While it’s essential to craft a solid admin resume, the same care and attention applies to your cover letter as well.
When it comes to writing a cover letter, you might question whether hiring managers and recruiters even need one. The answer is generally yes: they are still requested as part of the formal job and interview process. This means you need to spend time writing a strong one, and then edit and tailor the cover letter to suit each administration role you apply for.
Remember that even though most people spend more time on their CV, the cover letter is typically the first document that is read. As its name suggests, it jointly serves as an introduction to your resume and an opener to put yourself in front of the employer.
With that in mind, here are the key considerations to make when writing a cover letter for a job application.
1. Sell, sell, sell your accomplishments
Your cover letter doesn’t give you much space to work with – remember, it’s a brief document, not a one-page essay – so you need to make an impact, quickly. A good way to do this is to start with an overview of your top successes or abilities, and how these relate to the role as outlined in the job description. For example:
“As X position at X Company, I have increased my team’s output by X% over the past 12 months. I believe this, coupled with my [key skills], make me the ideal candidate for Y position at Y Company.”
Selling your accomplishments first may not be what you expected to lead with, but more and more recruiters are actually asking their candidates to bring this information to the top.
2. Let your value shine through
Think about your work ethic and what makes you unique. As an administration professional, who are you? What’s important to you in the role? What gives you career fulfilment? What administrative factors are you passionate about improving or making more efficient? What are your strengths and do they align well to the job you’re applying for?
Try to capture the essence of who you are. And don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your cover letter.
3. Use power adjectives
A great way to grab people’s attention is to use powerful adjectives. For example, you could describe yourself as “knowledgeable” in office management skills. But what if you instead wrote that you had “advanced” office management skills? The difference in interpretation is significant.
Consider power adjectives such as:
These can be used to describe skills and qualities such as:
- Analytical and critical thinking
Keep in mind that you don’t want every second word to be a power adjective. Use them sparingly for the best effect.
4. Include keywords from the job description
Many companies and recruiters use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to rank applicants based on the strength of their match to what’s in the job description, all through the filter of keywords. The higher you rank, the more likely it is that you’ll be contacted for a job interview.
Highlight the keywords in the job description and include them in your cover letter to ensure the ATS ranks your application highly. It could be the key to landing you an interview.
Nevertheless, avoid filling your cover letter with keywords for the sake of it, especially if you do not possess those skills. The capabilities in modern ATSs will quickly determine if it’s a cut-and-paste job from the position description, which means it’s unlikely you’ll be contacted for the next stage.
5. Tailor your admin cover letter to every job you apply for
Because every business or organisation is unique, no administrative role is exactly the same. Therefore, you must create a bespoke cover letter for every job you apply for to increase your chances of being selected for a job interview. This begins with simply including the details of the hiring manager. If you’re using a recruiter, they should be able to provide these details. Then, begin curating your skills and experience to the role you’re applying for.
You may need to add or omit certain details and adjust the tone. If in doubt, ask a trusted family member or friend to review what you’ve put together and then modify as you go.
Searching for your next great admin role? Take a look at our current opportunities, or get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.
Join over 60,000 readers!
Get a free weekly update via email here and help kick start your career.