Hiring virtual assistants has become an increasingly popular practice for businesses and organizations in various industries. As this trend continues, more and more people are either looking to hire a virtual assistant or learning how to become one. 


Many believe that the virtual assistance industry is for everyone. There is a virtual assistant job for everyone regardless of their education level or work experience. While this is generally true, that does not mean that everyone has the capability to become successful VAs.


Virtual assistance, much like any other industry, comes with a different set of challenges. This includes the lack of personal interactions and monitoring, completely digital communication, and so on.


For aspiring virtual assistants to be successful, they need to develop an array of practical skills that can help them deal with the challenges surrounding remote work setups. To give you a better idea, here’s a brief overview of the VA industry as well as some of the must-have skills that virtual assistants need to have. 


Popular Virtual Assistant Jobs

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Before we dive into the different skills that VAs should have, let’s look at some of the most popular virtual assistant jobs in the industry.


Online Executive Virtual Assistant

Online executive assistants are VAs that provide support services to business executives and officials. Their tasks include email management, calendar and schedule management, file management, and the like. They can also make travel arrangements, answer phone calls, and respond to emails when necessary.


Human Resource Virtual Assistant

Human resource virtual assistants provide clerical support to a business’s or organization’s human resources department. They can respond to employee inquiries, discuss company policies, benefits, and processes, as well as support newly onboarded employees.


Administrative Virtual Assistant

Administrative assistants cover a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Some of the administrative tasks virtual assistants perform include data and file management, inbox management, payroll management, schedule management, and so on. 


Social Media Virtual Assistant

A social media presence is a must for any business or organization. Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or a global company, it is essential that you have active and engaging social media accounts. However, handling numerous profiles can be laborious and time-consuming.

Social media virtual assistants manage their client’s social media activities. This includes content creation, audience management, and even digital marketing. 


Must-Have Practical Virtual Assistant Skills

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Whether you’re hiring a virtual assistant or trying to be one, here are some of the must-have skills of any qualified virtual assistant.


Communication Skills

Communication is a critical part of any remote working setup. Given that virtual assistants are often work-from-home employees, they don’t exactly get to meet their workmates and bosses face to face. Along with this is the challenge of communicating through digital channels only. 


Virtual assistants need to have exceptional written and verbal communication skills in order to effectively connect with their clients. It is important that a virtual assistant is able to converse confidently through both oral and written channels. VAs need communication skills when writing emails, making and presenting reports, or answering phone calls. 


Time Management Skills

Working from home can be a challenge as it lacks direct supervision and monitoring. Virtual assistants need to have a sense of self-responsibility to not waste time and do their jobs accordingly.


Time management skills are often something developed through years of experience. Despite this, it is important for virtual assistants to know how to properly spend their time in order to manage their workload and meet deadlines. 


Computer Skills

The virtual assistant industry revolves around online and digital services. In order to be a good virtual assistant to any client, it is essential that you have a good understanding of computer processes. Your computer skills should be able to meet the demand of your responsibilities as a VA. 


If you’re a VA providing data entry services, knowledge of basic office programs and software should suffice. However, if you’re someone who offers more technical computer skills such as web development or graphic design, then your computer skills should meet the expectations of these roles. 


Organizing and Managing Skills

Knowing how to organize and manage tasks is essential for any virtual assistant. If you’re working as a freelancer or individual contractor, you would also serve as the manager of your own tasks. It’s up to you to schedule, organize, and prioritize your tasks according to their urgency or difficulty.

The same goes if you work as a project manager VA where you would be handling and organizing all of your client’s business operations, tasks, and processes. Great organizing and managing skills will allow you to stay on track and monitor your progress with each task. 


Decision-Making Skills

Most virtual assistant jobs come with some degree of autonomy and flexibility. Clients often trust their VAs to do their tasks with little to no supervision or guidance from them.


While this can be beneficial for some, the lack of monitoring can be a challenge when it comes to making quick yet critical decisions about the business. Taking this into consideration, it is important for virtual assistants to develop decision-making skills that can help them make smart and rational decisions when needed.


Creative Skills

Virtual assistants, especially those in the arts industry, need great creative skills. Not only should they be able to create art on their own, but they should also be able to incorporate their client’s ideas and opinions well into their work.


However, creative skill is more than just making graphic design or writing amazing blog posts. Your creativity can also be tested in your capability to come up with creative and innovative solutions. 



Remote working virtual assistants are becoming more and more popular in the digital world and industry. As more people look into hiring one or becoming one, it is important to know what exactly are the skills and characteristics that virtual assistants should possess.


Other than their educational background or years of experience, virtual assistants need to develop a set of practical skills that would allow them to thrive in remote work environments. Without these, they can struggle to finish their assigned task, perform their duties, and fulfill their responsibilities as a trusted virtual assistant.


Want to know more about what it is like to hire virtual assistants? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company, and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.