Besides having a quality resume, you should also take the time to create an impressive cover letter for any administrative assistant jobs that you seek. A cover letter is a means of introducing yourself to a potential employer in a more conversational tone than is appropriate for a resume. Without a proper cover letter, many hiring managers will simply pass over your application. However, it is not enough to just write a basic letter and attach it to your resume. There are certain rules that you should follow when writing any cover letter.
- Do not rewrite your resume.
Instead, introduce yourself and expound on things that explain why you are a good fit for the position.
- Do not use a form letter.
Write every cover letter with the specific company in mind and avoid generic writing. You can repeat some elements in your various letters, but they should all include mention of the particular business and why you want to work there. Always address it to the appropriate person within the company (do not use “to whom it may concern.”)
- Use a standard business format and keep it brief.
If you are unsure how to format a business letter, you can find examples online. However, try to keep it to three or four paragraphs with an introduction, middle, and a conclusion. Keep your cover letter less than a page.
What Should You Say?
In the first section, you should introduce yourself and address why you are writing the letter. Are you responding to a job posting, or inquiring about possible positions? Make mention of why you are interested in this specific company (what do you admire about them, how can you benefit the company, etc).
Explain what makes you special and why they should hire you over all the other candidates. Make sure to mention qualities that they are likely looking for in an administrative assistant (organized, good communicator, strong computer and typing skills, proficient in grammar, etc), and back up your claims with clear examples. Don’t just say, “I am very organized.” Instead, you should say something like, “I once organized an entire…”
Although your education and work history is detailed in your resume, you can make mention of anything especially noteworthy in your cover letter. You can briefly expound on any awards or achievements that you earned during your administrative assistant training or experiences.
Conclude by summarizing how you can serve the company and explain how you will follow-up. You should also thank the person for considering your application.
How to Standout
An interesting and well-written cover letter is your first step in getting the attention of hiring managers. However, once they turn to your resume, they want to see a solid education and, ideally, some work experience.
Earning an associate’s degree or certificate from a community or online college could make you much more appealing to employers. Some employers, such as those in the law and medical fields, require their administrative assistants to have specific training.
Luckily, with online schools, you are not limited to the few degrees that may be offered in your community. With a quick web search, you can find online schools with administrative assistant programs designed for virtually every field. Online schools have the added benefit of allowing you to study in your own home and on your own time.
Don’t let your cover letter for administrative assistant jobs get passed over because of lackluster education. Many schools offer certificates that only require a few months of courses, which is a small time investment for such a rewarding career.