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Written by Karl KahlerKarl Kahler

System Administrator cover letter example

How does a system administrator write a winning cover letter to land that crucial interview? This writing guide, along with the examples provided, will tell you everything you need to know.
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System Administrator cover letter example
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As soon as you land your ideal system administrator job, the people at that company are going to need you desperately. But until then, it’s you who need them, so you want to make an irresistible approach with an excellent system administrator cover letter. 

This writing guide will deal with the latter – the nuts and bolts of writing a cover letter for a system administrator that will make employers think they must call you in for an interview ASAP. Specifically, we’ll discuss:

  • Choosing the best format for a system administrator cover letter
  • The six elements of a successful cover letter and how to write them
  • The psychology of writing a persuasive cover letter sample
  • Common mistakes to avoid

Resume.io is a professional resource for job seekers in all fields and all stages of their career. For even more writing and formatting tips, check out our 125+ cover letter examples.

A system administrator manages an organization's IT infrastructure, ensuring servers, networks, and systems run efficiently. They install, update, and troubleshoot hardware and software, monitor system performance, and maintain security protocols. Regularly conducting backups, granting user permissions, and providing technical support are key duties. They also collaborate with teams to optimize system capabilities, document configurations, and respond to emergencies, ensuring continuous uptime and optimal system health.

Let's explore how to fit all of that into a compelling cover letter. First things first, we need to consider the format.

Best format for a system administrator cover letter

Choosing the right format for your system administrator cover letter involves questions of structure, design and layout. First of all, it should be one page only, 350 words max, and it must contain six essential components:

  • Cover letter header
  • Greeting/salutation
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Sign-off and signature

We’ll discuss what each of these should contain below. But while we’re on the topic of format, here are some important design considerations to take into account:

Your cover letter sample should have a clean, professional, eye-pleasing look. It should have one-inch margins on the top, bottom, right and left, and it should have an appropriate amount of white space throughout to give the eye a break.

Strive for a balanced look, meaning your page is not full of text at the top and blank at the bottom. Keep your paragraphs of more or less equal length, and avoid huge blocks of unbroken text. You might choose to use bullet points to convey your accomplishments - this can be a powerful visual tool.

Choose a professional-looking font that’s easy to read, and make the font size a minimum of 10 points and a maximum of 12 points. Don’t resort to using a tiny font size to cram a wordy letter onto one page. 

Expert tip

Our comprehensive cover letter writing guide contains tons of useful tips and specific formatting information to help you create each essential section of your cover letter.

The free system administrator cover letter example below is designed to help you model your own document: 

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Garner,

Working as a system administrator in network security has proven a fascinating challenge over the past decade. HighView would provide a natural next step in my career.

My tasks have encompassed upkeep of hardware and software, managing virtual networks, and creating foolproof systems. I excel in drafting protocols for peers and stakeholders and conducted monthly tech and cybersecurity workshops. In my former role, safeguarding systems integrity was pivotal. 

I also possess in-depth knowledge in mitigating cyber threats aimed at clientele and business data. I pioneered a custom encryption protocol for our servers, and together with my team, we diminished cyber breaches and malware incidents by 65%. My foremost objective is to fortify your systems and safeguard your information.

My computer science degree from Miami University was just the start of an ongoing I.T. education that started with an MSCE and has most recently seen me become an Oracle Linux System Administrator and a Red Hat Certified Engineer. The deep knowledge required for our profession is always getting deeper, and I enjoy taking on new knowledge.

My knack for simplifying complex topics led to two promotions in my last position, and I've consistently showcased adaptability to ever-evolving tech landscapes. I've also undergone specialized training in agile methodologies which I believe can be beneficial.

Having chatted with some of your leaders at events, I admire your transparent corporate ethos. I'd be eager for an interview opportunity if my qualifications resonate with your needs.

Sincerely,

Simon Backley

Copied!

Cover letter header

The cover letter header is the easiest part to write and the most challenging to design. It should contain your name, occupation, address, phone number and email, and you can also add your LinkedIn page or another website that showcases your professional skills.  

The header (which used to be called a letterhead) is also your best opportunity to add some visual flair to the page. Your name will generally be the largest thing on the page, in a carefully chosen font, and the rest of the header should be creatively designed and thoughtfully laid out. You may also opt for an accent color in your header.

There is no requirement to include a full home address in the header. Share your town and state, but leave your full address until the offer stage. There are data protection issues here and also potential for bias (especially if you don't live in the best neighbourhood).

Expert tip

For best results, use a cover letter template where the header (and everything else) is already designed for you. You can start with the system administrator cover letter example attached here at the upper right. Or review some of Resume.io’s dozens of other cover letter templates and examples. When you find one you like, click on it and an easy-to-use builder tool will walk you through the simple steps to making it your own. With the design considerations already taken care of, all you have to do is write the letter.

Cover letter greeting

The cover letter greeting, also known as a salutation, should usually start with the word “Dear,” followed by “Mr.” and “Ms.” and the last name of the hiring manager. It’s that simple, so don’t overthink this.

Some people choose a more informal greeting, like using the word “Greetings” or “Hello” in place of “Dear.” That may be OK, depending on the company’s style and level of formality or lack thereof. But “Dear” is never wrong, so it makes for a safe option.

The biggest mistake people make in writing cover letter greetings is not finding out the name of the person they should be writing to. If a name is not mentioned in the job listing, do some sleuthing to find out who it is. If you can’t find it online, consider picking up the phone, calling the company and simply asking.

Adaptable greeting cover letter example

Dear Mr. Garner,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

The cover letter introduction, the first paragraph, should be an intriguing opening statement that compels the hiring manager to keep reading. You have to hook the fish before you start reeling it into the boat. 

You should lead with your most impressive job qualifications, whether that’s your years of experience in the field, your master’s degree in computer science or something else. 

Avoid using bland, clichéd phrases like “I am writing this letter to….” They already know you’re writing this letter, so you’ve wasted five words already. Plunge right into the reasons you would make an excellent system administrator for this company, using original and compelling language. See how this is done in the introduction of our cover letter sample.

Adaptable introduction cover letter example

Working as a system administrator in network security has proven a fascinating challenge over the past decade. HighView would provide a natural next step in my career.

Copied!

Cover letter body

The central two to four paragraphs of your cover letter, known as the body, should present the heart of your case. This section usually focuses on work experience, since that’s generally what employers care about most. Mention the most impressive jobs you’ve held, focusing on what you actually achieved there, using specific facts and figures where possible.

You can also mention your education and any special training or certifications you hold in your field. In fact, if you don’t have much if any work experience because you’re still in college, then your education will probably need to be your primary pitch.

Try to mention the name of the company you’re writing to, and say something about why you want to work there. A hiring manager at Acme Widgets will immediately notice that you’ve mentioned Acme Widgets, and will see that you’re not just mass-mailing a generic cover letter to random employers. 

Here’s the body section from our cover letter example to get you started:

Adaptable body cover letter example

My tasks have encompassed upkeep of hardware and software, managing virtual networks, and creating foolproof systems. I excel in drafting protocols for peers and stakeholders and conducted monthly tech and cybersecurity workshops. In my former role, safeguarding systems integrity was pivotal. 

I also possess in-depth knowledge in mitigating cyber threats aimed at clientele and business data. I pioneered a custom encryption protocol for our servers, and together with my team, we diminished cyber breaches and malware incidents by 65%. My foremost objective is to fortify your systems and safeguard your information.

My computer science degree from Miami University was just the start of an ongoing I.T. education that started with an MSCE and has most recently seen me become an Oracle Linux System Administrator and a Red Hat Certified Engineer. The deep knowledge required for our profession is always getting deeper, and I enjoy taking on new knowledge.

My knack for simplifying complex topics led to two promotions in my last position, and I've consistently showcased adaptability to ever-evolving tech landscapes. I've also undergone specialized training in agile methodologies which I believe can be beneficial.

Copied!

Cover letter conclusion

The conclusion of your cover letter, the final paragraph, should include some kind of call to action that encourages the hiring manager to get back to you. This can be as simple as saying you look forward to a reply, or you can say that you are always available for an interview or even an informal chat on the phone. Check out the conclusion from our cover letter sample below.

Adaptable conclusion cover letter example

Having chatted with some of your leaders at events, I admire your transparent corporate ethos. I'd be eager for an interview opportunity if my qualifications resonate with your needs.

Copied!

Cover letter sign-off

The sign-off, sometimes called a complimentary close, is the line that says “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” “All my best,” “Thanks so much” or the like. There are several closes that can work, but you can never go wrong with “Sincerely.”

Add a space after this, and then type your full name. If you plan to mail (or hand-deliver) a hard copy of your cover letter, you need to sign your name above your typed name, though this is not necessary in electronic correspondence. Here’s the sign off from our cover letter sample.

Adaptable sign-off and signature cover letter example

Sincerely,

Simon Backley

Copied!

The psychology of writing a persuasive cover letter

The purpose of writing a cover letter is to establish a personal connection with a hiring manager who has the power to invite you to an interview and ultimately to offer you a job. Notice the word “personal” – although this is a formal business letter, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be personal. 

So write your letter like a real person (not a robot) who is reaching out to another real person. Be human, friendly and likable – nobody wants to hire someone they don’t like. 

You have to blow your horn a bit, but watch your tone to make sure you don’t come off sounding arrogant or presumptuous. Strike a confident tone, but don’t be overconfident.

Expert tip

Mistakes to avoid

  • Typos and other writing mistakes can quickly torpedo your chances. Find an editor to review your letter before you send it.
  • Mass-produced cover letters samples are never a good idea. Every cover letter should be tailored for a specific employer.
  • Irrelevant info like your hobbies and interests do not belong in a cover letter.
  • Poor formatting and ugly design will turn off recruiters before they even read the first word.

Key takeaways

  1. Follow proper cover letter structure to make sure you’ve covered all the bases you need to.
  2. Write a professional yet personal letter that will help you to establish a relationship with the hiring manager.
  3. Make your letter look as good as it reads by following sound design advice. Check out the systems administrator cover letter sample included on this page for an idea of how to format your own.
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