The key to landing an administrative assistant job is a strong cover letter. This provides candidates with an opportunity to showcase their skills to provide administrative assistance. A great cover letter will also tell your story beyond the resume. Here is everything you need to know to write a strong admin assistant cover letter.
Cover Letter Basics
It is important to first understand what a cover letter does in order to build a strong cover letter for your administrative assistant search. A cover letter is a one-page summary of your resume and interest in the position that you are applying to.
A cover letter is supposed to tell the story beyond your resume. This is an opportunity for you to elaborate on your skills and experience. It is also an opportunity to proactively address questions that may arise from your resume so that the person reading the cover letter wants to schedule an interview with you.
Now that the purpose of a cover letter is clear, the next step is to make sure that you build a cover letter that helps you to stand out as a strong candidate for the administrative assistant jobs. The following are tips on crafting the perfect admin assistant cover letter.
Do Not Repeat Your Resume
A cover letter should not merely repeat the contents of your resume. This is an opportunity to elaborate on your skills and experience that make you a strong candidate for the administrative assistant job that you are applying to. Focus in on what matters most to the person skimming your application and provide a clear message.
You can use the cover letter to explain exactly how you meet the qualifications for the job as posted. This is a great strategy if the connections aren't entirely clear about how your prior experience translates or if you are looking to change careers. Providing clarity on how you are qualified for the job can make it possible for you to land an interview if the person may otherwise be on the fence about you as a candidate.
A great admin assistant cover letter includes examples from your experience to show that you are the best candidate for the job.
When providing examples, make sure to keep them brief and to the point. The person skimming your cover letter will not spend a lot of time. Make it easy for the person skimming the cover letter to see exactly what you did, where, and how that translates to the job you are pursuing.
Use specific examples and stories from your experience that demonstrate the qualities that make you a great administrative assistant. Focus on the things that are most relevant to the job or company that you are pursuing. You should also provide clear results from this example in your cover letter if possible.
If you have a lot of relevant experience, choose the examples that are most recent or that best demonstrate your skills for the position that you are pursuing.
Your admin assistant cover letter should include skills that are relevant to the job you are applying to. You can connect those examples or results from your resume to these skills to illustrate that you are the best candidate for the job and a fit for the employer's culture.
A few examples of skills to include on your admin assistance cover letter are:
- Time Management
- Customer Service
- Written and Verbal Communication
- Computer Savvy
- Multi-line Phones
- Receptionist Duties
Explain Your Why
The next step to building a strong administrative assistant cover letter is explaining why you want the job and why you are ready to make the change.
This is your opportunity to tell the story of why you are making a job change and how this new role fits into your career goals. Be clear in what you want next and keep your language positive.
Your cover letter should be clear about what it is that you want and why this company specifically. This can help you to stand out amongst other candidates who may simply be looking for any job.
If you are changing careers, this is also an opportunity to explain why you want to make the switch and how your skills from your previous experience can transfer to this new role.
Make sure that you do your research on the company before writing your cover letter so that you can address why you want to work for them specifically. Remember to use that research in your cover letter.
Customize Your Message
Although you could use a general cover letter, the best practice for administrative assistants is to customize the letter for each job. In fact, people expect a customized letter for these types of applications because document preparation is a big part of many admin assistant jobs.
Customizing your cover letter doesn't mean creating it from scratch each time. Instead, it means including your research or tweaking your message to best answer the key points relevant to the organization that you are submitting the information to. Use your time wisely and think about the person who may skim the cover letter once you hit submit. Apply those thoughts to create a message that makes sense.
Demonstrate Your Admin Assistant Skills
The best cover letter for an admin assistant will also show off the person's skills. This means making sure that the cover letter reflects the skills that you say you have in it.
What does that mean? For example, if you say that you are detailed, but don't bother to customize the letter, then the person skimming the cover letter will disagree. Or, if you say that you have strong written communication skills and the cover letter contains typos or grammatical errors, then the person likely will reject your application. So, take the time to step back and make sure that you are using the skills that make you a great admin assistant in building your own cover letter and throughout the job application process.
The following is an example of an admin assistant cover letter that applies the tips above.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am applying to this admin assistant position as posted online. I am a strong fit for this role with my proven track record as an administrative assistant and dedication to delivering quality in fast-paced environments.
My enclosed resume reflects that I meet the requirements for this job. I obtained my bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota in business. I have about 5 years of experience as an administrative assistant. I have done this in smaller organizations and larger ones. In each role, I have supported multiple professionals and have even assisted executives as requested. In working for a variety of people, I have also worked with a number of computer systems and have learned them all quickly.
It is my attention to detail and strong customer service skills that make me stand out as a candidate. For example, in my current job, I support 3 sales professionals and interact with customers regularly. I do this with my strong organizational abilities and my ability to adapt. As a further example, I previously worked with the executive team in a smaller business. This role provided me with broad experience across the business. I had to balance competing priorities under tight timelines and I always delivered results.
I enjoy my current job, but I have reached a plateau in the organization. I am someone that thrives where I can continue learning and stay busy. As a result, I am actively looking for the right next step in my career.
I believe that this role could be a strong match for my talents. I understand that the person in this role supports the sales team including the sales executives. This presents the ability for me to combine the favorite parts of my prior experience in an interesting way where I can immediately contribute and continue to grow.
I hope to learn more about this position.