How to build a job-winning administrative cover letter
Administrative professionals serve an essential role in any business, helping to keep offices organized, schedule meetings, greet visitors, and much more. When writing a cover letter for an administrative job, it is crucial to showcase your best professional attributes that make you a great fit for the position.
In this guide, we will teach you 5 key steps to writing an administrative cover letter. Keep reading to learn all about:
- Crafting a killer administrative cover letter header & headline
- Using a personalized greeting on your cover letter
- Writing an attention-grabbing cover letter introduction
- Showing your professional value in an administrative cover letter
- Ending your cover letter with a powerful closing statement
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1. Craft a killer administrative cover letter header & headline
The beginning of your cover letter should always be comprised of 2 main parts:
- The Header: The header of a cover letter will contain all necessary contact and mailing information for both you and the employer.
- The Headline: The headline is a brief one-sentence and one-line statement that hooks the reader’s attention, similar to a headline you would see on a news story.
Each of these elements should be kept short and sweet, taking up only the first quarter of space on your cover letter. Below is a breakdown of how to properly format a header and write a compelling headline:
Formatting the header
When writing a header, include 3 lines of text in the top left-hand corner of your cover letter. These lines of text should contain:
- Line 1: The company name and department you are applying to
- Line 2: Your full name and professional title
- Line 3: Your contact information (phone number, email address, etc.)
Altogether, the header should look similar to this
To: The Coca Cola Company, Administrative Department
From: John Doe, Administrative Professional
(123) 456-7890 | email@example.com | linkedin.com/in/john-doe
Writing the headline
Formatting your cover letter headline is easy with the right approach. You should always use a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective, and a promise.
Here is an example and breakdown of an administrative cover letter headline
3 Key Reasons Why I Am the Perfect Administrative Professional for Your Company
Trigger Word/Number: 3 Key Reasons
Keyword: Administrative Professional
Promise: “for Your Company” – this shows you are committed to using your talents specifically for their needs
2. Use a personalized greeting on your administrative cover letter
One of the best ways to not only grab employers’ attention but also show your own attention to detail and level of commitment is to use a personalized greeting to start your cover letter with.
Rather than writing “To Whom It May Concern,” instead you should research the exact name of the hiring manager or department head you are submitting your application to.
In the event that you cannot uncover who will be reviewing your application, opt instead for saying:
To the [Company Name] Team
To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager
3. Write an attention-grabbing cover letter introduction
The first paragraph of your cover letter is arguably the most important, as this is where you will highlight your best attributes to grab the reader’s attention and compel them to read further.
While you should aim to keep your introduction short – ideally between one to three sentences – you should also try to include the following information:
- A brief overview of your professional history and goals
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible)
Here is an example to help demonstrate how to write an administrative cover letter introduction
To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager,
I am an Administrative Manager with more than 8 years of experience working in legal offices. After speaking with your Marketing Specialist, Jane Doe, it is clear to me that your company’s passion for civil justice matches my own professional dedication to the cause.
In this example, the applicant clearly lists their title and years of experience. They add an extra layer of effectiveness by directly naming a person within the company they know and have spoken with, giving the reader an immediate professional reference.
4. Show your professional value in an administrative cover letter
After you have written your introduction, it is time to provide more in-depth insights into who you are as an administrative professional. The body of your cover letter should contain two to three additional paragraphs detailing why you are a great fit for the company and vice versa.
When writing these paragraphs, aim to answer the following questions:
- What excites you about working at this company?
- What do you hope to learn from working at this company?
- What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
- What key skills do you possess that are relevant to the position?
As you list out different accomplishments in your cover letter, make sure to use specific and quantifiable details that convey the professional value that you can contribute to the company.
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter
In my previous administrative position at [Former Company’s Name], I supported their staff by implementing new digital scheduling software, reducing missed or rescheduled meetings by 75%. Additionally, I sourced a new manufacturer of office supplies, resulting in a 20% decrease in operational expenses.
5. End your cover letter with a powerful closing statement
The final component of your administrative cover letter is the closing statement.
A well-written closing statement should be between one to two sentences in length. Within this statement, you should include the following information:
- An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
- An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
- A formal sign-off
Altogether, these parts should look similar to the following example
I am eager to get in touch with your team to discuss how I can apply my administrative passions and expertise to support your business. To express my continued interest in this position, I will be available every workday between 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the next month to speak with you directly via call, virtual meeting, or in-person interview. You may reach me at (123) 456-7890.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.