Office and Admin

How to Write a Perfect Admin Assistant Cover Letter (Examples Included)

admin-assistant-cover-letter
Written by Kate Lopaze

here at thejobnetwork, we talk a lot about how to build the perfect resume—after all, it’s your chance to show a potential employer who you are, what you do, and what you will do for them. but although the cover letter has become somewhat controversial in recent years, with the advent of digital hiring tools and job application apps, it’s an element that you should be able to knock out of the park when you need it.

for admin assistants, the cover letter can be a useful way to personalize your resume and packaging for the job to which you’re applying. having been there, i know the pluses and minuses of having versatile admin experience—sure, you’ve got flexible skills that you can take pretty much everywhere. but when you’re trying to frame yourself as a unique candidate, how do you take those universal admin skills and experience and make them fit the exact job you want?

first let’s start with the basics of a good cover letter.

necessity #1: an appropriate addressee

if you have a direct name (hiring manager, recruiter, etc.), all the better—make sure the opener is polite and personalized. if you don’t have a specific name, you can still personalize it to the company.

for example:

  • dear ms. perkins,
  •  hello ms. perkins,
  •  greetings ms. perkins,
  •  dear techedge industries team,

you need to strike the right balance between conversational and formal. definitely don’t go too casual. the fact that you’re likely submitting these online, or writing an email, can lead to a false sense of familiarity with the person.

bad examples:

  • hey phyllis,
  •  phyllis perkins,
  •  hello:
  •  to whom it may concern:

all of these greetings are either too casual, or too vague. “to whom it may concern” is the cover letter equivalent of getting mail addressed to “occupant”: chances are it’s going to be passed on without reading. it suggests that the cover letter writer is applying indiscriminately. that might not be the case (you might just be covering for the fact that you don’t have a specific contact person), but they don’t know that). it’s important to be as clear and direct as possible in your cover letter.

necessity #2: your narrative

the whole point of your cover letter is adding context to you, and your resume. on your resume, you have limited space, and the priority goes to potent, high-quality bullet points to illustrate your skills and experience. the cover letter is your chance to craft the larger story of your career, and why you would be a good fit for this job in particular.

for example:

as an experienced administrative assistant and a lifelong home baker, i am thrilled to be applying for this position with gina’s homemade cookie company. i’ve worked in companies that are large, small, and somewhere in between, and have found that my skills fit best in a small, close-knit company like gina’s. i have experience implementing new systems that improve record keeping and office efficiency, and with working as part of a team coordinating complex schedules and details while making sure everything gets done on time.

 bad example:

i am applying for a job at gina’s homemade cookie company. please see my attached resume, and let me know if you have any questions.

in the good example, the applicant shows that she’s done her research on gina’s homemade cookie company (company size, general culture), and is showing how she might fit well in that (as a baking enthusiast and experienced admin). the writer doesn’t necessarily go into her life history, but picks higlights that dovetail well with the job description. it also gives the reader a preview of the kinds of experience to expect in the resume.

in the bad example, the cover letter body says nothing about the writer, and does nothing to supplement the resume. it’s just an unnecessary attachment.

necessity #3: a strong finish

 always have a closing paragraph that restates the highlights (why you’re a good fit) and leaves room for follow-up.

for example:

i would love to have the opportunity to join your team, and look forward to hearing more about this opening. my skills and experience as an admin (and a cookie enthusiast) would be a great fit as an administrative assistant in your company. please don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s any other information i can provide.

bad example:

please let me know more about this job opening.

in these examples, one writer reminds the reader why she is a good fit; the other writer puts the onus on the reader to give more information about the job itself, and says nothing about herself in the meantime. you want to make sure you’re aligning yourself with the job in the reader’s mind, and this is your last chance to do so before they read your resume.

necessity #4: clean formatting

like with your resume, you want your cover letter to be clear and easy to read. that means:

  • a standard font. this is not the time to test out “fun” fonts. pick something clean and basic, like times.
  • no huge blocks of text. in a letter, unbroken paragraphs can look like the ramblings of a manifesto. you want your reader to see a series of separate, elegantly outlined points.
  • short length. a cover letter should never be more than a page, and even a full page is definitely pushing it. brevity is the soul of wit, and the friend of application readers everywhere.

for example:

my attached resume goes into more detail about my daily job duties and achievements during my tenure as an administrative assistant at two companies. my experience managing complex schedules, overseeing busy offices, and leading junior staff would be an asset to this role.

i would love to have to opportunity to join the team at gina’s homemade cookies, and bring my expertise in managing day-to-day office processes to your company. i believe i can meet and exceed the expectations you have for this role, and i look forward to speaking more with you about my application. feel free to contact me at any time.

bad example:

my attached resume goes into more detail about my daily job duties and achievements during my tenure as an administrative assistant at two companies. my experience managing complex schedules, overseeing busy offices, and leading junior staff would be an asset to this role. i would love to have to opportunity to join the team at gina’s homemade cookies, and bring my expertise in managing day-to-day office processes to your company. i believe i can meet and exceed the expectations you have for this role, and i look forward to speaking more with you about my application. feel free to contact me at any time.

that’s a lot to cram into one paragraph. crafting shorter, punchier paragraphs can help you focus your letter into the points you want the reader to notice, and keep it visually appealing as well.

after that closing pitch, all you have left is the closing. like with the opening address, it should be simple and polite. not too flowery (“kindest warmest regards, dear recruiter” is…unnecessary.

for example:

  • best wishes,
  • sincerely,

bad examples:

  • thanks.
  • fondest wishes,
  • [name—no greeting]
  • please hit me back, 

and after that, you’re done! well, except for the resume, the interview, and the negotiation. but your cover letter is in the books, and you have been introduced to your possible future employer.

let’s take a last look at the sample cover letter as a whole:

dear ms. perkins,

as an experienced administrative assistant and a lifelong home baker, i am thrilled to be applying for this position with gina’s homemade cookie company. i’ve worked in companies that are large, small, and somewhere in between, and have found that my skills fit best in a small, close-knit company like gina’s. i have experience implementing new systems that improve record keeping and office efficiency, and with working as part of a team coordinating complex schedules and details while making sure everything gets done on time.

my attached resume goes into more detail about my daily job duties and achievements during my tenure as an administrative assistant at two companies. my experience managing complex schedules, overseeing busy offices, and leading junior staff would be an asset to this role.

i would love to have to opportunity to join the team at gina’s homemade cookies, and bring my expertise in managing day-to-day office processes to your company. i believe i can meet and exceed the expectations you have for this role, and i look forward to speaking more with you about my application. feel free to contact me at any time.

sincerely,

francine waters

short, to-the-point, informative, appropriate: now that's a letter that shows what a good admin assistant francine would be!

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1 Comment

  • […] How to Write a Perfect Admin Assistant Cover Letter (Examples Included) – For example: As an experienced administrative assistant and a lifelong home baker … but picks higlights that dovetail well with the job description. It also gives the reader a preview of the … […]

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