Could this cover letter sample be more targeted for a nonprofit? I don't think so. And, for that very reason, I'm pretty sure the hiring manager will find this applicant a good fit for his human rights nonprofit.
Kate wrote a really heartfelt cover letter, which she sent to me for review. I like the way she weaves her passion for human rights into her qualifications for being an executive assistant in finance. Take a look.
My Comments on Kate's Cover Letter Sample
After Kate sent me her cover letter, I responded with just a few comments to make it better. But really, Kate did a great job on her own.
I love your cover letter — at least I did once I got into it. But it took a few sentences for me to start liking it, and that might be a problem. If you don't grab your reader in the first paragraph, you could lose him all together.
The first sentence sounds like so many other cover letters I’ve read. Sort of ho-hum even though you use the word "excitement." I wonder if you could either rewrite it to reflect the passion you show later in the letter, or simply delete that first phrase.
One more thing, see if you can find a person’s name for your salutation. If you can’t, then write, “Dear Manager” or “Dear Director” instead of “Dear Madam/Sir.” "Dear Madam/Sir" is so old-fashioned.
With my edits, here's what the start of your letter would look like.
Dear Ms XX,
I wish to express my interest in the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Finance, which I saw posted on Idealist.org.
Now, let's put that with the rest of your cover letter to see how it flows.
Sample Cover Letter for an Executive Assistant at a Nonprofit
Dear Ms X,
I wish to express my interest in the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Finance, which I saw posted on Idealist.org. With its outstanding reputation, XX has long been on my “dream list” for places to work. I feel that my combination of skills and experience in administration and my passion for human rights make me a qualified candidate for this position.
One of my favorite quotes from Rumi (and words to live by) is “let the beauty we love be what we do.” When there is passion behind the work we do, it fuels us to work for the change we believe is possible. Beyond my administration experience in budget management, calendar management, facilitation, and meeting coordination I have the aspiration to surround myself with those who are committed to human rights and change. Without a doubt, XX offers that experience and atmosphere.
The organization’s work in Haiti and around the world, offering primary healthcare to the poor, is beyond inspiring. I would be honored to work alongside people who have dedicated their lives to defending the human rights of others and saving lives.
Through my work, volunteer, and travel experience, I have honed my interpersonal, organizational, and presentation skills. I am a self-directed team player who has careful attention to detail and experience in program planning and volunteer coordination. I am thrilled about the possibility of deploying my skills, positive attitude, and strong work ethic in the service of the XX Finance team and wider XX community.
Thank you for considering my application. I can be reached at your convenience via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Need examples for how to correspond with a contact in the nonprofit sector? Check out these sample cover letters and sample interview thank-you notes (in PDF format) from Jobs and Careers with Non-Profit Organizations by Ron and Caryl Krannich.
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