A front desk receptionist serves as the face of her employer. She is the first, and sometimes only, the person whom the guests of the small business meet. Although this is an entry-level role, the receptionist needs a great deal of skill performs the many tasks. A successful receptionist must be both an excellent communicator and strong administrator. She also must comfortably interact with individuals of all professional levels.
The primary duty of a front desk receptionist is to greet a business’ visitors. When guests arrive, she warmly welcomes them, sometimes taking their coats and providing refreshments. She may also answer basic questions regarding the business, such as hours of operation, as well as provide customers with a brief explanation of the products and services the firm offers. In addition to in-person greetings, a front desk receptionist is responsible for answering all incoming calls. Depending on the size of her employer, she may use a sophisticated telephone system to accomplish this task. Screening calls as requested, she routes them to their proper recipient, taking and relaying messages as needed.
In some organizations, a front desk receptionist oversees the distribution of incoming and outgoing mail. When mail arrives, the receptionist sorts it, eliminating junk mail and identifying those of the highest priority. He then distributes it in a manner his employer has prescribed. He may either hand deliver each piece directly its respective recipient or place the parcels in an appropriate interoffice mail slot. He also signs for priority or overnight packages as they arrive. On a daily basis, he prepares outgoing mail for pickup by the postal service or overnight courier. Weighing each letter and package using a postal scale, he applies the proper amount of postage to each piece. If an individual or business needs documents in a rush, the receptionist contacts a messenger service and provides all necessary instructions.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2009, a front desk receptionist also performs a variety of clerical tasks. She drafts correspondence, prepares financial spreadsheets and creates presentations. In addition, she manages the calendars of senior team members, as well as organizes necessary business travel arrangements. She orders office supplies, files documents, makes photocopies and sends and receives faxes. In some instances, she may also perform light bookkeeping tasks.
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