How to write an administrative assistant cover letter
When employers are looking to hire administrative assistants, they’re normally looking for far more than just someone who can file paperwork. In many businesses, administrative assistants sit at the heart of the company – without whom it would barely function.
If you’ve found your dream job at a company or organisation that sounds perfect for you, it’s essential to sell yourself with your cover letter. It’s your chance to show them why you would be invaluable to their team. While it’s important to detail your technical skills and experience on your admin CV, employers also need to feel that you’re someone they can trust and depend on across a variety of responsibilities. Once you’re ready, download our administrative assistant cover letter template as inspiration for writing your own.
What to include in your cover letter
While there are many elements common to any admin assistant job, many of the skills you’ll need for your next role will be specific to the company you’re applying to. That’s why tailoring your cover letter to the job is crucial. You need to showcase your most relevant skills – hiring managers hate generic cover letters!
Emphasise your interest in this job in particular
- Many administrative assistants could turn their skills to a very wide range of companies (answering the phone, responding to emails, filing and so on) – yet your cover letter needs to show why you want to work for this business in particular. By learning a little more about the company, you show them you care and are interested in what they do, inspiring confidence and helping your CV stand out in a sea of applicants.
- Perhaps you are applying for a job at the UK branch of a Swiss recruitment firm – that’s where your interest in working for an international business could be a great talking point. Or maybe you’re applying for a job at a new start-up. Explaining that you want to play a key support role in their growth and vision will show the founders that you’re interested in sticking around and won’t jump ship when the next opportunity comes along.
Provide evidence of your specific business skills
- Many administrative assistant cover letters make the mistake of blandly describing generic skills – avoid this error! Spend some time studying the job spec and then include the skills and experience you have you have that relate specifically to this job ad.
- For example, if the job needs someone who has experience of managing expenses, explicitly describe how you did this in your last company – something like: “In my last role I managed travel expenses for the sales team, processing them through our ‘Concur’ expense management software”. Other companies might need an administrative assistant who can update company revenue information in a spreadsheet. You don’t necessarily need to be an accountant, but it might be worth mentioning a basic business finance course you completed, for instance.
…and highlight your ‘soft skills’ too
- An administrative assistant is usually going to have more on their plate than just admin tasks. Employers will be impressed if you can demonstrate that you’re the full package, combining those solid admin skills with strong interpersonal and ‘soft’ skills.
- Maybe at your last job you took the initiative to organise birthday cards for staff, even if no one had asked you to do so. Those sorts of personal touches can really boost staff morale, and employers will sit up and take notice. Show you’re versatile and flexible, too! Maybe you helped organise and execute an office move that required working some extra hours over a weekend. Your new boss will be impressed by that dedication.
Administrative assistant cover letter example
15 Purple Road
07785 467 731
15 Orange Street
Re: Application for Administrative Assistant Role
Dear Mr. Small,
I am writing to apply for the Administrative Assistant Role at Fife Imports as advertised on Monster.co.uk, and to explain why my skills and experience would make me a strong candidate for this position.
With over 15 years working in administrative roles for international import/export businesses in Scotland and England, I have developed a strong understanding of the legal, accounting and business administration requirements of the sector. Knowing that Fife Exports is in a stage of rapid growth, I would be delighted to work to support your business’s ambitious plans.
My career has furnished me with strong all-round office admin skills, but I would particularly like to bring to your attention my key skills in managing records and documentation. In 2012 I completed two-week course in ‘Modern Techniques in Office and Document Management’ in London, which I used to update my previous employer’s filing system, helping save staff hours hunting for files. I have also gained a reputation as a highly organised employee that the business can rely upon – in my current role I have often stayed late at work to help complete reporting in as tax deadlines loom, for instance.
As an administrative assistant, I believe I can play an important role in the smooth running of a business, from serving as a friendly face colleagues can turn to for help with their problems all the way down to the smaller details such organising birthday cards for colleagues.
I would be delighted to answer any questions about my skills and experience at interview and look forward to hearing from you soon.