What does a receptionist do?
A receptionist's day-to-day work would include:
- greeting visitors and directing them to the correct person or department
- managing the visitors book and giving out security passes
- answering enquiries in person, by phone and on email
- providing or sending out information
- managing a booking system
- providing refreshments
- keeping the reception area tidy
As a medical or dental receptionist you would often arrange appointments and take payments for treatments.
In some companies, especially where the reception area is less busy, you could carry out a wider range of tasks, such as:
- booking transport and travel
- organising meeting rooms
- basic clerical work
- handling cash
- simple bookkeeping
Some large organisations and office buildings contain several companies. In this type of location you may work as receptionist as well as security officer.
What do I need to do to become a receptionist?
You may not need any formal qualifications to start work as a receptionist, although some employers will prefer you to have GCSEs, particularly in English and maths. IT skills such as word processing, and the ability to use the internet and email may also be helpful.
Good customer care skills and an excellent telephone manner could also give you an advantage. Temporary work (temping) can be a good way of getting experience and can often lead to a permanent job.
Where to find out more
Where could I be working?
You will find job opportunities at a wide range of places, including hotels, factories, hospitals, GP and dentist surgeries, offices, solicitors, schools and hairdressers.