How to Write a Professional Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

FT Contributor
An administrative assistant working on her laptop in the office.
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An administrative assistant is the glue that holds a workplace together. Whether you’re hoping to work in an entry- or mid-level administrative role or you’re aiming for a highly coveted executive position, you’re going to want to make sure you can write a killer cover letter to help you cut through the clutter.

What Makes a Professional Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Unique

A job description contains what an employer is looking for and a resume outlines a candidate’s capabilities, while a good cover letter serves as the critical link that brings these two items together.

If you want your cover letter to stand out, you’re going to want to treat this oft-overlooked step in the application process with careful consideration.

Start by analyzing the job posting. Which words in the description stand out? Look for keywords such as “manage,” “schedule,” or “coordinate.” You’ll want to include these in your cover letter. Connect them to your abilities to demonstrate that you’re the ideal candidate they’re looking for.

In addition, take some time to study both the company you’re applying to as well as its industry. If, for instance, you’re applying to a law firm, study when the firm was founded, what area it serves, its typical clientele, and what services it offers.

Then broaden your search to briefly study the state of the legal industry. This may seem like overkill, but even a cursory knowledge of the industry will help you come across with confidence and will reflect positively on your thoroughness and commitment.

If you bring all of these elements together, it will infuse your cover letter with poignant information that connects your skills with the needs of the employer. This will help you capture the interest of the hiring manager and naturally set you apart as an elite candidate.

How to Organize a Professional Administrative Assistant Cover Letter

While every cover letter should be uniquely written, there are a few guidelines and formatting rules to follow:

Contact Information

Always begin with your basic contact information, along with a formal listing of the intended recipient and their information. This typically consists of:

  • Your name.
  • Your address.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your email.

Next, insert a line break and the date, after which you can resume with the recruiter’s information, including:

  • Their name.
  • Their position.
  • The name of the organization.
  • Their address.

A Greeting

While it may be tempting to simply address your letter “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern,” it’s worth your while to dig a little bit deeper than that.

Try your best to discover the hiring manager’s name. This may be mentioned in the job posting, but at times you may need to do a little sleuthing into the company itself. If you can’t find the person, look for another representative from the human resources department who might serve as an equivalent replacement.

Either way, the goal is to include a sense of personalization that showcases your investment in the application and your attention to detail — both of which are critical qualities for an administrative assistant to possess.

The Body of the Cover Letter

The body of the letter should consist of two or three supporting paragraphs that open with a hook to catch the eye of the hiring manager. This can be a trait, skill, experience, or any other highly-relevant fact that encourages the reader to continue.

The rest of the body should continue to focus on the skills, experience, and education that demonstrate why you’re uniquely qualified to fill the position.

  • Skills: These can be soft skills such as organization or interpersonal skills. They can also be hard skills such as English composition, travel coordination, or technical skills, such as billing and invoice processing.
  • Experience: Highlight any experience that backs up your particular ability to fill the job description. This can be both professional, such as a previous administrative position, and unpaid, such as volunteering to help organize a non-profit.
  • Education: If you have any certifications or academic training that is specifically relevant, such as training for Google Suite or website administration, make sure to include them as well.

Remember, when choosing which skills, experiences, and education to include, always make sure they are particularly applicable to the job advert. In other words, don’t just rehash your resume. Link your specific abilities to what the company is looking for.

If you want to include several items, typically more than five, consider condensing them into a bullet-point list for both clarity and brevity.

The Final Paragraph

Your final paragraph should focus on closing the letter. Summarize your points and continue to demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s needs, while always aiming to reinforce your unique ability to fill the position.

The Close

Your closing should be concise. Consider adding a brief line, such as, “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” After that, choose a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “best regards,” and then sign your name.

Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Sample

If you’re still not sure where to begin, we’ve included a template below. Simply copy and paste this into your own document and then fill in your own information:

[Your name.]
[Your address.]
[Your phone number.]
[Your email.]

[The date.]

[The hiring manager’s name.]
[The hiring manager’s position.]
[The name of the organization.]
[The organization’s address.]

Dear [Hiring manager’s name],

[Write the body of the letter here. Remember to include a hook as well as highly relevant skills, education, and experience that connect your abilities to the needs of the company as expressed in the job description.]

[Conclude your letter with a final paragraph that summarizes your unique value to the company and reiterates your interest in the position. Finish with a professional closing such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely.”]

[Sign your written signature here if you’re sending a physical copy, otherwise leave this blank.]

[Your name.]

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