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E-Mail Response Handling: A Basic PA Task
By April Dee Barredo
One of the most popular jobs today is being a PA or personal assistant. There are a number of individuals who require the help of PAs and most are often from a wide range of industries - from business people, professionals, artists, and even disabled individuals. Being a PA can mean a lot of different things. You may be given tasks that involve working closely with your boss, making it necessary to have certain skills that are related to the boss' job. There are also times when the tasks being delegated are general in nature, so skills and abilities required are usually that of basic clerical and secretarial. And one of those skills is e-mail response handling.
The usual reason people hire assistants is because they need help organizing their day, help in research, answering telephone calls, scheduling meetings and travels, taking notes and checking and responding to e-mails. Most business professionals often complain of not having enough time to check and respond to their e-mail and this becomes one of the main tasks they delegate to their online secretary. So if you are thinking about getting a job as a PA, you will need to learn how to properly sort your boss' inbox and respond to the mails.
For this tasks that deals with e-mail, you will need to be knowledgeable in sorting and responding. It is important that you know the type of industry your boss is working on. This will help you in learning about the usual way e-mails and correspondences are handled. Basically, you need to identify which e-mail content should be considered important and which ones aren't. This will help in sorting your boss' inbox. You can also help in organizing the inbox content by labeling them.
Another basic task related to the one mentioned above, if you will be working as a PA, is e-mail response handling. This means that you will be reading and answering your boss' mails. The level of control or access he or she will allow you to have over the emails will depend on what he decides on, though. Most likely, you will be required to respond to clients, customers, business partners, or other contacts who are involved in your boss' business or work network. The email account will most likely be strictly for business use, so you should know important e-mail etiquette. Learn how to create formal business letters, correspondence letters as well as proposal letters.
It pays to have a time tracking tool for your online or freelance job so that you'll have an accurate record of every activity and of the corresponding time spent on each. Reading and responding to e-mails may not be that hard of a job but they eat considerable amount of time. Email responding for one must be thorough especially if it's a business type. You need to make a draft and edit it accordingly before you hit the send button.
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