Writing an effective targeted cover letter is key to success in getting an interview for any position. In a cover letter for an administrative assistant, you want to convey your understanding of the needs of the employer while indicating briefly why you are a good fit for those needs. Highlight your administrative strengths. A well-written cover letter increases your chances of getting an interview.
The first paragraph of your cover letter is where you get the attention of the hiring manager and cause him to pay attention to the entirety of your message. This includes a personalized introduction to the hiring manager by name. In your brief opening, indicate that you saw or read the opening for an administrative assistant and you are very interested to show how your background is a great fit for the position. This is the beginning of your sales process, where you are the product, and you need to show that you have the experiences and skills need of an administrative assistant.
A mistake that cover letter writers make is to dive into self-glorification too early. You need to first demonstrate an understanding of the critical needs faced by the employer. Best-Job-Interview.com notes that you must first study the job requirements and key skills desired before attempting to write your letter. In transitioning into your strengths, note that you are aware of three to four specific needs of the company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer software skills are among important newer skills required of administrative assistants in 2010 to 2011. BLS also points out that assistants are assuming roles once held by managerial and professional staff.
Another common mistake in a cover letter is to tell the hiring manager everything great about you whether it is pertinent or not. In your targeted letter, match the three to four specific needs you observed for the employer with strengths you bring to the table. For example, if the employer mentions a desire for someone highly organized, include a mention of your strong organizational skills with an example to confirm. In lieu of the focus on computer software skills and managerial or leadership responsibilities indicated by the BLS, it would make sense to highlight your strengths in these areas if they match the employer's needs.
Call to Action
Closing your cover letter is as important as any other element. This is where you indicate your next move, while simultaneously encouraging the hiring manager to take action. Include a statement of gratitude that you are being considered for the administrative assistant position and the reader has taken time to read your letter. A statement like "I am available anytime at 333-333-3333 to discuss an interview. I will call you at the start of next week to follow up," is also important. This is more likely to prompt the hiring manager to contact you as you have indicated your intention to reach out to them. Regardless, you have given them cause to consider your cover letter and request more so than a generic close.