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What does a General Office Clerk do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The exact duties of a general office clerk vary greatly depending on the size and type of company. Generally though, many clerks answer the telephone and do filing. They may also reply to customers by email, telephone or printed letter. Basically, general clerks complete many different tasks as needed to help facilitate paperwork or computer work within an office environment. Many people with this job hold entry-level positions.

Some office clerks run errands that include getting coffee for meetings. They may be responsible for keeping office supplies well stocked. A general office clerk may send faxes, make photocopies or address corporate invitations to clients. Depending on departmental needs, general clerks may do some bookkeeping tasks or data entry. Some clerks prepare letters or mailings to clients.

The types of tasks general office clerks do could change seasonally or even daily depending on the needs of the company. Although general office clerking jobs tend to be entry-level, there are some senior positions in which clerks may write reports or perform business analysis tasks. General clerks of every level must be able to work well with other people and be able to fit easily into office culture. Working accurately is important so files are put in the right place. Filling in information on many different tasks or projects is sometimes necessary for a general clerk.

The duties of a general office clerk in a small business may differ greatly from those of someone with the same position in a corporate environment. For instance, in very small businesses, a general clerk may run more errands such as mailing letters and picking up mail as well as opening it. This type of clerk is also more likely to be responsible for the same tasks each day, such as answering the telephone and waiting on customers. Postal and pharmacy clerks must often receive some product training.

Proofreading is a job task that a general clerk may do in some offices because it can be beneficial to have another pair of eyes proofread an important document or client communication before it's sent. In some cases, a general office clerk may record the minutes at meetings, although typically secretaries or administrative assistants do this.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Rotergirl — On Mar 26, 2014

A general clerk is usually called an "administrative assistant" these days, and generally does a little bit of everything in the office where he or she works. People are rarely hired for one function anymore, so the general clerk almost always has to know how to do just about every job in the office, including running it if the boss is on vacation.

A good general clerk knows how to multi-task and can work to tight deadlines. If the person deals with the public, either in person or over the phone, then a pleasant demeanor and speaking voice are also helpful.

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