While the duties of an executive assistant are likely to vary greatly between organisations, there are some central skills and qualities that you need to posses and express in your cover letter. Once you’ve detailed you have all the essentials – think strong scheduling skills, multitasking ability, and excellent communication capacity – you’re left with the opportunity to use your executive assistant cover letter to appeal to the employer’s personality and values. If successful, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time together, so it’s important you get along. Here are some tips to getting it right.
Executive assistant cover letter do's
- Do keep it short. One page is the maximum for cover letters, with the ideal length between 200 - 300 words, or around four paragraphs
- Do address your cover letter to the right organisation, and correct member of staff. You role is often about the finer details, so this is important
- Do tailor or customise your executive assistant cover letter for each role you apply for
- Do pluck out the best bits of your resume to use throughout your cover letter
- Do use short lists and bullet points to site your demonstrated skills and abilities
- Do end your cover letter by thanking the employer for their time
- Do always run a thorough spelling and grammar check before submitting your cover letter
Executive assistant cover letter don'ts
- Don’t use out-dated or unprofessional contact details. Always use the most recent, most relevant, and the most professional
- Don’t simply copy or rewrite your resume
- Don’t include irrelevant information. Consider the role, the specific needs of the employer and the company more broadly, and what they want most from candidates. Focus on these areas in your cover letter
- Don’t use buzzwords. When overused they tend to lose meaning and impact
- Don’t use company-specific language or terminology. Stick to what is known and understood at an industry level
Executive assistant cover letter example
This cover letter for executive assistant is strong because it ticks all the cover letter best practice boxes. It is less than a page and within the optimum word count, the details of the employer are correct and titles and names are specific, which shows that this candidate has taken the time to do their research. The candidate has used a short list in the body of the letter which makes it stand out and easy to read.
The candidate knows the IT industry intimately, and has tailored his executive assistant cover letter accordingly. For example, he has excluded his mail address but instead included a personal website, acknowledging that in the IT industry this is the preferred and more popular mode of communication and information sharing.
Overall the format is neat, with each idea or point broken into its own short paragraph. The sign off is courteous and the employer is thanked for the time taken to read and consider the cover letter.
The way in which you write and communicate key messages in your executive assistant cover letter is just as important as the actual experience and content you include, so make sure yours is suitably formatted, neat, and easy to read for every role you apply for.
Take a look at our cover letter tips page for more cover letter writing tips and examples.