How to Write a Great Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

By Robert Half April 25, 2017 at 12:48am

You've carefully crafted a resume highlighting your skills and experience as an administrative assistant. You've made sure to match your skills with the requirements of the job description. But if you think you can get by with a cut-and-paste cover letter — or, worse, none at all — you‘re probably wasting your time. Hiring managers often have more resumes to read than time to read them. A well-written cover letter is the hook your resume needs to increase its chances of being read — and your chances of getting an interview and being hired. Check out this cover letter sample that will help you make your application stand out from the crowd when you're trying to land an administrative position.

Sample cover letter template for an administrative job

Customize each cover letter to pique a hiring manager's interest and show that you've done your research about the position — just like your resume or CV. Highlight keywords in the job listing and make sure you use them in your correspondence. Some organizations use software to scan cover letters to filter out applicants who don't match for certain terms. Use this template to craft your correspondence to a potential manager and land an interview for your next administrative job. 

Greeting

A cover letter should have a more conversational tone than a resume. But keep it professional — this is still business correspondence. Avoid the generic "To Whom It May Concern" and address the hiring manager personally. If you don't know his or her name, it's worth a phone call to the office to find out. And don't make assumptions about the hiring manager's gender or marital status. If you're not sure if that Morgan, Terry or Alex is a man or a woman, see if you can figure it out by searching for the hiring manager on LinkedIn. And don't assume women are married or use the term Mrs. — opt for Ms. when addressing women. 

Introduction

The first paragraph should be an attention grabber. Do some research on the employer beforehand to show that you're familiar with the company and the type of work it does before writing it. Then you can naturally follow up with the reasons you're interested in the position, whatever those may be.  

Dear Mr./Ms. [Name],

I was excited to see your posting for an executive assistant and think I would be an asset to your organization. I would love the opportunity to work for [company name] because of your innovative work in the [blank] industry. I am also impressed by your involvement in the community and commitment to lessening the organization's carbon footprint. I think I would fit in with the corporate culture because I, too, strive to be the best at what I do.

Qualifications

Now, it's time to highlight your skills and work experience. The goal is to touch on what you have to offer the organization without getting too longwinded or simply rehashing what's in your resume. Rather than just writing out a list of your job duties, highlight areas where you've made a measurable impact in your organization:

As an administrative assistant, I am a jack-of-all-trades, and I am looking to expand my role to meet the diverse needs of a fast-paced company such as yours. I multitask well thanks to my organizational and time management skills, and I welcome the challenge of meeting tight deadlines. I'm also a natural problem solver, always on the lookout for ways to maximize efficiency and provide solutions that benefit the organization. At my previous job, I proposed several cost-cutting measures, saving the company [$X,XXX] over the course of a year. Communicating effectively is another one of my strong suits. I am comfortable dealing with clients, customers and vendors, and am considered the office guru by new hires when they need information.

The close

No cover letter is complete without the last piece of the puzzle: the wrap-up. This final section should cover any specific skills, career accomplishments or additional training you bring to the table that complement the job requirements. End the note by saying you hope to meet in person for further discussion:

I have experience running virtual meetings and giving PowerPoint presentations. I possess a wide range of software skills, including [expertise in FileMaker Pro, Concur, etc.], and continue to seek training to further enhance my skill set. I can also help the company manage its online profile because I am well-versed in social media such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss other ways I can contribute to your operations as an employee.

Sincerely,

Name

Contact information

A compelling invitation to a potential employer

A customized cover letter is more than just a preface. It's good PR for your resume, an invitation to an employer to read the attached information and select you for an interview. Use the cover letter example above as the basis to craft a compelling document of your own. If you need help finding new administrative job opportunities, contact the recruiters at OfficeTeam. 

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