Frequently seen in job postings for receptionist positions:
-2-3 years previous reception experience
-professional experience with the Microsoft Suite
-experience operating/troubleshooting office equipment
What said job postings actually should say:
-be of an employable age and not an a-hole
Here's the thing: anyone of an employable age can fulfill the phone-answering, photocopy-making, document-typing and formatting, spreadsheet-creating, fax-sending tasks of a receptionist. That is because at this point in the history of the world, everyone of an employable age* knows how to do all these things, and if they don't already know they will easily figure it out, probably in less than 5 minutes. You see, employers of the world, while most of you are over 40 and even more of you over 50, and thus had to be taught how to use computers when they came out, the rest of us grew up with them already in place or were introduced to them at a very young age. Thus the ability to figure out the updated version of Microsoft Word without calling tech support. Thus the fact that we don't need 2 years of experience as a receptionist to make a spreadsheet and yank jammed papers out of a photocopier.
Now, I'm not saying that experience is useless. I'm sure that after a couple of years in an office you pick up some handy organizational skills and get a little better at some of the multi-tasking occasionally required. But let's be honest with ourselves for a moment: it still doesn't make that big of a difference.
*caveat: by "everyone" I mean everyone who lives and was educated in an environment where modern technology is used, meaning the parts of developed countries that don't screw over their poor. I also mean people who aren't a-holes, which might rule out a large portion of the population.