How to Write an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

How to Write an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

How to Write an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

What Is an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter?

Cover letters are required for most job applications, and administrative assistant roles are no exception.

A cover letter is an important opportunity to add weight to your administrative assistant application beyond the education and experience briefly listed in your resume.

It should be used to display in greater detail your skills, relevant experience and motivation for applying to the role and company.

If a cover letter is required for the administrative role you are considering, it will be stated clearly in the online job advert. Even if a cover letter is listed as optional in the application, you should always put in the effort to write one.

This will be noticed by the company’s recruitment team and the content of the letter will help them get to know you and what you could bring to the role. A resume without an accompanying cover letter does little to engage or convince recruiters of your value.

Although it might seem time-consuming to write targeted cover letters for each administrative role you apply to, a tailored and considered cover letter greatly increases your chances of being shortlisted and progressing to the next stage of the application process.

What Should a Great Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Include?

A great cover letter for an administrative assistant position should convey that you:

  • Are genuinely interested and excited by the role on offer
  • Have relevant skills and experience which will contribute to your performance in the role
  • Meet or exceed the criteria outlined in the job posting
  • Understand the company and wider sector you will be working as an administrative assistant within

To compose a strong letter, you should explore what you bring to the table under each of the headings below:

1. Your Key Skills

A good quality and persuasive administrative assistant cover letter should highlight the skills and competencies you would bring the administrative role in question.

Recruiters do not rate generic cover letters, so your letter should be well-tailored and address the essential criteria listed in the job advert.

For working as an administrative assistant, the following key skills are vital:

These important skills should be demonstrated through strong examples from your previous work or study experience.

Just as in interviews, a pared-down STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, Result – can be usefully applied here.

Thinking of your experience in this way helps to make sure you consider and promote the result of your action.

Try not to digress too much into the minutia but seek to display that you can deliver solid results through your work. Give impressive headline examples of tasks undertaken and your achievements.

2. Your Qualifications

If you have relevant qualifications, highlight these in your cover letter. They may be included in your resume but sell yourself by flagging them in the letter too.

Recruiters may not look beyond the headline points in your resume, so seek to draw extra attention to your achievements and strengths.

3. Your Knowledge of the Company/Sector

Great administrative assistant cover letters go further than just evidencing your administration skills – they show an active knowledge of the company and sector you are applying to work within.

Administrative assistants can work across a large number of varied sectors and companies. As they are central to office operation, however, an understanding of the business area is invaluable.

The best cover letters display that the candidate has not only the organizational and logistics skills to work effectively as an administrative assistant, but the knowledge of the company and its aims, values and processes to back it up.

How to Write Your Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Cover letters should be concise and to the point, articulately showcasing your skills in less than a page of text.

Recruiters will likely receive hundreds of cover letters for each administrative role so your letter must be short and engaging.

Before You Begin to Write

Before drafting your letter, review the job posting. Look carefully at the qualifications and the essential and desirable criteria listed.

Your cover letter needs to match your experience with the criteria the employer is seeking, so using the same language as the job advert is advised.

Note down any key terms used so you can include them when referring to your skills.

Unfortunately, due to volume, shortlisting is often a tick-box exercise. Prepare to display clearly that you tick the criteria boxes.

The Top Section

At the top of your cover letter, you should include your name, address and contact details. Underneath this, note the date and the address of the company you are applying to.

If you know the name of the person that the letter should be directed to, add this as the first line of the company address.

The inclusion of these details might seem outdated, as cover letters are all sent via email now, but it is common practice to include them. It also displays your familiarity with the structures of more formal correspondence.

Who Should I Address the Cover Letter to?

If the job advert says who is managing the recruitment process for the administrative role, the letter should be addressed directly to them.

If there is no name listed but you are aware of the specific department you would be working in, explore the company’s website and LinkedIn.

It is worth taking the time to find who will be leading or influencing the employment decision, as it displays both initiative and motivation.

If you cannot find a name online, it might be worth contacting the office via phone or email to ask. They will most likely be happy to help.

Going the extra mile displays your dedication and commitment.

If you absolutely cannot find an individual to which to address the cover letter, opt as a last resort for a polite and formal ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear [company name] Recruitment Manager’.

First Paragraph

In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should clearly state the name of the role you are applying for (and department if known) and then concisely introduce yourself to the recruiter.

If there is a job reference number, it is also good practice to include this for ease, particularly if the application process is not centralized and submission is via email.

You should look to create a good first impression with a succinct paragraph that clearly outlines the extent and type of experience you have.

If you have been referred by someone for the job, make sure to also mention this in your opening paragraph.

For example,

Dear Jennifer Reid,

I am writing to apply for the administrative assistant role within the marketing department at [company name] (Job reference: XC4FZ6).

Please find attached my CV for your consideration. I previously worked with Mike Smith at [company name] and he recommended that I apply for this position. Being familiar with my work, he believes that my eight years of experience in administration for marketing organizations make me an excellent fit for this demanding and multifaceted role.

How to Write an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
How to Write an Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Second Paragraph

In the second paragraph of your cover letter, you should convey why you are a good choice for the role by highlighting your professional background and specific experience.

Focus on your relevant accomplishments and, if possible, quantify your experiences.

Results conveyed in numbers are quick and easy to absorb, though it is recognized that not all achievements can be quantified in this way. Highlight your relevant business skills and the soft skills you will bring to the role.

Make sure you are matching your cover letter to the essential criteria listed in the job posting and echoing the language used.

In the example below, the terms highlighted in bold support the skills, competencies and responsibilities listed in the advert.

You may find it useful to highlight any such key terms in your draft cover letter, to help ensure you are speaking directly to the requirements. Obviously, though, remember to reformat before sending off a final version to the recruiter.

For example,

Over my career, I have honed my strong organizational skills through significant experience in daily administrative tasks such as processing client enquires, diary management, appointment scheduling and meeting planning. An accompanying knowledge of marketing and its processes and demands, means I am perfectly placed to provide logistical support to the senior marketing executive.

I also have experience in creating inventories, managing office supplies and stock ordering, so I can undertake these tasks with ease. I have also previously taken on accounting responsibilities.

I am a competent and independent worker but flourish as part of a team. I am confident taking on a management role, having been responsible for line managing four junior administrative assistants when I worked for [previous company name].

Third Paragraph

In the next paragraph, indicate what you believe you will bring to the role to outline how employing you will benefit the company.

This could be done by using an example of a past achievement and explaining how you might implement a similar solution to improve operations in this role. Again, refer directly back to the detail in the job posting.

In the example below, the key terms that relate to the job advert are again highlighted in bold:

I understand that a significant responsibility for this role will be overseeing the revamping of the database system and coordinating the maintenance of company records. In my previous role at [company name], I was responsible for creating and maintaining a new client project database which streamlined access to active working files across the department. It was praised for enabling greater creative transparency across projects and encouraging a more collaborative working culture amongst account executives. I believe that I would be able to provide [company name] with the innovative logical solutions that are sought.

Final Paragraph

The final paragraph of the letter should thank the reader for their consideration of your application and create a call to action for the recruiter.

To close, sign off from the letter in a formal manner. You may also wish to include your phone number and email after your name.

For example,

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I firmly believe that my enthusiasm, strong written and verbal communication skills, and direct experience in a marketing environment make me a great fit for this role. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this role further.

Sincerely,

Jessica Hill
06386 286351
jessica.hill@gmail.com

Top Tips for Making the Most of Your Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Cover letters can seem daunting to write as the decision whether to shortlist your application rides upon the impression given by the letter.

If you are enthusiastic about the role you are applying to, you will want to write the best cover letter possible.

Below are our top tips for writing a good cover letter to help your application stand out:

Ensure Your Letter Is Well Written and Free of Errors

Check your spelling, sentence syntax and grammar. There is now little excuse for obvious errors due to the spell checking and proofing functionality built into Microsoft Word, so be sure to set a proofing language.

It is also good practice to proofread your letter carefully by eye and not just rely on technology, as certain mistakes may slip through the net.

Remember that recruiters will likely have to process hundreds of cover letters; if a letter is difficult to read, it is unlikely that time will be spent deciphering it.

A concise, well-structured cover letter is also an example of your written work. As written communication skills are particularly pertinent to a role as an administrative assistant, use the letter as an opportunity to showcase your writing skills.

Don’t Write a General Letter and Reuse It for All Your Applications

You shouldn’t reuse a cover letter without taking the time to heavily edit and tailor the individual paragraphs to the company and role in question.

The criteria list for different admin roles varies due to the breadth of opportunities, so displaying that you fulfill the specific criteria is crucial to being shortlisted.

Take the time to show you are committed and motivated in the recruitment process. If your cover letter doesn’t display effort and enthusiasm, recruiters aren’t going to feel that you believe you are right for the role.

Match Your Cover Letter to the Job Description

When writing your cover letter, use the job posting to your benefit.

Review the requirements and responsibilities for the role and outline a competency you have that fulfills them directly.

Your letter will be one of many, so using the terms listed in the cover letter will help flag to fatigued recruiters that you possess the experience and skills needed to thrive in the role.

Think About the Unique Skills and Experience You Bring to the Role

Before starting to write your administrative assistant cover letter, consider what makes you a unique candidate.

  • How has your professional or educational background prepared you?
  • Have you any direct experience in the sector you are applying to work within?
  • What could you bring to the role that someone else would not?

Example Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

Now let’s take a look at how a complete cover letter might read.

Key terms that relate to the job posting have been highlighted in bold to demonstrate the importance of speaking directly to the skills, competencies and responsibilities listed in the advert.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Hiring manager’s name]
[Company name]
[Company address]

[Date]

Dear Jennifer Reid,

I am writing to apply for the administrative assistant role within the marketing department at [company name] (Job reference: XC4FZ6).

Please find attached my resume for your consideration. I previously worked with Mike Smith at [company name] and he recommended that I apply for this position. Being familiar with my work, he believes that my ten years of experience in administration for marketing organizations make me an excellent fit for this demanding and multifaceted role.

Over my career, I have honed my strong organizational skills through significant experience in daily administrative tasks, such as processing client enquires, diary management, appointment scheduling and meeting planning. An accompanying knowledge of marketing and its processes and demands means I am perfectly placed to provide logistical support to the senior marketing executive.

I have experience in creating inventories, managing office supplies and stock ordering so can undertake these additional tasks with ease. I have also previously taken on accounting responsibilities.

I am a competent and independent worker but flourish as part of a team. I am confident taking on a management role, having been responsible for line managing four junior administrative assistants when I worked for [previous company name].

I understand that a significant responsibility for this role will be overseeing the revamping of the database system and coordinating the maintenance of company records. In my previous role at [company name], I was responsible for creating and maintaining an entirely new client project database that streamlined access to active working files across the department. It was praised for enabling greater creative transparency across projects and encouraging a more collaborative working culture amongst account executives. I believe that I would be able to provide [company name] with the innovative logical solutions that are sought.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I firmly believe that my enthusiasm, strong written and verbal communication skills, and direct experience in a marketing environment make me a great fit for this role. I look forward to discussing this further with you.

Sincerely,

Jessica Hill
06386 286351
jessica.hill@gmail.com

Final Thoughts

A cover letter is a key opportunity to convey your experience, skills and enthusiasm for an administrative assistant role. It is, however, only part of the application.

It should productively supplement the detail of your resume by making headlines out of your key hooks.

A cover letter is your personal sales pitch, so take the time to craft a letter that is genuine and reflects your talents and ambition.

A concise, engaging letter will greatly improve your chances of being shortlisted for an interview and securing the administrative role you want.


Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

Or explore the Application Advice / Job Applications sections.