How to Write a Receptionist Cover Letter
For many businesses, the receptionist is often the first person people see when they visit. They are the first point of contact and give the first impression of the business.
Those who make great receptionists are outgoing, personable and well organized.
For those looking to become a receptionist, the first step is creating an effective cover letter
What Is a Receptionist Cover Letter?
Your receptionist cover letter is likely the first impression a future employer will have of you as an applicant and what kind of person you are.
Having a well-crafted cover letter that clearly emphasizes your strengths and fit for the position can easily move you ahead to the first interview, if done right.
This is also your chance to point out anything you feel they should know that is not on your resume, such as personal qualities or skills.
A receptionist cover letter should be specific to the role, and to the company where the applicant is applying. Do not use a generic letter or you will lose your reader's attention fast.
What Should a Great Receptionist Cover Letter Include?
When planning your letter, keep in mind the requirements listed in the job description and think of attributes and skills you hold that meet them, as well as any soft skills you feel would be valuable to the job.
Be sure to mention your past experiences and detail how you have learned from them.
A cover letter for a receptionist should make note of any certificates or degrees that are relevant.
From there it should emphasize:
- Customer service skills
- Organizational skills
- Telephone skills
- Multitasking abilities
- Technical skills, such as typing
- Computer programs you are fluent in
- Spreadsheet capabilities
- Report generation
- Ability to provide support for others in the company
Skills and qualifications will differ if you are applying as a medical receptionist or a receptionist without any experience.
A Medical Receptionist Cover Letter
A medical receptionist cover letter might read a bit differently. Begin with your degrees or certification to work in the field.
You should include all the skills recommended for a general receptionist cover letter, but should stress good interpersonal skills and empathy as you will be dealing with patients every day.
You should also particularly emphasize record keeping and organizational skills as a medical receptionist has a lot of forms and information to keep track of.
Note if you have a medical background or are familiar with medical language, such as HIPPA regulations, as well as medical coding.
Finally, you should also note that you work well under pressure. A doctor’s office can become busy and your employer needs to know that you can handle the workload and get the information they need.
A No Experience Cover Letter
Finally, you may be heading back into the workforce with little or no experience.
A receptionist cover letter with no experience should focus on emphasizing skills you have picked up through school, volunteer work or other endeavors.
You may have organized events outside of the workplace, handled stressful situations or had to help someone become more organized.
Clearly outline how you can best fit the position with the skills you do have, and don’t forget to state that you are eager to grow and learn to do your best in the position.
How to Write Your Receptionist Cover Letter
Organizing your cover letter is easy if you organize it like any other letter you would send. Begin at the top with the date and person and address it is going to.
Do your research and understand the position you are applying for and the company, and use this in your cover letter. Keep the focus on the receptionist position.
Keep it short and to the point. No more than a page in length. Double and triple check for mistakes.
A full breakdown of the cover letter process can be found in our article on how to write a cover letter
First Paragraph – Who are You Writing To?
Research the job you are applying for to find out who is doing the hiring and address your letter accordingly. Use the proper titles where you can (Mr, Mrs, Ms).
If you are unable to find out who is hiring, then use 'Dear Hiring Manager', but only as a last resort.
From the start, be friendly but professional. Introduce yourself and quickly point out the role you are applying for and why you think you will be a good fit. Try to find something specific in the job posting to mention and explain why you think you meet that need.
I am applying for the position of receptionist at your pet supplies company and see that keeping meeting minutes is required. I am an excellent typist with the ability to maintain up to 75 words per minute with minimal mistakes.
Second Paragraph – Why You Are a Good Fit
The second paragraph is where you can outline your skills and achievements and emphasize what makes you a perfect fit for this role.
You may have some personality traits that would be an asset to the receptionist position. It could be that you have an amazing memory, can write or type very quickly or you instinctively put people at ease.
Many of us have an abundance of soft skills we aren’t aware of.
Don’t simply regurgitate your resume, but give examples of work you have done.
Look for a specific experience that directly relates to what the employer is looking for in the job description.
The job posting might mention that the receptionist will also be responsible for keeping track of many ongoing projects.
In my previous role at ABC Company, I was in charge of keeping track of employees’ daily costs using a spreadsheet and matching them up with invoices weekly. I did this as well as keeping track of the hours that salespeople spent on the road and tracking vendor invoices for payment.
Third Paragraph – Qualifications
This is the paragraph where you can point out what qualifications make you stand apart from other applicants.
Although you won't normally need specific qualifications to get a job as a receptionist, you should talk about any special training that you have undertaken and what you learnt.
Perhaps you have a typing or secretarial qualification that will help you in the role.
This is also the place to emphasize anything extra you may have learned that is not listed on your resume.
I notice that you need someone with strong note-taking skills. I have a Level 2 Diploma in Reception Operation and, as part of this course, I learned shorthand. During my end of year assessment, I was praised for my focus and speed.
Fourth Paragraph – How You Can Help the Organization as a Whole
No employee acts on their own without an effect on the company as a whole. This is even truer for the role of a receptionist who is the first to greet people as they walk through the company doors.
Use this section to show that you have done some research and know the company you are applying to. Point out how your skills can benefit other areas of the company and help things run more smoothly.
At my previous position, I created a more organized filing system so everyone can find vendor information in one place, rather than having to check with different salespeople, saving them time.
Fifth Paragraph – Call to Action and Sign Off
Your final paragraph is just as important as your first. You want to leave your potential employer with the feeling that you are a strong candidate worth pursuing further.
Don’t simply thank them for their time, but ask that they contact you to discuss the role further. Not only does it show initiative, but it also reaffirms that you are interested in the position.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the position further and I look forward to hearing from you.
Sign off in a professional but open manner. Use ‘Yours truly’ or ‘Sincerely’.
Receptionist Cover Letter Top Tips
Be personable but professional. As the first point of contact at a business, a receptionist needs to be both friendly and professional. Make sure this shows through in your cover letter too.
Do your research. You may be applying for multiple jobs at a time. You don’t want your cover letter to sound like the same letter you have sent to other places. Research the company you are applying to and reference the information in your letter.
Emphasize your non-work skills. This is the place to point out your great communication skills, your love of organization or your familiarity with the product the company produces.
Short and concise. Employers receive many resumes and don’t want to have to read through long, drawn-out cover letters. Keep it short, to the point and mistake-free. A cover letter with mistakes may as well not have been sent.
Strong sign-off. Don’t simply thank them for reading your cover letter and resume, make a point that you hope they contact you for future conversation.
Example Receptionist Cover Letter
123 Somewhere Street
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am applying for the position of Receptionist with [your company] as seen on [job board]. I have four years working as a receptionist at [previous company] where I was the first person to greet everyone during the day and was responsible for many office tasks.
In my previous position, I was responsible for answering phones, emails, greeting visitors, ordering supplies, tracking incoming and outgoing mail, and keeping files organized. In your job description, you mention the candidate must be organized and a self-starter. In my previous position, I took charge of organizing all office files in one location creating a computerized log allowing everyone to find files easily and quickly.
Not only am I personable and communicative, but I love dealing with people. I understand the stress that other workers may be under and am there to help in any way I can. I am a great multitasker and can help several people at once.
I have a Level 2 Diploma in Reception Operation and as part of this course, I learned shorthand. During my end of year assessment, I was praised for my focus and speed. I have also earned an advanced certificate in Excel and can type at 65 words per minute.
I thank you for taking the time to look over my cover letter and resume and would love to speak with you further about how I can be a great receptionist for your company. I look forward to hearing from you.
A well-written receptionist cover letter can be the difference between getting a first interview or not.
By doing your research and planning out your letter, you will have a strong, well-written piece to accompany your resume.
Being a receptionist is an important job. Always make sure your desire and your enthusiasm for the position shows through in both your cover letter and when you get that first interview.