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 and tailored your objective to include keywords that are sure to make you standout. But if you think you can get by with a cut-and-paste cover letter — or, worse, without one at all — you‘re probably decreasing your chances at landing the job. A cover letter is still an important piece of the hiring process in Canada and shouldn’t be an afterthought even for administrative professionals. The reality of the workplace is that hiring managers in Canada often have more resumes to read than time to read them. But a well-written cover letter for administrative assistants? That could be the hook your resume needs to increase your chances of landing an interview and being hired.  Check out Robert Half Canada’s suggestions and example cover letters for administrative assistants that will help make your application stand out.
Administrative assistant cover letter general tips: Just as you do with your resume, customize each cover letter to pique a hiring manager's interest and show you've done your research about the position. 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. By crafting your correspondence to a potential manager with care and intention, you'll increase your chances of landing an interview for your next administrative job.  Example: In the first sentence, identify a specific skill or quality mentioned in the job description. For instance, if the description emphasizes "excellent communication skills," you could say:  "Having honed my communication skills through [brief experience example], I'm confident I can effectively handle all your administrative correspondence." In the second sentence, connect that skill to a benefit the employer gets by hiring you.  "This will ensure clear and timely communication with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders."   Start with your greeting A cover letter should have a more conversational tone than a resume. But this is still business correspondence, so keep it professional. When it comes to addressing the company or hiring manager in a cover letter, personalization is key. It demonstrates how invested you are and the effort you took to research the business and specific position you’re applying to. Ideally, you should find the hiring manager's name through the job posting, company website, or LinkedIn and address the cover letter directly to them, ie. "Dear Ms. Johnson." If the hiring manager's name remains a mystery, you can address the letter to the department head (e.g., "Dear Marketing Manager") or use a more generic salutation, such as "Dear Hiring Manager." Remember to avoid outdated or impersonal greetings like "To Whom It May Concern," or “Dear Sir or Madam.” A last tip: Don't make assumptions about the hiring manager's gender. If you aren't sure, use the full name, rather than Mr., Miss, Mrs. or Ms.   Cover letter Introduction The first paragraph should be an attention grabber. Do some research on the employer to show you're familiar with the company and the type of work it does. Then you can naturally follow up with the reasons you're interested in the position, whatever those may be. Here is a strong template and example to help you write your cover letter’s introduction: Start with a strong opening – introduce yourself in a succinct elevator pitch and mention the position you are applying for Express your enthusiasm – let the hiring manager know you’re interested in the position and the company Example: Dear [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 sustainable business practices. I think I would fit in with the corporate culture. Tip: Try to adapt your tone to the position or industry you’re applying to. Applying for an administrative assistant role? It should sound like you’re writing a cover letter for administrative assistant job.   Then come your qualifications Now, it's time to highlight your skills and work experience in the cover letter for administrative assistant job. 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 a list of your job duties and technical skills, highlight areas where you've made a measurable impact in your organization. Example: I bring a diverse skillset and a proactive approach to administrative support, adept at thriving in fast-paced environments. My strengths lie in organization, time management, and clear communication. I leverage these skills to prioritize tasks effectively, meet deadlines consistently, and ensure smooth information flow within the office. My problem-solving abilities extend beyond daily tasks. In my previous role, I identified and implemented cost-saving measures that resulted in streamlining office supplies procurement, leading to $X,XXX in annual savings for the business. I am a strong communicator, fostering positive relationships with clients, colleagues, and vendors. New hires consistently seek me out for my knowledge and ability to explain processes thoroughly and clearly.   Finally, the close No cover letter for administrative assistants is complete without the last piece of the puzzle: the wrap-up. The closing paragraph of a cover letter should be a strong summary that reiterates your interest and qualifications, while also encouraging the hiring manager to take the next step with you. Here are some tips for when closing out your cover letter: Personalize it – reference specific details about the company or role again to show your commitment to this job application Keep it concise – 2-3 sentences should suffice and help you avoid being repetitive Use a formal closing to sign off – such as Sincerely or Thank you for your time and consideration Include your contact details – While your resume likely has this, reiterating your phone number and email address in the cover letter provides easy access for the hiring manager. Remember, keep this paragraph concise and professional. It's your final chance to leave a lasting impression, so showcase your enthusiasm and professionalism. Example: I am confident that my skills in organization, communication, and problem-solving, along with my proactive approach, would make me a valuable asset to your team. I am particularly impressed by [Company name]’s commitment to [Company value or initiative], and believe my experience in [Your relevant experience] would contribute to your continued success. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience. You can reach me at [Phone number] or [Email address].” Sincerely, Name [Alternative to include contact information at the end]   A customized cover letter, whether it be for an administrative assistant role or payroll analyst, is more than just a preface. It's good PR for your resume, a compelling invitation to an employer to read the attached information and select you for an interview. A well-crafted cover letter for administrative assistant job applications, can be a valuable tool to make a strong first impression on potential employers; increasing your chances of being selected for an interview. Use the ideas Robert Half Canada has shared above as the basis for crafting a compelling cover letter of your own. If you need help finding new administrative job opportunities, contact the recruiters at Robert Half.