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Receptionist Job Overview

Receptionists are like the front-liners of every company. They are the first point of contact for clients looking to do business with a company. In upcoming companies and small businesses, the receptionist does the job of a front desk officer as well as the job of a receptionist. However, the duties of a receptionist are distinctly different from that of a desk officer, despite both being desk jobs.

What is the Difference Between a Receptionist and a Front Desk Officer?

The major difference between a receptionist and a front desk officer is in their allotted duties. A receptionist typically responds to incoming calls and e-mails and addresses inquiries about the company from prospective clients. While, the front desk officer is responsible for managing check-ins and check-outs of clients and employees, making outgoing calls, and handling appointments/reservations.

What does being a Receptionist Entail?

A typical day in the life of a receptionist involves:

  1. Interacting with clients.
  2. Intercepting incoming calls and forwarding them to the right recipient.
  3. Replying to e-mail inquiries.
  4. Sorting the company’s mail and bringing relevant mail to the appropriate officer’s attention.
  5. Sorting out members of staff’s schedules and forwarding them accordingly.
How many hours does a Receptionist work per day?

A receptionist typically works from 9 am to 5 pm. However, you may be required to work longer or shorter hours depending on the kind of establishment you work with. A hospital’s receptionist, for example, is likely to work longer hours. A school’s receptionist, on the other hand, may work shorter hours.

Necessities for this job position include:

Good manners and Interpersonal Skills.

As a receptionist, visitors to the company draw their conclusions about the company’s work ethics from their interactions with you. You must be friendly to all and very polite.

Patience and Tolerance.

This is one job position you cannot excel in with a short temper. A receptionist must be able to tolerate a difficult client’s manners and be patient enough to explain the company’s policies multiple times if there is a misunderstanding between a client and a member of staff.

Good Communication Skills

Proficiency in English and at least one other language (in the case of international clients) is a must. Most establishments require the receptionist to be bilingual.

Ability to Multitask

Receptionists sometimes have to complete several tasks simultaneously. To succeed in this role, you must be able to efficiently multitask.

Organization skills.

One of the duties of a receptionist is to keep track of everyone’s schedules; to do this effectively the receptionist must be organized. Also, this position is a desk job and an untidy receptionist’s desk gives clients the wrong impression about the company.

IT Skills

A receptionist must be skilled at working with computer software. Typing skills are a plus.

Certification in Business administration, Customer service, or other related fields.

Essentially this job only requires good credits in English and Mathematics, however, acquiring certification from administrative courses is a plus.

How to Become a Receptionist

  1. Prepare a resume highlighting your soft skills and IT skills. Employers will be impressed if they are convinced that you can be a self-starter when necessary.
  2. Apply to job listings on job search sites like HubforJobs
  3. Volunteer to work with registration committees for seminars, workshops, conventions, and so on. It is an avenue to gain experience and referrals if you do a good job.
  4. Apply for internship opportunities.
  5. Reach out to the companies directly and enquire about any vacancies.

What Jobs count as relevant experience when applying for a Receptionist Job?

  1. Personal assistant.
  2. Data entry jobs
  3. Customer service representative
  4. Call center representative
  5. Front desk officer

…and any other administrative desk job.

What is the Average Salary of a Receptionist in Nigeria?

The average salary of a receptionist in Nigeria is NGN50,000 per month. The salary is influenced by location, level of experience, and industry of the hiring company. The average salary for a receptionist working in Lagos is NGN70,000.

Is Working as a Receptionist Lucrative?

The receptionist job is a good place to start if you are looking to pursue a career in administration. There is room to grow, and it allows you the opportunity to meet, connect with and build relationships with people in different careers. It is not an industry-specific role, so there will always be employment opportunities. A big plus is that an increase in productivity can also inspire a pay raise. If you are a friendly person who loves to meet and connect with people, the receptionist job will be perfect for you.

Take Home

A receptionist is technically the representative of the company. To be successful in the role, you will need to be fluent in English, friendly, a self-starter, and able to multitask efficiently. It is one of those jobs that does not require a lot of experience to get started. In Nigeria, receptionists are always in demand, which makes it a lucrative job role.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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