With $33,000 in annual average pay in the form of a steady government paycheck with health insurance coverage, a clerical worker is an excellent entry-level job position that attracts many civil service job seekers.
As civil service professionals, clerical workers perform a variety of essential work duties in today’s hectic office environments.
Delivering basic office support, clerical workers assist with the key operational aspects of running an office – ensuring that its essential functions are managed smoothly and on a timely basis. What duties might be expected from you?
What Civil Service Clerical Workers Do
In short, clerical worker’s principal job responsibility is to make sure that the office that he or she is employed at runs as smoothly as possible. The tasks required to fulfill this duty ranges greatly, from answering phones to organizing files, and generally depends on the administrative and organizational needs of a given office on each workday. The most common work duties clerical workers perform, however, can be distilled down to the following categories:
- Basic customer service duties
This category can imply work duties that range from answering and forwarding phone calls to replying to e-mails and providing online customer assistance and support during set business hours.
- Basic photocopying duties
Clerical workers will generally be expected to be familiar and comfortable with fulfilling the most common photocopying needs of every modern office environment such as printing out and scanning documents, sending and receiving fax messages, as well as making photocopies on a timely basis.
- Data entry
While a professional aptitude of a data entry specialist is not required from clerical workers, they are still routinely expected to possess a basic ability to operate a computer and most common office computer applications at an optimal level.
- Organizational duties
This broad category of clerical worker professional duties may include any other needs a given office environment may have: from having to assemble, mail, and receive mail correspondence and packages – to being responsible for scheduling events and appointments as well as ensuring the maintenance of the office calendar by reminding office employees of important business events and meetings.
- Filing duties
Clerical workers are often expected to temporarily fulfill the positions of an office or an administrative assistant when it comes to handling the filing needs of an office, and as a result often become responsible for organizing and maintaining the filing system of records used in a given office in either alphabetical, numerical, or any other specified order.
As you can see, clerical work is a civil service job position with high organizational demands and a very diverse set of work responsibilities that can change based on the needs of every workday at a given office. If you still think that clerical work is the right fit for you, you must be wondering by now: What does it take to become a clerical worker?
What It Takes to Become a Clerical Worker
It is not uncommon for most civil service clerical worker job announcements to list having a GED or a high school diploma as the only educational prerequisite for the job. Hiring practice for this job position also suggests that job candidates who are graduates from any postsecondary training in computer usage and basic office equipment usage skills are often favored for the job.
Regardless of your educational background and work experience, however, you will be expected to take a form of civil service testing as part of the standard hiring practice for job positions in civil service. When applying for civil service clerical worker position, this means taking and successfully passing the civil service clerical exam.
What to Expect from the Civil Service Clerical Exam
The civil service clerical exam is administered by the department of civil service of the respective government department offering the clerical worker job position you are applying for. As it is common in pre-employment screening for civil service jobs, civil service tests tend to be designed with certain psychometrics in mind that allows for accurate and unbiased methodical assessment of every job candidate’s aptitude for the corresponding job position. As a result, based on the answers you provide within your clerical exam questions, your professional aptitude for the job will be evaluated. You can generally expect to face the following types of questions within your civil service clerical exam:
- English language proficiency
Based on your answers in this section, your ability to apply your working knowledge of English grammar, punctuation, and spelling to express yourself clearly and correctly when it comes to writing in English will be tested.
- Reading comprehension
This set of civil service clerical exam questions assesses your ability to comprehend the given material accurately and make logical conclusions.
- Interpersonal skills
Your ability to effectively deal with social situations that most commonly occur within modern office environments will be evaluated in this part of the civil service clerical exam.
- Clerical Aptitude
This crucial section of the civil service clerical exam involves an assessment of your knowledge and skills when it comes to fulfilling the most common clerical duties that clerical workers have to face in modern office environments. For instance, your familiarity with the most commonly used filing and record keeping systems and procedures, as well as your ability to organize materials in alphabetic or numerical order, can be tested here.
- Math Aptitude
Your ability to be comfortable with performing basic arithmetic functions when it comes to dealing with important data will be assessed in this section of the civil service clerical exam.
Regardless of the administrative authority conducting the civil service clerical exam in your case, you can certainly expect it to be challenging and involve a diverse set of assessments integrated into it. How can you increase your chances to successfully pass it and become one of the primary candidates being considered for the clerical worker position you are planning to apply for? There is a simple solution.
How to Prepare for Your Civil Service Clerical Exam
Several studies suggest that the key determining factor to one’s success during almost any examination procedure is the level of confidence that you experience during the test at hand. Acquainting yourself with the format of the test’s questions and answers in advance, with the help of free online sample test questions and explanations, tends to alleviate most of the exam-associated anxiety that many potential candidates suffer from. The good news is that you can gain much of this critical confidence with the help of a rather simple, methodical and free exam preparation strategy.
With the help of free online civil service clerical exam study guides, as well as free online civil service clerical practice tests with sample questions and answers, made available by assessment centers, you can acquire comfort during the exam by practicing before you take the actual civil service clerical test. The increased levels of confidence you experience after your free sample clerical test practice with common test examples will allow you to easily tap into all the knowledge you have during the exam. And you will be able to showcase that you are the right candidate for the job of a civil service clerical worker.