Are you applying for administrative assistant position but not sure how to write that perfect admin cover letter that will land you the position? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In a previous article, we touched on the tips and tricks on how to prepare and write an administrative assistant resume. Here, we’ll be discussing how to structure and write an administrative cover letter. We’ll discuss everything from who to address, to what you should and shouldn’t include, and everything in between.
- Everything you Need to Know About Writing an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Sample Layout
- Here is the format sample you should follow for an admin assistant cover letter
- Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Writing Tips
Before we get into admin assistant cover letters, it’s key to know why cover letters are an important part of the job search. When applying for an administrative assistant position, employers will look for a great cover letter and resume duo. Both cover letters and resumes are important, but in this specific article, we’re covering administrative assistant cover letters. If you’d like tips and tricks for writing an administrative assistant cover resume read up on it here.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a cover letter? A cover letter is an introduction that highlights your key accomplishments and why you would be a great fit for the job. The reason cover letters are so important in the job application process is because they are your way to add details and personality you weren’t able to include in your resume. It allows employers to differentiate between two candidates who both have similar qualifications on their resume. It’s your way to talk directly to the employer and explain what makes you the best ideal candidate for the position.
Even if a job posting doesn’t outright ask for a cover letter, it’s suggested to always include one. You don’t have to start scratch every time, but each cover letter should be tailored toward that specific job ad. The reason you should include a cover letter no matter what is because your resume is only half the story. While you might think the resume gives employers all the information they need, in reality, it’s not of much value when it isn’t paired with a cover letter. Your administrative assistant cover letter will fill gaps in your story.
Now that you understand the importance of a cover letter for administrative assistants, let’s talk about what an administrative assistant is.
An admin assistant is all moving parts of an office. They help with clerical tasks and often report to many different employees. Essentially, they are multi-taskers who keep the office running. They help with answering phones, emails, responding to customer questions and complaints, filling out spreadsheets, and much more. Administrative assistants can work in many different settings: corporate settings, government agencies, legal offices, medical offices, hospitals, schools, you name it.
To be a successful admin assistant you should be extremely organized and competent. If you think this sounds like something you’d thrive in, this article is here to help you write the best cover letter to exemplify your skills. Let’s dive right in to how to write an administrative assistant cover letter.
To start, research and understand the company and position you’re applying for. In cover letters specifically, employers are looking to see why you would make a good fit in their company and they want to see that you have put in the effort to understand what they are all about.
Format Your Admin Cover Letter Properly
Right off the bat, employers are wanting to see a professional format. But keep in mind, a cover letter should be conversational. The very first item they should see is your contact information at the top of the cover letter. This should include your name, phone number, email address and personal website (if applicable). Typically, cover letters for administrative assistants are written in business letter format. Not only does a business letter format show you care, it shows that you know how to write a business letter – a task you may have to do when working as an administrative assistant.
Along with your contact information, you should also include the date, a subject, and the employer’s contact information. An example of a subject line would be: “RE: Administrative Assistant Job Posting #1234”
“Contact Information (Your contact information. If you are writing on letterhead that includes your contact information, you do not need to include it at the start of the letter.)
Your City, Postal Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Contact Information (The person or company you are writing to)
City, Postal Code”
Subject line: “RE: Administrative Assistant Job Posting #1234”
When writing your cover letter for administrative assistant positions, try to keep it to one page (three to four paragraphs), and use reader-friendly fonts. Having trouble picking a font? Check out our list of resume-friendly fonts here.
It’s also important to note that the administrative assistant format above and layout below are transferable for other positions you may apply for like:
- Medical office assistant cover letters
- Executive assistant cover letters
- Office administrator cover letters
This is where you address who the cover letter is for. While it may feel comfortable to resort to the “Whom It May Concern,” try to address the hiring manager specifically with his or her name. if you aren’t sure their name, call up the office and ask. Personalizing your greeting starts the cover letter off in a positive light.
Next up, the Introduction
This is the part of the cover letter where the research you did on the company comes in handy. The introduction is the attention-grabber. After addressing something specific about the company, naturally transition into why you are interested and why you are the best candidate for the job.
Sample cover letter introduction for admin assistant:
I was thrilled to see your posting for an administrative assistant and think I would be a positive addition to your organization. I would love the opportunity to work for [company name] because of your advanced work in the [blank] industry. I’m impressed with your commitment to the environment and the community and I think I would be a great fit with the corporate culture.
Qualifications (hard and soft skills)
Okay, now it’s time for the meat of the cover letter. This is where you get to highlight your experience and skills. They will see your experiences and work history at-a-glance on your resume, but this is where you can add personality. Rather than listing task after task, highlight areas where you made a measurable impact.
In the qualification section, you could split up two paragraphs into soft skills and hard skills. Dedicate one paragraph to describing relevant soft skills with concrete examples all relating to why you’d be a great fit, and dedicate the other to important hard skills. Remember, come up with examples from your experiences to highlight the skills they asked for in the job posting.
Sample administrative assistant cover letter qualifications:
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 am a strong multi-tasker, thanks to my organizational and time management skills, and I welcome the challenge of meeting tight deadlines. I’m a natural problem solver, always looking 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, or sometimes referred to as the wrap up, is an important part of your cover letter. This is where you can tie it all together. These last one to two paragraphs should cover any specific skill or accomplishments you can bring to the table. Remember to end your cover letter by saying you look forward to meeting and discussing in person.
Now that you understand the basics, follow these tips to help push your admin cover letter to a whole other level.
Go beyond the resume
You can have more fun with a cover letter than you can with a resume. Keep it professional but also still show personality. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just pick a few administrative skills you want to touch on and offer examples that showcase those traits. Share a quick story or give a quantifiable example.
An employer will be able to tell right away if you have written a personalized cover letter or just sent one to every administrative assistant position out there. Like mentioned above, a generic cover letter is not the greatest first impression. The best way to customize your administrative assistant cover letter is to match keywords. You will find these keywords under “responsibilities” and “duties”.
If you have no prior administrative experience, don’t point out what you’re missing.
If you’re lacking a specific skill or education they require, it’s better to not point it out. Doing this will only bring attention to what it is you don’t have, whereas you should be highlighting the experiences and skills you do have. Use those other experiences to back up why you would be a great candidate for the job.
For example, if you are a recent graduate or otherwise do not have a lot of work experience, highlight some of your transferable skills. Use evidence from projects, classes, volunteer work, etc. to demonstrate that you have these skills.
While this may sound obvious, it’s the number one thing employers look for. They want to know who you are. A large part of a job is corporate culture, and employers look for candidates who will fit in with the company. To be yourself, avoid phrases that sound too formal or awkward. Just use clear, straightforward language.
Also, try to avoid clichés. Employers are probably tired of reading “team-player” or “go-getter”. Instead, fill your admin assistant cover letter with action words. Read a great list of action verbs here.
Edit and review
There could be hundreds of applicants for any given administrative assistant position, which is why it’s crucial to edit and read over both your cover letter and resume. Any single typo could be enough for an employer to throw away your application. A great tip is to read your cover letter out loud a few times. It’s a great way to catch mistakes.
Well, there you have it, you now have the tools in your tool box to start writing a killer admin assistant cover letter. Be patient with yourself, be confident in your abilities, and remember to take your time. While each resume should be different for each job you apply to, create a cover letter template for yourself moving forward and change key areas for each job posting.
If you’re interested in furthering your education before applying for administrative assistant positions, click here for more information on Robertson’s School of Business.