There are lots of exciting opportunities in the retail industry, but there are also lots of applicants, so you need to make sure your cover letter makes an impression.
After all, you don’t want the recruiter looking elsewhere for better candidates.
So, to help you make the most of every word, we’ve created this detailed writing guide. We’ve also put together some retail cover letter examples to shape your own.
Retail cover letter example 1
Retail cover letter example 2
Retail cover letter example 3
The example cover letters here should give you a good general idea on how your Retail cover letter should be formatted and written.
The rest of this guide gives more specific guidance on how to create your own cover letter in this format, and even includes some templates you can copy and paste.
How to write a Retail cover letter
A simple step-by-step guide to writing your very own winning cover letter.
Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message
You should write your cover letter in the body of the email (or messaging system if sending via a job board) and never attach it as a document.
The reason for this?
You want your cover letter to start connecting with the recruiter from the moment they open your application.
If they have to open a document to read it, it will slow things down and they may not even bother to open it.
Start with a friendly greeting
To start building rapport with the recruiter or hiring manager right away, lead with a friendly greeting.
Try to strike a balance between professional and personable.
Go with something like…
- Hi [insert recruiter name]
- Hi [insert department/team name]
Stay away from old-fashioned greetings like “Dear sir/madam” unless applying to very formal companies – they can come across as cold and robotic.
How to find the contact’s name?
Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try to uncover it via these methods.
- Check out the company website and look at their About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
- Head to LinkedIn, search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.
Identify the role you are applying for
Once you have opened the cover letter with a warm greeting, you need to explain which role you are interested in.
Sometimes a recruitment consultant could be managing over 10 vacancies, so it’s crucial to pinpoint exactly which one you are interested in.
Highlight the department/area if possible and look for any reference numbers you can quote.
These are some examples you can add..
- I am interested in applying for the role of *Retail position* with your company.
- I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 40f57393)
- I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
- I saw your advert for an IT project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.
Highlight your suitability
The sole objective of your cover letter is to motivate recruiters into to opening your CV. And you achieve this by quickly explaining your suitability to the roles you are applying for.
Take a look at the job descriptions you are applying to, and make note of the most important skills and qualifications being asked for.
Then, when crafting your cover letter, make your suitability the central focus.
Explain why you are the best qualified candidate, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.
This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider you for the job.
Keep it short and sharp
It is best to keep your cover letter brief if you want to ensure you hold the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers. A lengthy cover letter will probably not get read in full, so keep yours to around 3-6 sentences and save the real detail for your CV.
Remember the purpose of your cover letter is to quickly get recruiters to notice you and encourage them to open your CV, so it only needs to include the highlights of your experience.
Sign off professionally
To round of your cover letter, add a professional signature to the bottom, giving recruiters your vital contact information.
This not only gives various means of contacting you, it also looks really professional and shows that you know how to communicate in the workplace.
Include the following points;
- A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
- Your full name
- Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
- Email address
- Profession title
- Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn
Here is an example signature;
Quick tip: To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application email, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.
What to include in your Retail cover letter
Your Retail cover letter will be unique to your situation, but there are certain content guidelines you should stick to for best results.
To attract and entice recruiters, stick with the following key subjects in your cover letter – adapting them to fit your profession and target jobs.
- Your professional experience – Employers will be keen to know if your experience is suitable for the job you are applying to, so provide a good summary of it in your cover letter.
- Your qualifications and education – Highlight your most relevant and high-level of qualification, especially if they are essential to the job.
- The positive impact you have made – Employers love to hear about the benefits you can bring to them, so shout about anything impressive you have done, such as saving money or improving processes.
- Your reasons for leaving – Use a few words of your cover letter to explain why you are leaving your current job and ensure you avoid any negative reasons.
- Your availability – Let recruiters know when you can start a new job. Are you immediately available, or do you have a month notice period?
Retail cover letter templates
Copy and paste these Retail cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.
Hi Marshall Prior,
Hope you’re well.
I am writing to express my strong interest in the Store Manager position at your store. With 18+ years of retail experience, including 10 years in management roles, I have a proven track record of driving store performance and delivering exceptional customer service.
In my current role as an Assistant Store Manager at TK Maxx, I have consistently optimized revenue, achieved sales targets, and implemented successful store strategies. Notably, my initiatives have led to a remarkable 15% sales increase and a significant 50% reduction in staff turnover during my 5 years with the company. I possess strong leadership abilities, conducting appraisals, resolving issues, and providing exceptional customer service. With a CIPD Level 4 certificate in People Management, I have valuable skills in staff recruitment, training, and performance management.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet you with at your earliest convenience to further discuss how my skill and experience could add value to your department.
I am writing to apply for the Shift Supervisor position at Sainsbury’s. With over three years of experience as a Shop Assistant, I possess the skills and dedication needed for the role.
As a Shop Assistant at Tesco, I successfully managed point-of-sale systems, processed transactions, and contributed to a 30% decrease in inventory discrepancies. I achieved a 97% customer satisfaction rate and received 10 personal Google reviews, reflecting my commitment to exceptional service.
Additionally, my experience as a Sales Assistant at Home Bargains allowed me to exceed sales targets by 15% through effective communication and promotion of sales promotions.
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how my experience aligns with your objectives. I am available for interview from next week.
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to apply for the Shop Assistant position at Topshop on Oxford Street. With a versatile skill set and a strong commitment to providing exceptional customer service, I am confident in my ability to contribute to the success of your team.
As a diligent sixth form student, I have honed my time management skills and effectively balanced academic responsibilities with work commitments. Throughout my experience as a Shop Assistant at Sophie’s Boutique in Bethnal Green, I have consistently served up to 50 customers per shift, offering personalised product recommendations and ensuring their satisfaction. Additionally, I have taken the initiative to implement an improved display system in the womenswear section, resulting in enhanced product visibility and a remarkable 40% reduction in accidental overordering of stock. This attention to detail and proactive problem-solving approach has earned me positive feedback from 40 named customers in the last six months of 2022 alone.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of joining your team I am available for interview at your earliest convenience.
Writing an impressive cover letter is a crucial step in landing a job in Retail, so taking the time to perfect it is well worth while.
By following the tips and examples above you will be able to create an eye-catching cover letter that will wow recruiters and ensure your CV gets read – leading to more job interviews for you.
Good luck with your job search!