How do I Write an Administrative Cover Letter?

Jessica Ellis

Writing an administrative cover letter can be an important part of landing a new job. There are several tricks and tips that can help turn an ordinary cover letter into a sample that will stand out from the pack. Though a strong resume and good administrative skills may be the deciding factor in whether a person gets a job, a truly professional and well-written administrative cover letter can certainly help an applicant land an interview.

An administrative assistant working.
An administrative assistant working.

The basics of writing a great administrative cover letter include making sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Since most employers want efficient and neat administrative workers, a cover letter should convey this by careful proofreading and good formatting. Try to keep the letter all to one page, and space paragraphs evenly so the page has an even, orderly look. Consider printing the letter with good ink on high-quality paper, as this may lend it an air of professionalism.

As to the content of the letter, most follow a basic format of an introductory paragraph, a few paragraphs stating why the candidate is qualified for the position, ending with a pleasant, professional farewell. Within these boundaries, the word choice and descriptions can vary considerably, and have the ability to greatly inform the employer's impression of the candidate.

In the introductory portion of an administrative cover letter, the applicant may want to state where he or she saw the job posting, and why he or she felt the job would be a great match. Some people like to include details such as how enthusiastic the job posting made them feel, as it matched their skills and desires so well. This paragraph should be relatively short and sweet, since the meat and potatoes of the letter is the middle section.

In the next few paragraphs of an administrative cover letter, the applicant should briefly describe the skills that he or she possesses that fit with the job description. For instance, if the job posting says “Must have customer service experience,” the applicant might want to point out a few examples of prior customer-oriented jobs, and how many years of experience he or she has with customer service.

After describing personal experience qualities that best match the job description, consider adding a paragraph that details other skills that might be useful in the job. If, for example, the job involves scheduling and checking in tours at a zoo, the applicant might want to point out any history working with animals or environmental organizations. It may help an applicant seem more knowledgeable about the requirements of the job if he or she can list some skills that will apply to the position, but were not necessarily listed in the job posting.

The send-off of an administrative cover letter should be professional and courteous, and can include a statement of hope or desire to speak with the employer further. Even if not required, the applicant may also want to attach a professional resume that gives a work and education history. A resume can show employers additional experience and education that couldn't fit into the cover letter, and may help them get a clearer picture of the applicant's background.

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