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It is extremely competitive to find a secretary role. The overall field is in decline due to the growth of administrative and scheduling software, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, save for medical secretaries. With such a tough market, the most useful tool in your job search will be your cover letter. This self-introduction allows you to highlight your skills and establish a personal connection with hiring managers.

Get started on yours by using our secretary cover letter example as a drafting guide and building on it by following our advice. Use the breakdown below to learn how to format your letter and what to include to help it stand out.

Sections of a Secretary Cover Letter

The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:

Cover Letter Sections

Format your secretary cover letter with your name and contact information, including a phone number and an email, at the top center.



    Show you’ve done your research by addressing your secretary cover letter to the specific person responsible for hiring. This can usually be obtained by a polite phone call to the company’s receptionist.



      This paragraph highlights your interest in the role and demonstrates why you’re a great fit for the secretary position. These sentences can vary depending on the field you’re entering. If you’re applying for a medical secretary role, you’ll want to showcase your familiarity with compiling and filing medical charts, scheduling and confirming appointments, and knowledge of billing programs.



        Build off the previous paragraph by both listing all relevant skills and experience that meet the open role’s job posting. Build on any specific experience you have with appointment-booking software like Appointlet or Setmore, and with office suites like Microsoft Office Suite or G Suite.



          Always remember to thank the person for their time spent reading your cover letter and considering you for the position. You can also show you’re ready for an interview by giving some dates and times you’re available to talk.



            Sign off with a semi-formal valediction, such as “Sincerely,” and your full name.



              Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

              One way to differentiate your cover letter from the myriad applicants going for the same position is to incorporate action verbs in your letter. Start with a secretary cover letter example and then customize it by peppering your experience descriptions with action verbs found in the job description. Frequently used action verbs for a secretary position include:

              Maintain: You might maintain client files and ensure paperwork is handled with efficiency.

              Compose: Show that you can compose client-facing communications both in print and online.

              Greet: Communicate that you can greet customers over the phone and in person.

              Develop: A hiring manager will love to see that you can develop systems and procedures to increase accuracy.

              Perform: Make it known that you can perform basic secretarial duties such as making phone calls and taking messages.

              Correctly predicting and using action verbs and keywords from a job posting is a key component of increasing the chances that your cover letter gets seen by a real person. If you were applying for a secretary position at a tutoring center, you might include something similar to the following:

              “At my past job with XYZ, I greeted incoming students and helped them schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments. I also developed a post-session survey to provide data on student satisfaction and worked to decrease wait times by 15 percent.”

              Importance of Using Secretary Job-related Keywords

              Secretary and administrative assistant positions will see a 7 to 9 percent decline in job growth from 2016 to 2026, which could mean fewer open positions and a much more competitive applicant pool, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Large companies and recruiters often get hundreds of applications for one position, and to deal with this, they use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help narrow down the field. These programs cut down the number of applicants by about 50 percent, and they do this by skimming resumes and cover letters for keywords and phrases that match the job description.

              Fortunately, there are strategic methods for passing ATS programs. In addition to these formatting tips, you can pass an ATS by scanning the job description of keywords and phrases. You find these by looking for the repeated or highlighted responsibilities within the job posting. When tailoring your cover letter and resume, remember to mimic the same tense and phrasing as the job post. For example, if the posting asks for "Experience working with the hospitality industry strongly preferred," you would phrase your work history as, "established secretary with experience working with the hospitality industry and private offices."

              Build a Cover Letter

              Match Your Secretary Cover Letter to Your Resume

              Looking at and customizing a secretary cover letter example gives you a jumping-off point for your own cover letter, but it’s also important to ensure your cover letter matches your resume. Designing both of these documents with the same header and font size and style shows that you have the attention to detail and professionalism required for the position. Matching up key points from the resume and expanding on them in your cover letter ensures they are working together to give you the best chance of landing an interview.


              Additional Administrative Cover Letters

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