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The role of virtual assistants is more than just about admin support these days. But let’s face it—whenever the words “virtual assistant” is mentioned, people think it’s just about scheduling appointments and managing emails. And nothing else.

But those days are ancient history! We’ve listed the 10 must have skills of a Virtual Assistant in this day and age so you can stay updated:

The business world is evolving at warp speed, and with the digital revolution in full swing, the need for virtual assistance has skyrocketed. 🚀

Imagine having a versatile professional who can work remotely, adapt to various demands, and seamlessly integrate into your modern work environment. That’s the power of a VA right at your fingertips!

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • the 10 essential skills for a virtual assistant to succeed
  • some practical tips on how to hone each skill 💪
  • proof that clients LOVE when VAs have these skills

All the skills we’ll cover will empower your VA to be an integral part of your team, contributing significantly to your business’ triumph in this digital era.

And if you want some help in upskilling and managing your virtual assistant, have a chat with us! Our Outsourcing Specialist will match you with a VA that fits your needs and we’ll help you train and onboard your chosen VA.

Plus, our Virtual Office Manager will ensure their work for you is consistent. We’ll even provide awesome benefits for your VA so you don’t have to worry about that either! Book a free Discovery Call with us today and we’ll see to your VA needs right away. 👌

So here are the Top 10 skills of a virtual assistant, based on our over a decade of experience outsourcing VAs:

Skill 1: Great Time Management and Organisation

As a business owner, you know that time is your most valuable asset. And for a Virtual Assistant, it’s no different!

The ability to master time management and stay supremely organised is like having a superpower in the virtual world. It’s why we listed it as the first in the essential skills for a virtual assistant.

It’s the cornerstone of a successful VA journey, which can ensure rave reviews from business owners and clients. 💬

How we help VAs practice this skill:

At Outsourcing Angel, we’ve been using the Jibble app, and it’s really helpful not just for time tracking and attendance management, but also for its integration capabilities. We integrate it with our communication tool, Slack, and it helps keep our VAs manage their time properly.

Other tips to turn your VA into a virtual efficiency machine:

Mastering the Art of Time Blocking: Start by identifying your most important tasks for the day. Allocate specific time blocks for each task and use a timer to stay on track.

As you gain confidence, experiment with adjusting time blocks based on task complexity. This practice enhances your ability to allocate time effectively and maintain focus.

Utilising Productivity Tools for Effective Task Management: Choose one productivity tool (such as Asana or Trello) and explore its features. Create a mock project and experiment with task creation, priority settings, and progress tracking.

Integrating a productivity tool into your daily routine enhances your task management efficiency. 💯

Creating a Well-Structured Workflow: Analyse a recent project and break it down into smaller tasks or steps. Create a visual workflow chart or checklist to map out the process from start to finish. You can even identify potential bottlenecks or areas for improvement.

This exercise strengthens your ability to streamline tasks and execute them seamlessly.

But it hasn’t always been like that. Before she started her systemising journey, she had a business that heavily relied on her: all changes and decisions had to go through her approval, and taking a relaxing holiday seemed impossible as she had to constantly check her phone to ensure everything was running smoothly.

Sounds familiar? 👀

If all decisions and responsibilities in your business ultimately fall on you, then you might be in over your head. Not just busy, but in over your head and getting no real progress done.

All this could be down to an inefficient business system.

Skill 2: Excellent Communication Skills

Imagine your business operating like a well-oiled machine, with virtual assistants who effortlessly weave a web of seamless communication that bridges gaps, connects dots, and propels your enterprise forward. It’s possible if your VA has excellent communication skills! 👏

As part of the essential skills for a virtual assistant, excellent communication is the heartbeat of every effective collaboration. It’s the key to ensuring that ideas flow, projects flourish, and your business thrives.

How we help VAs practice this skill:

Our internal VA team regularly practice their communication skills by having 1 on 1 chats with their team leaders each month. And these check-ins aren’t just for performance review purposes—it’s also about getting to know each other better, and learning how we can make their jobs easier.

By regularly telling team leaders more about themselves and how they’re doing at work, our VA team constantly improves their communication skills.

Other tips to help VAs hone this vital skill and elevate your business:

Navigating Digital Communication Platforms: Practice sending concise and clear messages through email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Also, remember to seek feedback on your communication style and adjust accordingly to enhance your virtual interactions. 🧑‍💻

Tailoring Tone and Style to Various Audiences: Choose a recent piece of communication you’ve sent and rewrite it for a different audience—imagine explaining the same concept to a colleague and a client. Compare the two versions to identify differences in tone and style.

This exercise sharpens your adaptability in tailoring messages for different stakeholders.

Active Listening in Virtual Conversations: Engage in a virtual conversation while actively taking notes on the key points discussed. Afterwards, summarise the conversation’s main takeaways and share them with the other party.

This not only enhances your virtual assistants’ active listening skills, but also reinforces your ability to foster meaningful virtual dialogues.

Skill 3: Tech-Savviness and Digital Literacy

Technology is the backbone of business operations these days, and having a virtual assistant who is tech-savvy and digitally literate is almost like having a navigator in the digital frontier. That’s why this skill ranks high in the Top 10 skills of a virtual assistant. 📃

Your virtual assistants’ proficiency with virtual collaboration tools, knack for troubleshooting technical glitches, and commitment to staying ahead of technological advancements are invaluable assets that ensure your business remains at the forefront of innovation. These are must have skills of a virtual assistant in any industry, from lead generation to eCommerce ventures and more.

When VAs practice this skill, they help propel your business into the digital age with confidence and ease! 👍

How we help VAs practice this skill:

Some other tools we use at Outsourcing Angel are SystemHub to access all our Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs, Officevibe to monitor our team performance and morale, and Xero for accounting. It helps if you or your VA know their way around these great tools, too!

Here are some other quick tips for VAs to be more tech-savvy:

Troubleshooting Basic Technical Issues: Create a list of common technical glitches and solutions. Whenever you encounter a minor issue, consult your list and attempt to troubleshoot it on your own before seeking help.

This hands-on approach enhances your problem-solving skills and boosts your confidence in handling technical challenges.

Staying Updated with Technological Advancements: Set aside a specific time each week to explore tech news websites, blogs, and social media accounts focused on technology trends.

You can also create a digital bookmark folder to save relevant articles, tools, and resources for future reference. Regular exposure to new tech developments keeps your knowledge up-to-date. 💻

Proficiency with Virtual Collaboration Tools: Choose a virtual collaboration tool you’re less familiar with and set up a mock project with a friend or colleague. Then practise using various features like file sharing, communication channels, and task assignments.

This deepens your understanding of these tools and enhances your ability to engage seamlessly with teams and clients!

Skill 4: Research and Data Analysis

In a world overflowing with information, having a virtual assistant who is adept at research and data analysis is like having a compass that guides your business through uncharted waters.

Research and data analysis is a skill that holds the power to uncover valuable insights, guide decision-making, and steer your business towards success. So these must have skills of a virtual assistant can be the difference between a thriving business and one that easily burns out!

Your virtual assistant’s ability to swiftly gather relevant data, synthesise complex information, and present findings clearly is a testament to their commitment to your business’s growth. 🌱

How we help VAs practice this skill:

At Outsourcing Angel, we’ve just started conducting what we call “Angel Talks.” This is where our internal VAs from all departments to learn from one another by sharing tips and tricks about certain things like talking to clients, boosting social media reach, AI techniques, and more.

Presenting about a certain topic helps fine tune their analysis skills and also kickstarts other VAs to start researching on their own. So it’s a win-win!

Here are other ways for VAs to turn this skill into a game-changer:

Gathering Relevant Information Efficiently: Try to set a timer and challenge yourself to find a specific piece of information within a short timeframe. Use advanced search operators, filters, and credible sources to improve your search efficiency.

As you practice, you’ll develop a keen eye for pinpointing accurate data quickly.

Synthesising Data for Decision-Making: Choose a topic and gather various data points related to it. Practise condensing these points into a concise summary that captures the essence of the information. 👀

Think of it as creating “tweetable” insights; short and impactful. This exercise sharpens your ability to extract key insights from complex data, which are top essential skills for a virtual assistant.

Presenting Research Findings Clearly: Pick a recent news article or blog post and create an infographic summarising the main points. Focus on creating a visual narrative that flows logically.

This exercise hones your skills in visually presenting research findings in an engaging and easily digestible format, which is great for VAs. 👍

Skill 5: Adaptability and Flexibility

Change is constant in the realm of business. Having virtual assistants by your side who thrive in the face of change, adapting and being flexible, is an invaluable asset. So adaptability and flexibility will always definitely be part of the Top 10 skills of a virtual assistant!

This skill even enables your virtual assistant to be a reliable anchor in times of transformation. Their ability to gracefully adjust to changing workflows, navigate unexpected challenges, and eagerly embrace new tools and techniques ensures that your business remains agile and ready for whatever comes its way. 💪

If your VA is proficient in this skill, they can be the driving force behind your business’s ability to not only survive but thrive amidst change!

How we help VAs practice this skill:

We’re proud to say that over the years, we’ve matched clients with great VAs who have adapted so quickly and are really flexible with their pace. Our happy clients even leave testimonials highlighting this particular VA skill, and this encourages our other VAs to be flexible as well!

Here are other tips for VAs to practice being more adaptable and flexible:

Embracing New Tools and Techniques: Actively seek out new tools, software, or techniques that are relevant to your role as a virtual assistant. Set aside dedicated time to learn and experiment with these tools to expand your skill set. 🧑‍💻

Whether it’s a project management app or a communication platform, embracing change ensures you’re prepared for whatever the digital landscape throws your way!

Handling Unexpected Challenges with Grace: Simulate unexpected scenarios in your mind or through role-playing exercises. This mental preparation helps you respond calmly and thoughtfully when challenges arise.

You can even keep a notebook of innovative solutions you come up with during these exercises. It might just be the key to overcoming a real-life challenge! 🤗

Adapting to Changing Workflows and Priorities: Set aside specific time slots for different tasks, and then intentionally switch tasks when the time is up. This exercise enhances your ability to transition between activities seamlessly, a skill that’s invaluable in a fast-paced virtual environment.

Skill 6: Solid Social Media Management

Your business’s online presence matters more than ever, and having virtual assistants who excel in social media management will set you apart from your competitors! 😉

With a VA possessing solid social media management skills, you’ll have the potential to skyrocket your brand’s reach, engagement, and impact. With their knack for crafting captivating content, adept scheduling abilities, and analytical prowess, your virtual assistant can also ensure that your business’s social media game is strong and strategic.

This skill can help your VAs turn your social platforms into thriving hubs of connection and growth. 🚀

How we help VAs practice this skill:

Our Marketing team is lucky to have an excellent social media manager, Victoria. Victoria has over 3 years of experience as a social media manager and admin VA before coming onboard Outsourcing Angel. So experience is key!

She makes sure our reach and engagement numbers are always in the green across multiple platforms!

Here are other tips for VAs to practice their social media management skills:

Crafting Engaging Social Media Content: Dive into the world of content creation by experimenting with different types of posts—from informative to entertaining. Pay attention to trending topics and incorporate them into your content strategy. Then use scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to plan and organise your posts for maximum impact.

👉 Related: Check out our FREE social media tool to supercharge your content!

Scheduling and Monitoring Posts Across Platforms: Familiarise yourself with social media scheduling tools and explore their features. Experiment with scheduling posts at different times to identify the optimal posting schedule for your target audience.

You can even regularly monitor engagement metrics and use insights to fine-tune your strategy!

Analysing Social Media Insights for Strategy Refinement: Dive into analytics platforms like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s behaviour. Identify trends, popular content, and peak engagement times. 📈

Finally, use this data to make informed decisions and refine your social media strategy for maximum reach and engagement.

Skill 7: Basic Graphic Design Skills

In a world driven by visuals, having virtual assistants with basic graphic design skills is like having a visual storyteller by your side. Graphic design skills (even a basic one!) infuse a creative spark into your business’s visual identity. It also ensures that your visual content shines with a polished and professional look.

From captivating presentations that convey information seamlessly, to designing simple marketing materials that enhance your brand aesthetics, your virtual assistant should have this skill to transform your ideas into eye-catching reality. ✨

How we help VAs practice this skill:

One of our long-standing VAs at Outsourcing Angel is VA Alaila. She’s been one of our Graphic Designers for over 4 years now.

Alaila uses various tools like Filmora, Indesign, Canva, Illustrator, and more. Exploring options is vital!

Here are other tips to help your VA hone this skill and add a splash of creativity and allure to your business’s visuals:

Creating Visually Appealing Presentations: Dive into online design tutorials to learn about effective colour schemes, fonts, and layouts that make presentations pop. Experiment with platforms like Canva to practice your skills and craft captivating slides that convey information seamlessly!

Designing Simple Marketing Materials: Start by deconstructing well-designed marketing materials you come across. Understand the placement of elements, use of white space, and visual hierarchy. 🖌️

Also, try using free design tools like GIMP or Inkscape to create your own materials and add a creative touch to your skill set.

Editing and Enhancing Visual Content: Familiarise yourself with basic image editing tools such as cropping, resizing, and applying filters. Practice by editing your own photos or images found online.

There are also online resources and tutorials where you can learn about enhancing visual content and giving it a polished and professional look, which are great and essential skills for a virtual assistant.

Skill 8: Understanding of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Nurturing client relationships is the cornerstone of sustainable success—in any industry! By organising client information, providing exceptional support, and harnessing CRM tools for enhanced efficiency, you’re setting the stage for fostering long-lasting partnerships.

This particular must have skills of a virtual assistant can elevate their ability to create meaningful and impactful connections with your clients.

How we help VAs practice this skill:

At Outsourcing Angel, we use HubSpot to keep on top of our client deliverables. We highly recommend it because it’s an all-in-one management platform that helps keep tasks organised with efficient goal setting and easy collaboration tools.

It also allows you to tailor workflows, so it’s more specific to your business processes.

Here are more tips to help your VA hone this specific skill:

Managing and Organising Client Information: Create a sample client profile and explore your chosen CRM system. Practice entering and updating client details, interactions, and preferences.

It also helps to experiment with tags or labels to categorise clients. Then, regularly review and clean up your client database to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. 💻

Providing Exceptional Customer Support: Focus on responding promptly, empathetically, and providing solutions. Seek feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your communication and support skills.

Implementing CRM Tools for Enhanced Efficiency: Choose a specific task, such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling appointments, and automate it using your CRM’s features. Monitor the process to ensure accuracy and adjust settings as needed.

This hands-on approach familiarises you with CRM automation, boosting your efficiency in managing client interactions. 🤝

If you need help in automations and other technology for your business, our Systems Experts can help! They specialise in finding the right tools and tech for businesses, so you can have a digital ecosystem that runs without your 24/7 input.

Have a chat with our Systems Expert today and say goodbye to manual tasks!

Skill 9: Task Delegation and Project Coordination

In the dynamic landscape of business, effective task delegation and project coordination hold successful ventures together. It’s a skill that empowers your VA to be an expert in managing tasks and orchestrating projects.

By delegating tasks efficiently, coordinating multiple projects seamlessly, and vigilantly monitoring progress, you’re positioning yourself and your VA as a master conductor of virtual operations.


[My Virtual Assistant] is extremely involved. I can literally say that I can turn around and hand her my business and just be a coach and she can absolutely run it, which gives me such peace of mind. […] She’s our business fairy.

Karina Antorbeza-Melo
Founder & Coach
K-Fit Boutique Gym

How we help VAs practice this skill:

We help VAs become higher-value employees for their clients by automating manual tasks and streamlining their workflows through our Systemise & Scale Up service.

This frees up VAs’ time so they can practice task delegation and project coordination. And it frees up our clients’ time and energy so they can strategise and scale their business!

Here are other ways your VA can improve this skill:

Delegating Tasks to Team Members: Select a small task and practice delegating it to a colleague or friend. Clearly communicate expectations, provide necessary resources, and establish a deadline. 📅

Remember to seek feedback on the completed task too, and reflect on the delegation process to enhance your ability to assign tasks effectively.

Coordinating Multiple Projects Simultaneously: Choose two or more projects and create a timeline or calendar. Allocate time slots for each project, considering its priority and complexity. Regularly review and adjust the schedule as needed.

This sharpens your ability to balance and coordinate multiple projects seamlessly.

Monitoring Progress and Ensuring Deadlines: Select a task you’ve delegated or a project you’re already coordinating. Set regular check-in points to monitor progress and address any roadblocks.

You can even use tools like task management software or project boards to track milestones and ensure tasks are completed on time! 🕜

Skill 10: Continuous Skill Development

We saved the most important must have skills of a virtual assistant for last: continuous skill development! 💪

Staying ahead requires more than just mastering a set of skills. It demands a commitment to continuous skill development—an unwavering dedication to evolving and adapting. 📈 This consistent pursuit of knowledge and growth transforms virtual assistants into indispensable assets for businesses of all sizes.

How we help VAs practice this skill:

In our Slack platform, we have dedicated channels just for learning new AI tools and various industry techniques that’s helpful for all VAs to do their jobs better and more efficiently. It encourages everyone to grow and expand their knowledge!

Here are more tips for VAs to hone this skill:

Set Clear Learning Goals: Encourage VAs to define specific, achievable learning objectives. Whether it’s mastering a new software or improving communication skills, clear goals provide direction and motivation.

Allocate Dedicated Learning Time: Establish regular time slots for learning and skill development. This dedicated time helps VAs avoid distractions and prioritise their growth.

Stay Updated on Industry Trends: Encourage VAs to subscribe to industry newsletters, blogs, and podcasts to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in virtual assistance and related fields.

“We know we can always hand anything off to her and she’s always in the background saying she can do more! So it’s great. The various layers within Outsourcing Angel make it easy for us if we encounter any issues as well!”

Jo Holdsworth
Co-Founder, Luxe Clean Group Australia
Brisbane, Australia

Invest in the right set of virtual assistant skills

So there you have it—the top 10 skills of a virtual assistant. These skills aren’t just nice-to-haves for VAs; they’re the secret sauce that boosts productivity and drives success for your business!

Today’s VAs are a dynamic force, capable of taking on a diverse range of responsibilities. With these 10 skills, your VAs can oversee projects with finesse, craft a strategic social media presence, and more. It all becomes a breeze for your VA—and they’ll be ready to take your business to the next level! 🚀

In short, your VA won’t just handle tasks; they’ll be like your project manager, multitasking magician, and the ultimate support system for your enterprise. 💯

Whether you’re a startup, an established business, or a budding entrepreneur, these must have skills of a virtual assistant will enable VAs to provide unwavering support.

Book a free Discovery Call

Have a skilled virtual assistant by your side and see the difference! Book a Discovery Call now and our Outsourcing Specialist will see to your VA needs right away.

Arielle Calanas

Arielle is Outsourcing Angel’s resident copywriter. She has over 9 years of writing experience and graduated magna cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao in 2019. Currently, she crafts high-engagement content that reflects our brand voice, from client case studies to blog articles and more.