintain visitor register
  • offer refreshments to visitors where appropriate
  • direct visitors to correct person
  • ensure back up when absent from reception desk

Answer Phone Calls

  • answer and address incoming phone calls in a timely and polite manner
  • clearly determine the purpose of the call
  • deal with queries and provide correct information
  • forward calls to appropriate person
  • take and deliver messages accurately and completely

Manage Mail

  • sort and distribute incoming mail
  • prepare outgoing mail for pick-up or courier
  • organize courier deliveries

Monitor Security

  • monitor people coming and going through the reception doors
  • issue visitor passes where required
  • be aware of and report suspicious activity


  • monitor and record petty cash payments
  • balance petty cash
  • prepare travel vouchers
  • basic cashiering duties
  • basic bookkeeping duties


  • photocopy and collate documents
  • fax documents
  • file documents accurately
  • maintain equipment and report any malfunctions
  • monitor, control and order office supplies

Organize Meetings

  • book meeting room
  • inform participants
  • set up the meeting room with necessary stationery and equipment
  • organize catering for meeting

Secretarial Support

  • prepare correspondence and documents
  • update databases
  • organize mailings
  • prepare and maintain spreadsheets
  • schedule and follow up on appointments

Reception Area Maintenance

  • keep the reception area clean and neat
  • maintain and organize reading material

Receptionist Skills

Find out the skills needed to successfully perform these receptionist duties.

Personal Presentation

  • maintain a neat and well-groomed appearance
  • maintain an attentive posture
  • respond professionally to visitors and callers

Company Representation

  • maintain confidentiality and show discretion
  • adhere to company policies and procedures
  • represent the organization in an ethical and professional manner
  • maintain a complete knowledge of organizational structure, personnel names, and titles
  • remain calm under pressure

Communication skills

  • write well using correct grammar and spelling
  • communicate verbally with confidence and clarity
  • ask effective questions
  • listen actively and respond with empathy
  • follow instructions properly
  • understand and respond to non-verbal signals

Customer Service Orientation

  • clarify customer needs
  • provide solutions and support to the customer using in-depth knowledge of company products and services
  • deal effectively with difficult customers

Computer Skills

  • MS Word
  • Outlook
  • Excel
  • Internet/Intranet
  • accurate and fast typing skills

Work Management

  • set priorities, plan and organize tasks
  • schedule activities accurately
  • find and use resources effectively
  • pay attention to detail
  • complete tasks on time

Information Management

  • locate and collect information
  • organize information
  • distribute information efficiently

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