Distinguishing Between a Secretary & a Receptionist

Key Difference – Secretary vs Receptionist

Secretary and Receptionist are two significant positions in any organization, and it is essential to understand the differences between them. These two roles have distinct functions, duties, and responsibilities, contrary to the common misconception that they are the same job. While a secretary serves more as a personal assistant or administrative assistant, a receptionist is the first individual one encounters upon entering an organization. In this article, we will discuss the difference between the roles of a secretary and a receptionist.

Who is a Secretary?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a Secretary as an administrative official in an organization responsible for tasks such as typing letters and maintaining records. The functions of a secretary can vary depending on the size of the organization. In a small company, a secretary might have to fulfill the dual roles of a receptionist and a secretary. In larger organizations, a secretary is responsible for organizing her boss’s schedule, receiving and replying to all correspondence, ordering supplies, scheduling appointments, and typing essential letters.

A secretary must have a high school or equivalent diploma and fast typing skills. Many companies prefer to hire individuals with an additional certificate in secretarial skills. Now let’s discuss the roles of a receptionist to understand the difference between the two positions.

Who is a Receptionist?

A receptionist is typically responsible for greeting people at the front desk and directing them to different departments based on their needs. She is also in charge of answering incoming calls, addressing inquiries, and handling complaints. Anyone wishing to meet an important individual in the organization must go through the receptionist to schedule the date and time of the meeting.

When you call a company, the voice you usually hear is that of the receptionist. A receptionist must attend to all visitors, possess a pleasing personality, a helpful attitude, and a sweet voice to make a good impression. She must also have proper telephone etiquette to handle all business inquiries efficiently and convert casual inquiries into actual customers.

From this discussion, it is evident that there are significant 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 responsible for typing letters, keeping records, etc.
Receptionist: A person who greets and deals with visitors to an office.

Characteristics of Secretary and Receptionist:
Secretary: A secretary organizes her boss’s schedule, receives and replies to all correspondence, orders supplies, schedules appointments, and types essential letters.
Receptionist: A receptionist greets people at the front desk, directs them to different departments based on their needs, answers incoming calls, and handles inquiries and complaints.

Secretary: A certificate in secretarial skills is necessary.
Receptionist: A specific skill is not required, but the individual must have a pleasing personality, a helpful attitude, and a sweet voice. She should also be efficient in her work.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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