Your professional secretary cover letter is an integral part of crafting a strong and positive first impression with your potential employer. It’s an introduction to you and your valuable skill set, and it’s a great way of relaying your interest in the position. Additionally, your cover letter is an opportunity to demonstrate your command of language for a position in which great communication skills are crucial. By learning from a professional secretary cover letter sample like the one just below, you can confidently compose a cover letter that is sure to impress and help land you an interview. Also, make sure you check out the additional tips at the end to make your application stand out.
Professional Secretary Cover Letter Sample
Secretary Cover Letter Must-Haves
As a secretary, you know that it’s all in the details, so approach your cover letter like the professional secretary cover letter sample by emphasizing your specific skills and strengths. Apply those skills to your potential employer’s stated needs to show them how you fit their qualifications perfectly. Be sure to be concise and to-the-point, but also maintain a friendly and pleasant tone to assure them that you will contribute positively to their team culture. By making your cover letter as succinct and sincere as you can, you reinforce your competence as an efficient and welcoming point-of-contact for your potential employer and their clients.
Best Action Verbs for a Secretary Cover Letter
As shown in the professional secretary cover letter sample, include a few solid action verbs such as arranged, corresponded, distributed, maintained, conveyed, incorporated, scheduled, resolved, and listened to create a positive impression in an employer’s mind, set your resume apart from others, and add relevance to your experience.
Cover Letter Text
Dear Margaret Williams,
I was excited to find your recent posting for a professional secretary position at your office. I have worked for the past five years as a secretary, and I believe I would be an excellent candidate for the position, given my thorough attention to detail and my positive, professional demeanor.As a secretary, I am comfortable with multitasking and meeting deadlines on the job, and I operate from a very organized and efficient state of being. I am a fast learner when it comes to new systems and procedures, and I am adept at arranging correspondence in a variety of different ways, from letters to phone calls to e-mail, which will meet the communication requirements noted in the job description. You can rely on me to be timely, helpful, and reliable from day to day. Your company needs someone who can handle scheduling, planning, and correspondence with accuracy and efficiency, and I believe I would be a great fit in that position. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing how I can contribute my skill set as a professional secretary to your office. Thank you sincerely for your consideration.
In addition to the Professional Secretary Cover Letter Sample & Writing Guide, be sure to check out our Secretary CV Templates
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Secretary Cover Letter Sample
July 22, 2021 | By the Resume Genius Team | Reviewed by Samuel Johns, CPRW
Need help writing your cover letter? Download our secretary cover letter sample below to get some inspiration and customize to your qualifications. Strapped for time? Consider using our fast and easy cover letter builder.
We offer a variety of cover letter templates if you’re not happy with the way this cover letter looks.
Examples Related to a Secretary Cover Letter
- Office Assistant Cover Letter
Human Resources (HR) Cover Letter
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Secretary Cover Letter Template (Text Format)
Don’t forget to use the right cover letter format so that it looks professional.
[Hiring Manager’s Name] [1701 Company Address] [Company City, State, xxxxx] [(xxx) xxx-xxxx] [[email protected]]
Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Manager’s Name],
Please accept my enclosed application for the position of secretary at [Company Name]. Having read through your job description, I am certain that I would be a fantastic fit for your organization after my numerous accomplishments and nine years of secretarial experience.
At my current firm, Chai & Associates, I’m a valuable member of the team and an important pillar of organizational support. My responsibilities include maintaining partners’ schedules, keeping records, making travel arrangements, and managing office organization and general workflow from supporting staff members. I’m responsible for our firm’s “Go Green” initiative, where we have shifted from paper to digital in 85% of work and communication. Not only have my efforts been environmentally friendly, but they have also saved the firm roughly $4,500 in paper, ink, and supplies costs over the past two years.
Other notable experience and achievements include:
- Trained and managed all administrative staff over the past five years during firm expansion
- Maintained confidentiality of highly sensitive corporate and financial resources
- Managed all firm documentation and all administrative correspondence, as well as prepared bi-weekly reports for firm partners
My attached resume further illustrates my duties and accomplishments at Chai & Associates, as well as the totality of my nine years of experience at other companies and organizations.
I’d very much appreciate the chance to join [Company Name] and contribute to your future success. My skills and background make me a candidate capable of creating a stress-free and efficient office environment for executives and employees alike. Rest assured, I’ll meet and surpass expectations in this role. I am looking forward to hearing back from you, and I would jump at the opportunity for an interview. Thank you for your consideration.
How to write a secretary cover letter
Learning how to put together a cover letter for the specific job(s) you want will help you land more interviews.
You’re highly organized and a pro at fulfilling day-to-day administration — exactly what employers seek in a fantastic secretary. But first, you need to showcase your secretarial expertise in an outstanding cover letter to ensure your job application catches the hiring manager’s attention.
Use these three tips to write an impressive secretary cover letter:
1. Highlight secretary skills
A strong secretary cover letter highlights your administrative experience, organizational skills , and a balance of hard and soft skills to show you can ensure efficient daily operations.
But because your job duties can vary depending on the industry, emphasize job-specific administrative skills in your cover letter to show you’re a great fit for the job. For example, if you’re applying to be a medical secretary, your cover letter should include technical skills such as familiarity with medical terminology and MEDITECH software.
In addition to your hard skills , showcase key secretary soft skills in your cover letter to demonstrate you’re a well-rounded candidate. For example, the ability to take initiative and attention to detail are vital in a busy office.
Here’s how to demonstrate these skills in your cover letter:
“During my time at XYZ Firm, I was responsible for leading our “Go Green” initiative where we shifted from paper to digital in 85% of work and communication.“
Here are important secretary skills to include in your cover letter:
- Time management skills
- Communication skills
- Critical thinking
- People skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Customer service skills
- Record keeping
- Google Drive and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook)
- Timekeeping software
- Accounting software ( Intuit QuickBooks and Sage 50 Accounting )
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software ( Microsoft Dynamics , SAP , and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne )
- Project management software ( Microsoft Project , Confluence , and Microsoft SharePoint )
2. Provide examples of your achievements (with numbers)
As a secretary, companies rely on your clerical expertise to ensure everything runs smoothly in the office. Instead of just saying what you can do, prove your value by quantifying your skills and experience as a secretary in your cover letter. To do so, provide examples of your greatest secretarial achievements and include hard numbers.
Here’s how to effectively use numbers in your secretary cover letter:
- Spearheaded the “Go Green” initiative, which reduced office paper use by 85% and saved roughly $47 K over 2 years
- Streamlined process for handling administrative correspondence, leading to a 25% efficiency increase
- Trained and supervised more than 25 administrative staff over the past 5 years during firm expansion
3. End with a convincing closing statement
Knowing how to end your cover letter in an attention-grabbing way will ensure your job application gets shortlisted. To do so, show employers you have not only the right skillset but also the passion to contribute to their organization’s success.
In your closing statement, restate your interest in the job, and emphasize how your skills and experience as a secretary will benefit their company.
Here’s how to write a convincing secretary closing statement:
- Express enthusiasm for the job opportunity. When hiring for a secretary, employers seek administrative professionals who are friendly and efficient. So you need to show them you have the skills and passion to keep up with their demands. For example, “I’d appreciate the chance to join XYZ Company and contribute to its future success.”
- Focus on how your skills and experience as a secretary will contribute to their current workflow. For example, “My skills and background make me a candidate capable of creating a stress-free and efficient office environment for executives and employees alike.”
- Include a call to action inviting the hiring manager to reach out for an interview
- Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to review your job application
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ResumeCoach » Cover Letter Examples » Secretary Cover Letter
Secretary Cover Letter Example
Create a Secretary cover letter that stands out and gets you hired faster with the help of ResumeCoach. Take advantage of our expert example cover letter, tips and guidance, and document designer tools to get the best results when you apply for your next job.
Table of contents
Secretary Cover Letter Tips and Advice
Secretary example cover letter.
Hiring Manager’s name
Dear Mr/Ms. [Hiring Manager Name]
I am writing to apply for the Secretary position currently being offered by [Company]. As an experienced professional with over 6 years’ in the field and excellent knowledge of office management software, I think you’ll agree that I’m a great choice for the role.
In my current job with [Current Company], I have demonstrated my expert organization skills by scheduling over travel arrangements for over 50 offsite meetings in the last year and drafting formal emails, letters, and communications on behalf of the company.
Demonstrating first-class organizational skills and exemplary communication ability, I was able to also improve company filing procedures. This helped to improve recordkeeping by saving time on finding documents by 12%.
Please find enclosed my resume, which explains my career history and achievements in more detail. I would, of course, be delighted to answer any questions you have regarding my experience in a face-to-face meeting.
Feel free to contact me at any time via my personal phone number and email address. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely,
Address Phone number Email address
Showing your worth as a professional Secretary means getting some important features onto your cover letter. This will help to get the best results from recruiters.
The first thing you should make reference to are your key achievements. Showing hiring managers hard evidence of your abilities to excel will give them confidence that you know your stuff.
Examples of this could be how you helped schedule travel arrangements , any process improvements you made within the business as well as any examples of the types of communications you handled.
It is becoming ever more important to emphasize your familiarity with office management software . Therefore try where possible to make a reference to any such tools that you’ve used before. This is especially the case if the employer specifically asks for this expertise in the job description.
It can also be a good idea to highlight any professional qualifications you’ve earned. These aren’t the most essential details to include on the cover letter but they can often help edge you ahead of the competition in particularly competitive hiring processes.
Finally, don’t forget to check over everything to make sure that the final draft reads well and is free from spelling and grammar errors . Small mistakes like this will be judged harshly, especially as Secretaries are expected to draft important documents and company communications.
Last modified on September 2nd, 2022
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Secretary Cover Letter Sample
Get invited for more job interviews & learn how to improve your cover letter with our free, editable Secretary cover letter sample. Copy-paste this cover letter example free of charge or modify it in any way using our job-landing cover letter maker.
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Secretary Cover Letter Sample (Full Text Version)
Dear Hiring Manager,
I write in response to the job ad at your website saying that you are looking for an experienced administrative secretary with a comprehensive background in the fast-paced business environments. I truly believe that my qualifications and qualifies make and an ideal candidate for the job and that I would be a great contribution to your team and company.
First of all, I have a Professional Secretary Certification from a well-known Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators which proves my knowledge and interest in the field. During the certification gaining process, I learned a lot about not only office management but also other subjects, such as marketing, human resources, and accounting, as well. Moreover, I am still willing to learn and get better as self-development and education are my biggest passions.
Secondly, throughout my previous jobs, I had the tremendous opportunity to grow professionally as I was becoming responsible for more and more tasks. Besides performing basic secretary duties like responding to emails and answering the phone, I was also in charge of managing travel arrangements, completing detailed reports, and maintaining staff records. On top of that, I served as the first point of contact for visiting clients. For my hard work and exceptional work ethic, I was awarded Employee of the Month and Top Collaborator.
Having a strong attention to detail and accuracy and well-developed communication and organizational skills, I always strive for excellence and am motivated to achieve the best results and meet all goals and targets. I am a native German speaker with proficiency in English and French. Moreover, I know how to use and have experience with various office management software programs, for example, EnGlobe, Azeus Convene, Visual 360, and Boardable. I hope that you will afford me the great opportunity to become a member of your team.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Secretary Cover Letter Examples in 2023
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Jobs for secretaries are expected to decline by 9% over the next decade. This is largely due to technological advances that allow people to manage their own schedules and documents. In such a competitive job market, you need to take steps to stand out, and a strong cover letter is one way to make an impact.
If you need help to improve your secretary cover letter, start by downloading one of our four cover letter examples. There are templates for experienced secretaries and those trying to break into the field. This guide also has extra tips for helping your cover letter make a big impression.
Downloadable Cover Letter Examples
Example #1 Entry-level
Example #2 Mid-career
Example #3 Senior-level
Secretary Cover Letter Examples (Text Format)
Years of experience.
- Entry-level Entry-level
- Mid-career Mid-career
- Senior-level Senior-level
Herman James Secretary | [email protected] | (405) 390-0038 | 345 First Avenue, Casper, WY 30048
May 18, 2021
Sonya Manning Senior Hiring Manager All Trees (485) 285-2009 [email protected]
Dear Ms. Manning,
Receiving a client service score of 99.8% was my crowning achievement of 2020. Respondents mentioned my warm, professional communication style and outstanding telephone etiquette on their feedback forms. I am excited to help All Trees continue to provide incredible customer experiences in 2021.
As an energetic secretary with more than two years of experience, the chance to work for a fast-growing, customer-oriented company like All Trees is compelling to me. I believe that my accuracy and attention to detail can make me an indispensable member of your administrative team. My recent achievements include:
- Performing data entry tasks with 100% accuracy throughout my employment while exceeding 65% of set timescales
- Consistently ranking in the top 2% of my department for productivity and efficiency
- Spearheading an overhaul of the office communication systems to improve data availability by 76% in 2020
Please contact me to schedule an interview to discuss how my experience and impressive skill set can benefit your company. I look forward to exploring how my attentive customer service and problem-solving abilities can further your reputation for client care.
P.S. I would love to tell you how I designed a new scheduling process that reduced appointment wastage for senior managers by 98% last year.
Kelsie Reed Secretary | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | 123 Address St., Omaha, NE 68101
May 22, 2021
Aaron Marshall Hiring Manager Pro Consulting (987) 654-3210 [email protected]
Dear Mr. Marshall,
Given my extensive history as a secretary for companies in various industries and my desire to support my colleagues and clients, I feel that I am an extremely qualified candidate for the secretary position at Pro Consulting.
In my 10 years of secretarial experience, I have had the opportunity to gain new skills and learn the best practices for managing a busy office setting. In my current position as a secretary for Uptown Staffing, I have developed and implemented several initiatives in the workplace to optimize daily business operations. Some of my most notable achievements include:
- Organizing a company food drive that collected over 1,000 items
- Sourcing office supplies made from recyclable materials resulting in a 15% decrease in expenses
- Handling a high volume of calls, emails, and client requests on a daily basis
I am confident that I can exceed the expectations for this role and become a valuable member of the Pro Consulting team. I welcome the chance to explain my qualifications further in an interview.
P.S. I have been the recipient of an Employee of the Month award!
Rosemarie Tucker Secretary | [email protected] | (059) 228-4857 | 543 Second Street, Nebraska City, NE 00998
Kelvin Morales Senior Hiring Manager OrthoNebraska (400) 485-2049 [email protected]
Dear Mr. Morales,
Last year, I overhauled my department’s data gathering protocols to successfully reduce pre-surgical file omissions by 98%. This project significantly improved the availability of crucial medical information and saved an average of 4 working hours per week. I look forward to leveraging my outstanding organizational skills as the pre-admissions department secretary at OrthoNebraska.
As a seasoned administrator with 12+ years of experience providing efficient secretarial support in hospitals, I am drawn to OrthoNebraska’s reputation for exceptional patient care. I would relish the opportunity to use my skills and experience to ensure seamless treatment pathways for your service users. My recent achievements include:
- Streamlining the post-meeting administrative process to ensure swift follow-up on assignments, contributing to a departmental productivity increase of 43% in 2020
- Training five new hires and overseeing their performance, boosting patients’ perceptions of service quality by 34% over two years
- Implementing a new patient scheduling system that freed up an average of 5 appointments per practitioner per week
I hope to meet you to explore how my skills and extensive experience in healthcare administration can help you continue to provide attentive care. Please get in touch to set up an interview.
P.S. I would love to explain why I won an Admin Award in 2019.
Secretary Cover Letter Checklist
A strong secretary cover letter has five essential elements:
1. Heading. A professional template ensures this information is clear. It should contain your name, title, and contact details, as well as the addressee’s details and the date the letter was written.
2. Salutation. The preferred practice is to greet the hiring manager by name, using Mr. or Ms. and their last name. If you can’t find their name on the job ad or company website, use “Dear Hiring Manager” instead.
3. Introduction. Your opening paragraph should pique the hiring manager’s interest while introducing yourself and expressing your interest in the job.
4. Body paragraphs. These are the two paragraphs where you detail your relevant skills, education, and experience. A bulleted list can help break up the text and let the hiring manager take in your best points at a glance.
5. Closing section. Your conclusion should encourage the hiring manager to take the next step by inviting you for an interview. Include a postscript to highlight one final accomplishment and leave a lasting impression.
Your opening paragraph needs to convince the hiring manager to keep reading, while also expressing interest in the available secretary position. The best way to do this is by picking one of your top achievements and building your introduction around it. Choose something that’s quantifiable and demonstrates how well-suited you are for the position. Generic facts, like your level of education, should be avoided.
Implementing a new calendar system that improved office efficiency by 23% was one of my biggest achievements as a secretary. I hope to bring the same level of initiative and effectiveness to NG Consulting as a secretary.
I’m writing to express my interest in the secretary position you recently advertised. I have six years of experience as a secretary and am well-suited to the position.
Begin the body of your cover letter by expressing your admiration for the organization and your interest in the job. Mention specifics when making these points as it shows you’ve researched the company and position.
In the next paragraph, detail your relevant achievements. Accomplishments to mention here can include educational certifications, successful projects, or promotions. Include a positive, quantifiable outcome for every point you list, as this shows the hiring manager the type of success you can bring to their company.
I have six years of experience as a secretary and I’m drawn to NG Consulting’s dedication to helping small businesses achieve success. NG’s emphasis on innovation and quality service is the ideal fit for my customer-focused work style.
I’m eager to support the NG Consulting team’s continued success. My past successes include:
- Pioneering a new inquiry management system, resulting in a 34% decrease in customer wait times
- Researching and using new travel arrangement vendors, resulting in $100,000+ in savings per year
- Acting as the first point of contact in a busy office, greeting 20+ visitors and answering 30+ phone calls a day
In your advertisement you mention that you need someone with at least four years of secretarial experience. I have been working as a secretary for six years and would be a perfect fit for NG Consulting.
My responsibilities in my current role include:
- Answering phones and greeting visitors
- Arranging travel for executive staff
- Forwarding customer inquiries to the correct staff member
An effective closing needs to encourage the hiring manager to take action by scheduling an interview. If you just thank the hiring manager for their time and attention, you’re missing an opportunity.
A postscript can be a clever way to highlight one final accomplishment, as it draws the eye and leaves a lasting impression. The accomplishment doesn’t need to be strictly professional. You can use this space to talk about an award or volunteer experience, just make sure it’s relevant to the position.
I’d like the opportunity to discuss how my secretarial experience can help NG Consulting continue to grow as a high-quality consultation firm. Please feel free to contact me with an interview time that fits your schedule.
P.S. I’d love to tell you about my experience as a finalist for a Spirit Award at the national Admin Awards!
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. If I can answer any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
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City, State, Zip Code
Home : 000-000-0000 Cell: 000-000-0000
Dear Mr. Fenton,
I am writing to apply for the Assistant Secretary position with Carlton Industries. I am an office management professional with four years of experience as a secretary. In my current position as Assistant Secretary with Alpha Auto I answer telephone calls take messages prepare documents file records and perform other office tasks as needed.
I am organized and efficient with a strong attention to detail. I am comfortable in the use of computers software copiers and other common office equipment and my my communication skills are excellent. I have a friendly personality and I pride myself on going above and beyond to assist clients. In performance reviews I am consistently given high marks for my outstanding customer service. It would be a pleasure to be able to bring my dedication and demeanor to Carlton Industries as Assistant Secretary.
I have no doubt that you will find me to be a competent and qualified candidate for your Assistant Secretary position and I welcome you to be in touch at the above listed phone number or email at your convenience to arrange an interview. I look forward to speaking with you in more detail about my qualifications. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
There are plenty of opportunities to land a position, but it won’t just be handed to you. Crafting a cover letter that catches the attention of hiring managers is paramount to getting the job, and LiveCareer is here to help you stand out from the competition.
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Administrative Secretary Cover Letter Examples
Administrative Secretaries play a vital role in any business as they provide support to managers and make sure daily operations run smoothly. Examples of Administrative Secretary duties include: answering phone calls, handling the correspondence, making travel arrangements, organizing meetings, scheduling appointments, writing reports, greeting and guiding guests, ordering office supplies, and collaborating with other departments. They are also required to complete various tasks as assigned by superiors.
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A good cover letter can make you stand out from the rest. Learn how to create one in our Cover Letter guide .
Include These Administrative Secretary Skills
- Administrative expertise
- Familiarity with office procedures
- Organizational skills and planning
- Computer competencies
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- Attention to details
- Multitasking and time management
- Being able to work under pressure
Below is displayed a sample Administrative Secretary cover letter referring to comparable qualifications.
Dear Mr. Hugo:
Upon learning of your posting for an Administrative Secretary, I hastened to submit my resume for your review. As a highly organized and self-motivated administrative professional with expertise in leveraging considerable talents in areas such as customer service, database management, scheduling, and accounting tasks, I am prepared to significantly contribute to your company’s goals and objectives in this role.
My background includes performing diverse administrative operations and driving office efficiency within fast-paced environments while ensuring adherence to budgets and deadlines. From preparing business correspondence and implementing QuickBooks programs to developing custom Excel- and Word-based documents and maintaining detailed calendars, I excel at prioritizing tasks, collaborating with management, and developing effective communication and organizational procedures across a range of industries.
Highlights of my experience include…
Demonstrating an unparalleled dedication to providing outstanding administrative support to optimize office efficiency and productivity while achieving business objectives.
Managing monthly staff schedules and calendars for up to 26 employees at a time—including C-level executives.
Achieving a reputation as a QuickBooks specialist, supporting companies in streamlining their bookkeeping functions by implementing software systems to drive increased accounting accuracy and efficiency.
Excelling at balancing multiple tasks within independent, self-starting environments while providing top-level organization and communication skills and improving operational systems.
My skills in office organization, bookkeeping, and general administration have been finely honed, and I am confident my additional strengths will readily translate to your environment. The chance to offer more insight into my qualifications would be welcome. Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Kristine R. Perryman
A professional cover letter is the first step toward your new job!
Secretary Cover Letter Example
Take a letter! Historically, one of a secretary’s most basic functions has been to turn a supervisor’s sometimes jumbled thoughts into a well-written, properly formatted letter.
So when seeking a secretarial job, it should be right up your alley to write an effective, persuasive and professional secretary's cover letter to accompany your resume. And as we’ll see in this guide, it will greatly increase your chances of landing the job if you do so.
Resume.io is an expert source of advice and support for every cover letter preparation step. We’ve developed a wide selection of occupation-specific writing guides and free cover letter examples , plus field-tested templates and builder tools to help you create both resumes and cover letters. Our blog information covers the gamut of job search topics, from practical document formatting tips to thank-you letter writing
Here’s what we’ll discuss in this writing guide, backed by a secretary cover letter example:
- The changing role and job outlook for secretaries
- Why a cover letter is crucial for a secretary
- Format for structuring a secretary's cover letter
- How to achieve the goal of each cover letter part: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
- Design and formatting of a secretary cover letter
- Writing psychology: tips for a convincing cover letter
- Common mistakes you need to avoid.
Secretaries today and looking ahead
In recent decades, the word “secretary” has fallen out of favor somewhat, replaced with terms like “administrative assistant.” But many of the duties remain the same, including handling correspondence, filing, bookkeeping, scheduling and answering phones.
The bad news is, a 7% decline in the job outlook for secretaries and administrative assistants is projected from 2020 through 2030 in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics .
This is due in part to advances in technology that enable executives to prepare their own documents without any help. In 1970, for example, it would have seemed strange for a CEO to type his own letters, but today it would be odd to find a CEO who doesn’t send his own emails.
Also, many secretaries today support more than one manager. And in law, paralegals and legal assistants today handle many of the tasks once handled by legal secretaries.
On a brighter note, excellent job growth is expected for medical secretaries, who handle billing and insurance processing for the growing caseload of an aging population. The following chart breaks down the current job outlook for different types of secretaries.
Employment projections for secretaries and administrative assistants in the U.S., 2020-30, according to the BLS:
What the coming job squeeze means to you is that you need an outstanding job application to compete for a shrinking number of jobs. And that means you’ll need an excellent resume and cover letter.
Take a moment to review the resume guides already prepared by resume.io for executive assistants and legal assistants . It’s helpful to have your resume done before writing your cover letter, because they’ll need a similar design, and the content of your resume can help you determine what to say in your cover letter.
Here’s what this guide will discuss:
- How a secretary’s cover letter should be structured
- How a secretary’s cover letter should be formatted
- Tips for writing a convincing cover letter
Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out these cover letter writing guides and examples in the related administrative category:
- Customer Service Representative cover letter sample
- Administrative Assistant cover letter sample
- Receptionist cover letter sample
- Office Administrator cover letter sample
- Office Assistant cover letter sample
- Office Manager cover letter sample
- Personal Assistant cover letter sample
- Administrative Officer cover letter sample
- Call Center cover letter sample
- Administrative cover letter sample
- Front Desk Receptionist cover letter sample
- Virtual Assistant cover letter sample
Why a secretary needs a cover letter
For starters, writing an outstanding letter is a demonstration of your ability to do your job as a secretary.
People applying for a job as a baker could, theoretically, prove their chops by sending a prospective employer some of their best blueberry muffins. But that would be a bit odd.
However, sending a one-page cover letter is something that’s expected of job applicants in any field. And if you’re a secretary, the professionalism of your letter is a sample of how well you can perform one of the basic responsibilities of your profession.
A cover letter is an introduction, a handshake from afar, an attempt to establish a personal connection to a hiring manager. It’s also a matter of simple etiquette — you are asking for a job, so you need to ask .
A resume is a somewhat stark and impersonal listing of your job experience, qualifications and skills. A resume isn’t addressed to anyone, and it doesn’t address the specific needs of a potential employer.
But a cover letter offers the opportunity to showcase your personality, enthusiasm and likability. Nobody wants to work with someone they don’t like, so use your cover letter to demonstrate that you are an upbeat, positive professional.
Surveys of hiring managers have found that one of the top reasons resumes are rejected is because they were sent without a cover letter.
A few employers sometimes request that you send a resume only. But unless you’re specifically asked otherwise, always include a cover letter with a resume.
Best format for a secretary’s cover letter
A cover letter should almost always be a maximum of one page, or some 400 words. And it should follow a defined structure that includes the following:
- Greeting / salutation
- Conclusion / call to action
Dear Mrs. Dayton,
I understand that you are looking for a secretary to help digitise how you organise your work and communicate with your colleagues. My previous secretarial work at two technology companies has given me the best possible foundation to assist you.
Proficient at organizing and have effective digital management skills, I adopted a mobile-first strategy with my previous boss, utilising apps that allowed us both to keep informed and updated on the go. I do not need to sit in the same office to be by their side.
Championing the digital transformation of my company’s operations, I reduced paperwork by 95% and improved the effectiveness of both audit results and business analysis projects, with an annual cost saving of $25-30k.
I am used to managing a busy diary, coordinating between 25-30 meetings and lunches every week with a total of 40-90 attendees. Explaining why someone is required at a meeting is critical – spreading a message of a common purpose is central to what I do.
As the role will encompass significant project management responsibilities, my experience in project managing over thirty events and conferences should prove useful. I use my initiative to overcome problems and communicate with others where possible to find solutions independently. I will not come running to my boss for help unless I really need it.
The stresses of modern business mean that a secretary should be able to offer psychological support to their boss as well as operational support. I view my role as an emotional cheerleader as well as a reliable pair of hands. I am thoughtful, patient and astute.
A personal connection is so important, so I would value the chance of an interview to explore whether there might be a fit.
Here’s what each of these components should contain:
Cover letter header
In the old days, companies would order reams of fine paper that were blank except for a letterhead — a space at the top containing the company’s name, address, phone number and perhaps a color logo. A secretary would take one of these pages, roll it into a typewriter and get busy writing a letter.
Today that letterhead is known in electronic correspondence as a header, and for an individual seeking a job it should include your name, occupation, address, phone number and email.
The main purpose of a header is to let a prospective employer know how to contact you if they want to. But it has an important secondary purpose — to give your letter some visual flair.
You DON’T want to write the body of your letter in purple text, but you CAN include a light splash of color somewhere in your header. You can be a bit creative here in your use of typography, layout and white space, and it should make your letter look better overall.
One of your goals here: Your recipient should open your letter, take a quick glance and before reading the first word say, “Hey, this looks nice.”
To get an idea of what good headers look like, take a spin through the free cover letter templates at resume.io. You can take these designs and make any of them your own.
Align document styles
Your resume and cover letter should be a matching set, designed to be paired, and that means you should use the same fonts, font sizes and formatting styles in both.
The headers on both should be similar if not identical, making it obvious that they came from the same person at the same time. If you’re blowing the dust off a two-year-old resume and mailing it with a new cover letter that uses totally different fonts and styles, that’s not going to work well.
Goal of the cover letter header: Distinguish yourself from other job applicants by showing a visual flair and regard for detail and high quality.
Cover letter greeting / salutation
“Dear Mr. [X],” “Dear Ms. [Y],” or “Dear Dr. [Z]” are all appropriate ways to write the greeting of your cover letter, also known as a salutation. In a proper business letter, the greeting is generally followed by a colon rather than a comma.
The era of email has relaxed these rules somewhat, so that nowadays “Greetings” or even “Hello” are sometimes substituted for “Dear.” But it’s a bit risky to mess with success, and you want to avoid being too informal in a letter asking for a job.
If you happen to know the person you’re writing to, it may be perfectly acceptable to address that individual by first name. But bear in mind that hiring decisions are often made by multiple people, so think about this entire group in writing your letter.
You should always try to address your cover letter to a named individual, even if no name is specified in the job listing that got your attention.
People like to read their own names, and it shows both attention to detail and respect if you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out who makes the hiring decisions at the company where you want to work.
A reasonable amount of research through Google, social media or the employer’s website should give you some information (if you’re an introverted person - sometimes even a call to the company itself). However, it’s vitally important to stay within the boundaries of propriety and common sense. You never know what company policies are regarding privacy.
If in doubt - use more generic but equally friendly phrases like “Dear <Company Name> Hiring Team” or “Dear <Company Name> Team”.
Goal of the cover letter greeting: Set a professional, but friendly, tone by making a direct personal connection with the employer, using the recipient’s name if possible.
Cover letter introduction
Your first paragraph should start the engine of your letter with a “Vroom!” Using provocative, lively language, you want to identify the job you’re seeking and suggest why you would be a great candidate to fill it.
Pay close attention to your tone of voice, which should be energetic and confident, but never arrogant or too familiar. Use bold and informative statements about yourself and the reason you’re applying for this job.
Goal of the cover letter introduction: Pique the interest of hiring managers with a confident, energetic preview of your qualifications that motivates further reading.
Cover letter body
The central two or three paragraphs of your cover letter must make the case as to why you are an excellent candidate to fill this job.
The body of your letter should emphasize your work experience, education, special skills and any other qualifications worth mentioning.
In discussing your past experience, try to be as specific as possible, using facts and figures where appropriate. Don’t just say where you worked and when, but describe your primary achievements on the job.
Try to include at least one short little story about some challenge you faced in a past job, what action you took and how you achieved a satisfactory resolution.
Also, if you’ve done your homework on the employer you’re targeting, it can be really helpful to discuss specific challenges that you know this employer faces, and to suggest how your contributions could help address these issues.
Aim of the cover letter body: Highlight your most relevant achievements in relatable terms that translate to potential benefits for this employer.
Cover letter conclusion and call to action
Close on a positive, enthusiastic note that contains some kind of “call to action.” Declare that you would be delighted to come in for an interview, or perhaps even ask if you could call within the next couple of weeks to follow up.
Plant the thought in your correspondent’s head that s/he should take some action as a result of your letter and not just lay it aside. Let that person know that you are not just randomly sending out resumes, but that you’re really interested in this job in particular and you’re confident you would be an excellent candidate.
Goal of the cover letter conclusion: End on a positive, self-assured note with a call to action that ideally results in an interview.
Cover letter sign-off
Finish with “Sincerely,” “All my best,” or a similar phrase, insert a space below that, and type your name. If you like, you can insert a digital signature here, though in electronic correspondence this is not considered necessary.
Design and formatting of a secretary’s cover letter
You know your letter needs to be well-written. But it also needs to look great, and that’s why you should be meticulous about following these formatting tips.
- Fonts : If you insist on writing all your letters using Comic Sans, you can expect to be unemployed for a long time. Use a normal, common, easy-to-read font that doesn’t call attention to itself.
- Font sizes: Use a font size no smaller than 10 points and no larger than 12 points. Too large and it looks childish; too small and your reader may have to squint to read it. The first draft of your letter will probably be too long to fit on one page, so be prepared to cut your text before you resort to formatting tricks to cram it all in.
- Margins: Include a 1-inch margin on the left, right, top and bottom of your letter.
- Text alignment: Align your text left, not justified from margin to margin, to avoid big blocks of wall-to-wall text.
- Paragraphs: Leave a space between paragraphs, and don’t indent them. Don’t make them too long either, but strive for a balanced look where the paragraphs are of similar length.
- Save as PDF: Except in rare cases where an employer (or their online application system) asks for a Word document or some other format, you should always save your cover letter as a PDF. This file type will preserve your formatting so that when opened on your recipient’s computer, it looks exactly the way you intended it to look.
- Use a template: The surest way to avoid any potential formatting fails is to start with a professionally designed template like those we offer at resume.io, where all the formatting is already done for you.
The best start to a great cover letter is a professionally designed template where all the formatting is done for you. Review sample cover letter templates in four style categories: simple , modern , professional and creative . Choose the one you like best, and fill in your own information using our cover letter builder tool.
You’ll be building on a foundation of success with a format that’s been proven to work by actual recruiters!
Writing psychology: how to write a persuasive cover letter
A cover letter is formal business correspondence, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be personal. Always remember that you’re writing to a real person, and your letter should sound like it was written by a real person too — not a robot.
Your letter is a personal appeal in which you’re asking another human being for a job. So you want to try to get inside that person’s head a bit.
If you were on the receiving end of this letter, would you want to meet the person who wrote it? Would you want to work with that person for years to come?
Are there any turnoffs in your letter? Does it ever cross a line from confident competence into arrogance? Does it ever sound like you feel entitled to this job?
It’s crucial to find the right tone of voice, taking into account your position relative to that of the person to whom you’re writing.
You also want to look at the kind of language used by the firm you’re targeting on its website and elsewhere. Whether it’s highly formal or disarmingly casual, the tone the employer uses in its communications with the public should serve as a guide to the kind of tone you should use in your letter.
You need to make sure that you’ve mentioned all of your most impressive accomplishments, and left out anything that isn’t a great selling point. You can only say so much in a one-page letter, and you need to make every word count.
Mistakes to avoid in writing a cover letter
Here are some of the common errors to avoid in writing a cover letter:
- Typos, misspellings and other English mistakes: You cannot afford to make any mistakes. Nobody wants to hire a secretary who can’t write a one-page letter without typos, misspellings, bad grammar or punctuation mistakes.
- One size fits all: Every cover letter should be unique and targeted to a specific employer. You can’t just send the same letter to 50 prospective employers and expect all of them to take you seriously.
- Clichés, HR-speak and fluff: Are you a “team-oriented” “self-starter” who “thinks outside the box”? Well, then 1985 just called, and it wants its clichés back. Lazy, hackneyed phrases borrowed from elsewhere will demonstrate that you lack originality and are just recycling a bunch of “fluff” — fancy language that doesn’t mean anything.
- Structural and formatting errors: If you’ve ignored the basic components of what a cover letter should contain and how it should be formatted, how are you going to convince anyone that you’d be a good secretary?
Key takeaways for a secretary's cover letter
- Secretary jobs are expected to decline by 7% in the next decade, at least in the United States, so to stay ahead of the pack in a competitive field, you need a superior cover letter and resume.
- Sending a cover letter is not only a common courtesy when seeking a job, but it’s a demonstration of your ability to do the job well.
- A cover letter that looks terrible because it ignores basic formatting standards could be an instant disqualifier — before the hiring manager reads the first word.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re writing to, and write a letter that would make that person want to hire you.
- Avoid common mistakes in writing and formatting —in fact, avoid any mistake whatsoever.
Your company needs someone who can handle scheduling, planning, and correspondence with accuracy and efficiency, and I believe I would be a great fit in that
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