How To Write a Retail Cover Letter (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 June 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.

If you are looking to secure a job in the retail sector, a well-written cover letter can be vital to succeeding. Whereas your CV will remain mostly unchanged between job applications, you can tailor your cover letter to the specific position you are applying for. A good cover letter addresses the specific needs of the job posting in question, highlight why you are the best candidate for the position and persuade whoever is reading it to bring you in for an interview. In this article, we explain how to write a good retail cover letter, with some extra tips and examples.

How to write a retail cover letter

Whether you are applying to a small supermarket or an international retail giant, there are certain skills and attributes you want to communicate in a cover letter. You also want to demonstrate through your cover letter that you are organised. Your soft skills, such as communication, are good inclusions for the letter. Follow these steps to write a retail cover letter:

1. Customise the format

Depending on the format of the cover letter, your header will not always be the same. If you're providing your cover letter through a browser-based application system, then you don't have to add your contact details or address, as these are generally asked for in another step.

If you are attaching the cover letter to an email, or even sending it physically, add your contact and other details.

Related: How to Structure a Cover Letter (With Example)

2. Greet the reader

Try to find out who the recruiter or hiring manager is and then address them by name at the start of the cover letter. Address them as “Mr” or “Ms”, and avoid “Miss” or “Mrs”. If you are unable to find the name of the hiring manager, you can start with “Dear Hiring Manager”. This may differentiate you from the vast majority of applicants who started their letters with “Dear Sir/Madam”.

3. State your interest in the job

Recruiters receive job applications all the time, so you want to quickly let them know which one you are applying for. In your first paragraph, state the job opening you're interested in or your general interest in working for the company. You can also mention how you came across the vacancy.

4. Explain why you want the job

After you have informed them of your interest in applying, explain why you want to work for the company. This can follow naturally from how you came across the vacancy. Explain why this particular role is attractive to you, why you want to work for the organisation in question and why you think it will be good for your career.

Do some research on the company before writing the cover letter. This will give you an idea of the company's culture and priorities, so that you can highlight any personal goals of yours that align with theirs. This is also a good time to talk about your education, experience and qualifications as they relate to the role.

Related: What Is a Retail Job and How to Get One

5. Explain why they should hire you

This step will also benefit from your research into the company. When you explain why you want the job, you'll have already made yourself look like a good candidate. Now, you can sell yourself directly by talking about your best skills and attributes. Your soft skills, especially your ability to communicate and sell yourself, will be on display here. If you successfully persuade the reader that you are a good candidate, you'll also have shown them that you can sell something. This is a valuable skill in retail.

Take note of the specific requirements in the job posting, and explain how you meet as many of them as possible. Along with the previous step, this is where you will be tailoring your cover letter the most to the specific vacancy.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

6. Conclude your cover letter

In the final paragraph of your cover letter, thank the reader for their time and consideration. You can also reiterate your interest in the job you are applying for. Follow this with an appropriate closing statement and your full name. Unless the letter is provided through an online application process, follow your name with your email address and phone number.

Related: How to End a Letter

7. Proofread your cover letter

Re-read your cover letter at least once before sending it. If possible, re-read it more than once, and not immediately after finishing. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure it is easy to read and that you have addressed all of the company's requirements. Most importantly, assess how well you have sold yourself as a candidate. If you can, get a friend or relative with relevant experience to read it and provide feedback. Once you have ensured that there is no further room for improvement, you can send it.

Checklist for retail cover letters

The following are three essential requirements in the form of a checklist for when you proofread your cover letter. When re-reading it, ask yourself whether your cover letter is:

Persuasive

Since you are applying for a job in retail, your ability to persuade will be a top priority. When writing, it can sometimes be difficult to openly sell yourself. Try to remember that being too humble will hurt your chances, but always remain honest about your skills and abilities. Your cover letter should be evidence of your communication and persuasion skills.

Relevant

A good cover letter looks like it was specifically written for the job. If your cover letter looks like it could be sent with another application with no changes, then do some extra research on the company and tailor it to that company. Recruiters get a lot of standardised and generic cover letters, and you want yours to stand out.

Concise

Combining conciseness with persuasion can sometimes be challenging. You want to be able to communicate your suitability for the role, but avoid rambling. Don't worry too much about this when you first write the cover letter. When you proofread it, however, you may have to reduce its length. An ideal cover letter is no longer than one page, even if you use extra spacing.

Retail cover letter examples

Below, we have provided you with two examples of different cover letters for retail positions:

Example 1

Dear Ms Smith,

My name is Amy Jones, and I'm writing to you because I wish to apply for the customer assistant position at Jourdain's Boutique. I came across your advertisement on the Indeed UK website.

I am a final year marketing student and I already have some experience working in retail. I believe I would learn a lot from working at a well-known clothing brand, and it would allow me to learn to implement what I have learned about marketing. I wish to pursue a career in the retail sector, and this opportunity would be a fantastic start for me, as I graduate in a month's time.

I have excellent communication and persuasion skills. I've worked in a local shop over the summer for some years now, and I've always received glowing customer feedback. I have also managed to consistently increase sales. I have always believed that clear and friendly communication with customers is key to succeeding, something which I appreciate in Jourdain's approach to retail. I'm also very good with numbers, can remain calm even under extreme pressure and I speak fluent Welsh.

I would very much appreciate the opportunity to have an interview to tell you more about what I can bring to the company, and learn more about the role. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Amy Jones
amy-jones@email.co.uk
0111 2222 333

Example 2

Dear R.S Recruitment,

I'm writing to you to register my interest in the position of senior sales advisor at Migg's Delicatessen. I was made aware of the vacancy by your company's social media page.

I've been in the position of sales advisor for about three years now and I am looking to further hone my skills and abilities at a respected establishment in your area. Over those three years, I have consistently met and exceeded all sales targets and been able to develop great relationships with regular customers. We also saw an increase in return customers thanks to my efforts, and I have often been asked for by name when I was not present. I believe this is due to my natural ability to listen and communicate with different people and tailor my services to their specific needs.

I believe I would be a great asset to your establishment, and I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you further about what I can bring. Thank you for your consideration, and look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

David Smith

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