If you want a job as an administrative assistant, you'll probably be competing with many applicants with similar qualifications. A cover letter is crucial, because it can set you apart from the crowd. No matter what industry you'll be working in, you need a certain set of skills and qualities to be an administrative assistant. Highlight those in a descriptive cover letter, and you're sure to have success in the job hunt.
Show Written Communication Skills
Administrative assistants must have strong written and verbal communication skills, according to the "Virginia Jobs." You need to convey this, first, by delivering a grammatically correct, thoroughly proofread cover letter. Showing your ability to produce a clear, clean written document is the first step to landing an interview. In the cover letter, show professional communication skills by using a formal salutation such as "Dear Ms. Brown". You will probably email your cover letter, so use a clear, specific subject line such as "Applicant for Administrative Assistant Position."
You may have a bachelor's degree, but so will many other applicants. Don't waste time in the cover letter highlighting that information. Instead, point to specific experience that makes you a cut above the competition. For example, you might describe a time in the past where you managed a busy office, communicated with large groups of people, or delivered excellent service to clients for a company. These specific experiences say more about you and your abilities than empty adjectives like "hard working," "diligent," and "honest."
Use Concrete Details
Instead of saying that you have "extensive experience" doing something, quantify it. "I spent three years assisting the Director of Public Affairs in Miami" sounds much more powerful than "I have several years of experience in public affairs." If you have specific knowledge of computer software or technology, highlight those things by name in the body of the letter.
The cover letter is about you, but it's also a chance to show how much you want to work for the hiring company. Tailor your letter to the company you're sending it to, and show a little knowledge about their business. If they've been involved with community service or charity events, express your excitement about joining in. Discuss why that company fits in with your long-term career plan and goals. You want the hiring manager to feel a sense that you are capable of performing well, and also that you are excited about the company's overall mission.
Jan Archer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a master's degree in creative writing. Roth has written trade books for Books-a-Million and has published articles on green living, wellness and education topics. She taught business writing, literature, creative writing and English composition at the college level for five years.