Front Desk Receptionist Description

Receptionists are found in all types of industries and business sizes.
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Receptionists are found in all types of industries and business sizes.

The front-desk receptionist can set a company’s tone. She is often the first person encountered in an organization. Whether she greets visitors or answers the phone, she is often responsible for that all-so-important first impression. Only those with bright dispositions need apply.

Greet Visitors

The primary role of a front-desk receptionist is to greet visitors to the building. The receptionist desk is prominently located when entering a business. You typically can’t bypass the receptionist and enter further without visiting her. Receptionists may be responsible for signing in guests, issuing guest badges and directing the visitor to his destination. She may also be responsible for buzzing in guests to a secure building and contacting employees when their visitors appear.

Answer Switchboard

Organizations often maintain a main phone number. The front desk receptionist often answers that number. She is responsible for being courteous, assessing what the caller needs and directing them via a transfer or providing additional information. She needs to maintain a neutral and pleasant voice and know how to direct a call quickly. She is not to accept or make personal calls from the front desk, as this is unprofessional and best completed on a break or outside of work.

Maintain Reception Area

The reception area is often the first visual of the inside of the business. It’s important that addition to the receptionist herself maintaining a professional appearance, the reception area should too. The area should be clean, uncluttered and modern. The front-desk receptionist should monitor how the area looks and ensure there are no trash or old brochures and magazines strewn about. She should call attention management if the reception area needs additional cleaning or modernization.

Administrative Tasks

Front-desk receptionists often pitch in to help on special projects or additional administrative tasks. Depending on the size of the company, the front-desk receptionist may assist with activities such as meeting planning, conference room organization, ordering supplies and maintaining relationships with vendors who handle snack machines, coffee stations and office equipment. Other special administrative projects may include data entry, large mailings and supporting administrative assistants on vacation.

2016 Salary Information for Receptionists

Receptionists earned a median annual salary of $27,920 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, receptionists earned a 25th percentile salary of $22,700, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $34,280, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,053,700 people were employed in the U.S. as receptionists.

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