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, without one at all — you‘re probably wasting your time.
Hiring managers often have more resumes to read than time to read them. But a well-written administrative assistant cover letter? That's the hook your resume needs to increase your chances of landing an interview and being hired.
Check out our cover letter suggestions and examples to help make your application stand out from the crowd.
Administrative assistant cover letter 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 in the best possible way, you'll increase your chances of landing an interview for your next administrative job.
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. Avoid the generic, "To Whom It May Concern," and address each 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. If you aren't sure, use the full name, rather than Mr., Miss, Mrs. or Ms.
The introduction comes next
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, such as in this example.
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.
Then come your 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 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.
Finally, the close
No administrative assistant 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. 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 [specify expertise in programs such as the Microsoft Office suite], 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 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.
A customized cover letter 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. Use the cover letter ideas above as the basis for crafting a compelling document of your own.
If you need help finding new administrative job opportunities, contact the recruiters at Robert Half.