How To Write an Effective Cover Letter for a Receptionist Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 December 2022

Published 31 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Your cover letter for a receptionist position provides your first chance to make a positive impression on an employer. A well-written cover letter can encourage them to read your resume and invite you for an interview. It can make you seem professional and capable of performing receptionist duties to a high standard. In this article, we explain how to write a cover letter for a receptionist job and provide an example of an effective receptionist cover letter.

How do you write a cover letter for receptionist jobs?

Consider writing a new receptionist cover letter for every position you apply for. This approach helps you show employers how you can fit their vacant role. While every cover letter is unique, you can follow the same writing process:

1. Add contact details, date, salutation and letter's purpose

Aim to format your cover letter like a standard business letter. Align these details to the left and take a new line for each bullet point:

  • Your full name

  • Your phone number

  • Your email address

  • Your street address

  • Your city, state or territory and postcode

  • The date of writing

  • Recipient's name, if known

  • Recipient's company

  • Recipient's street address

  • Recipient's city, state or territory and postcode

  • Salutation

  • Re: Application for receptionist job

2. Introduce yourself and expand on your letter's purpose

Your first paragraph can tell the employer who you are and that you're applying for the vacant receptionist job. Note where you saw the job posted. State the key reasons why you think you'd suit the receptionist position.

3. Describe your background

Your second paragraph can tell the employer about your past work or educational experience and the skills it gave you. Highlight any outstanding achievements that can set you apart from other candidates. For example, you could mention how you sourced and implemented a new self-booking system for a doctor's practice. You might then explain how this reduced the time receptionists spent on the telephone by 50%, allowing them to focus on other tasks and improve their productivity.

Mention any receptionist experience and skills that match the essential or preferred job criteria. Write in a concise manner, as the employer can learn more about your background from your resume.

Related: What Are the Duties of a Receptionist?

4. Conclude your cover letter with thanks and a plan of action

Thank the employer for reading your cover letter and suggest what may happen next. You may state that you can answer any questions the employer has over the phone and that you are available for an interview at their convenience. Add a professional sign-off and, if sending a hard copy, your signature above your printed name. Signatures are optional for electronic cover letters.

Related: 15 Common Interview Questions for Receptionists

Ways to write different types of receptionist cover letters

While the format of a receptionist cover letter remains the same, some different types of receptionist cover letters require slightly different approaches. For example, you may include different information in cover letters for receptionist roles in different industries. Writing cover letters before you get receptionist experience also requires a slightly different approach:

How do you write a cover letter for a front desk receptionist?

Front desk receptionists spend a lot of time interacting with the public, so write a cover letter that highlights your customer service experience and skills. Mention your background in your first paragraph, emphasising any experience in the same industry. A legal practice is more likely to shortlist your application if you've worked as a front desk receptionist at another law firm.

Note the front desk receptionist duties you're familiar with, such as answering telephones and greeting visitors, in your second paragraph. Mention the unique qualities and skills you have that make you well-suited to the specific front desk reception role. For example, if you were applying for a front desk reception role at a dental practice, you might mention how you're sensitive to others and have a cheerful demeanour that helps put nervous people at ease.

Related: 8 Types of Front Office Jobs (Plus Duties and Salaries)

How do you write a cover letter for a school receptionist?

School receptionists interact with students and adults, including parents and school employees, so write a cover letter that highlights your ability to work with all these different people. In your first paragraph explain your background working with different kinds of people. Highlight any experience working with children, especially in schools.

In your second paragraph, note which past duties match the school receptionist job description. For example, mention any experience processing payments or creating newsletters. Note some of the skills that make you well-suited to the role, such as the ability to communicate easily with people of any age. Mentioning the skills listed in the school receptionist job advertisement is an effective approach.

How do you write a cover letter for a receptionist with no experience?

Write a cover letter that outlines transferrable skills that can help you succeed as a receptionist, and how you got them. For example, you could mention greeting visitors and handling telephone enquiries while working as a retail assistant. If you have no work experience at all, consider other activities that gave you transferrable skills. For example, you could mention that you can type at 35 words per minute as you maintain a personal blog. You could also mention having qualities that people look for in receptionists, such as being outgoing and organised.

Use the same three-paragraph format outlined above for your cover letter. Your letter may be a little shorter as you lack experience. Highlight why you can succeed in the receptionist position to improve your chances of getting an interview.

Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience

Tips for writing a cover letter for a receptionist job

Following these tips can help you write a persuasive, effective and friendly receptionist cover letter:

Follow directions in the job advertisement

Read the job advertisement carefully and ensure your cover letter meets the listed requirements. Following the job description instruction shows you can take direction. If the job advertisement says to send applications to a particular person, address your cover letter to that person. If the job advertisement asks for a one-page cover letter, ensure your cover letter is a single page. If the job advertisement asks you to email your job application, send your cover letter, resume and any requested attachments electronically.

Use keywords from the job advertisement

Identify the keywords in the job advertisement, such as the skills and qualifications the employer's looking for. If you have those skills and qualifications, mention them in your cover letter. This writing strategy helps the employer see at a glance that you're well-suited to their receptionist role.

Related: How to Use Resume Keywords to Improve Your Job Application

Support your claims with examples

Support the claims you make about your skills and experience with examples. This strategy makes your cover letter more persuasive and unique. For example, many candidates may write that they have strong organisational skills. Writing that your organisational skills helped you reorganise your last employer's filing system, which increased efficiency throughout the company, can help your cover letter stand out.

Edit your cover letter

After writing your cover letter, edit it carefully. Correct any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Rephrase any sentences that feel awkward or overly wordy. Spending time editing your cover letter helps you submit a polished and professional cover letter. This shows an employer you can create high-quality documents in the receptionist role.

Related: Cover Letter Checklist: What to Review Before You Submit

Sample cover letter for receptionist job

Looking at receptionist cover letter examples can help you write your own. Pay attention to the formatting and the information included in the example. Here is a receptionist cover letter sample for a front desk receptionist job at a veterinarian clinic:

Sam Matthews
0402 209 294
Townsville Qld 4810

16 September 2021

Graham Cross
Townsville Vet Practice
Townsville Qld 4810

Dear Mr Cross,

Re: Application for receptionist job

I am writing in response to your vet receptionist advertisement posted yesterday on Indeed. I would love for you to consider me for the position at your practice. I am currently studying for a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at the TAFE campus in Aitkenvale. While I haven't worked as a receptionist before, I spent two years working as a retail assistant which gave me several transferrable skills. I am confident that these skills and my knowledge of veterinary nursing make me a great candidate for this role.

I am a very friendly person who loves interacting with people and animals. My time at Style Boutique taught me how to deliver personalised customer service and process payments. My commitment to customers helped me win the employee of the month award five times. I feel confident I could use these skills to greet your clients and help them feel calmer and reassured when they worry about their pets. Through my TAFE course's module on veterinary reception duties, I recently learned how to admit and discharge animals and provide grief support to pet owners.

I would love to discuss your vet receptionist position in more detail in person. I can visit your practice for an interview whenever it's convenient. If you have any questions about my application in the meantime, you can call me at the number above. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Matthews

Explore more articles