How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Application That Wows
- Lauren Hamer
- 3 Min Read
A recent CareerBuilder survey revealed that 40 percent of hiring managers are more likely to take note of a job application that includes a cover letter. Given that power, knowing how to write a cover letter for a job application becomes even more important for landing that next position.
But not all of us have perfectly crafted career paths. Trying to weave together loosely-related job experiences, volunteer interests, and key personality traits can be a daunting task. Cover letters can be a stressful piece of the job application process. Submitting a generic cover letter might be worse than not submitting one at all. But a great cover letter can land could get you the job.
So how do you write an administrative assistant cover letter that wows? First, treat it like a highlight reel of your greatest transferable skills. And then, inject some of your personality. For more specific guidance, here are some tips on how to write a cover letter for a job application specific to admins, along with a template you can customize for your next job search.
Address It to the Right Person
The first way to make your administrative assistant cover letter stand out is to include a real name in the salutation. “To Whom it May Concern” is stuffy and impersonal. Do a quick internet search to locate the name of either the HR manager responsible for filling your position or your boss-to-be on LinkedIn. If you can’t find an appropriate contact, try searching for the head of the relevant department on the company website. Any name is better than the generic salutation. The hiring manager will notice that you at least tried to personalize your application to the specific company.
Create an Eye-Popping Intro
When trying to think about how to write a cover letter for a job application, your first statement needs to grab them. You will want to use the opening paragraph to quickly state why you’re the best candidate for the job. The days of cookie cutter intros are gone. Avoid the safe and standard opener and create an intriguing introductory sentence that speaks to your personality. While, “I have attached my resume in consideration for the Administrative Assistant position available at [Company Name],” is a true statement, it’s also what every other cover letter from your competition will say. Use this cover letter as an opportunity to stand out by being different.
Here are three examples of more intriguing opening lines:
- I’ve built my career in a variety of industries, so my job title is much more than just “Administrative Assistant.” I’m a bookkeeper, tech whiz, marketing guru, and event planner all rolled into one.
- Years of successfully planning and budgeting for large family Thanksgiving Day meals has prepared me for a career at your catering company. It’s my unique mix of foodie passion and administrative prowess that makes me the best candidate for your Administrative Assistant position.
- I’m the employee who goes the extra mile to make sure the power point presentation is up-and-running before the meeting starts. I hope to bring that same proactive spirit and attention to detail to the Administrative position available at your law office.
Follow that up with personality details with professional qualifications to pique the hiring manager’s interest. You could also further distinguish yourself from others by mentioning something you like about the company in this opening paragraph.
Highlight Your Strengths
Your second paragraph is where you explain exactly why you’re the one for the job using cold, hard facts. Knowing which job qualifications to highlight can be tricky. Here are three things to think about:
- Unless it’s completely unrelated to the job at hand, your current or most recent position should be mentioned as the first example in your cover letter.
- Reread the job description to pinpoint two or three requirements they want in their next candidate that you offer in spades. This could be experience working in a niche industry, familiarity with online accounting software, or leadership qualities.
- Explain how your talent will benefit them in a positive way. Use a mix of soft skills and personality traits required for your position to support these claims, like time management skills or an unmatched eye for detail.
An effective cover letter is not a long, lengthy autobiography. It’s best to make these paragraphs as concise and skimable as possible. Do this is by highlighting three to four value statements using bullets or numbers that drive home your unique offerings. There are additional examples in the administrative assistant cover letter template below.
Close With a Call-to-Action
In your cover letter you want to showcase a level of assurance office pros need to be successful in the industry. For this reason, your closing paragraph should reiterate why you should be invited for an interview in one quick sentence. Seal the deal and make it known what you want — the opportunity to speak with someone further about the job.
Then, sign the letter in a professional way. Try “Sincerely” or “Best.” And send it off to the powers that be.
A Sample Administrative Assistant Cover Letter Template
Do you need additional guidance for how to write a cover letter for a job application? Check out this completed sample letter. Anything in brackets is a field you should customize to the job you’re applying to and for your specific qualifications.
Among my colleagues, I’m known as the one who can always deliver results, no matter what crazy circumstances get in my way. I am excited to apply for the Administrative Assistant position at [Widgets, Inc.]. Throughout my [seven years of experience] in office management, I’ve taken on duties that range from [business licensing] to [operational project planning], and everything in between. I’ve found enthusiasm and attention to detail is necessary for success in this industry. It’s what makes me an ideal candidate to join the staff at [Widgets, Inc.].
For the past [two years], I’ve been developing office policies, coordinating events, and managing a high performing team of employees with ease at [company name]. Balancing so many needs is challenging. But I’ve learned to prioritize projects, communicate, and manage my time like a pro as a result.
I’m confident my [cross-team communication] skills will support you in a positive way. What specific value could I bring to your company?
I am insanely detailed and organized. In my previous role, I showcased my [leadership and management skills] by aiding in the [office-wide transition to a new online project management tool] and earned CEO recognition for my efforts.
I leverage people skills to forge lasting relationships with customers and peers, resulting in productive, focused, and profitable environments.
I maintain administrative efficiency in high-volume, high-output environments; comfortable managing files and negotiating contracts for a team of 20+ employees.
I know my office operations and administrative leadership skills will be of value to your company. I’ve attached a copy of my resume for more detail of what I bring to the table. I hope to have the opportunity to speak with you further about how I can be an asset to your team. Thank you for your time.
Of course, you should customize a cover letter to match your personality and career path. But modeling a similiar framework like the one above will help make it abundantly clear to the hiring manager that you should be the next candidate they offer to interview. Never underestimate the power of putting your best foot forward with a thoughtful cover letter.
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