How To Write a Retail Cover Letter (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 13, 2022 | Published September 7, 2021

Updated October 13, 2022

Published September 7, 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.

Cover letters often accompany resumes when you're applying for a job. It's the same in the retail field. It's critical that your cover letter matches your resume, whether you're applying for a managerial role or a sales position. Crafting a strong retail cover letter can improve your chances of landing a job in the industry. In this article, we discuss how to write a cover letter for retail jobs, explore tips for creating an effective letter, and provide a template and example you can use as a guide.

Related: Retail Resume (Detailed Guide and Template)

What is a retail cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document that is typically three paragraphs long. Its goal is to introduce you and summarize your professional background. It includes information about why you're applying for the job, a brief description of your professional experience, and what makes you a suitable candidate for the position. Some positions may specify that a cover letter should accompany your application, while others may ask for a resume only.

A retail cover letter is no different from a cover letter for any other job. It should show how your skills and experience qualify you to be the ideal new employee for the retail position you seek. If your cover letter does this, you're more likely to be contacted for an interview.

Related: Writing a Cover Letter (With Tips and Examples)

How to write a retail cover letter

Follow these steps to learn how to write a retail cover letter that will impress employers:

1. Choose the correct format

Appearances matter, especially with business documents. Good formatting can make your documents look professional and consistent. Apply these formatting tips to your cover letter before you start writing:

  • Make sure all your text aligns to the left side of the page.

  • Make sure there are 1-inch margins on all sides.

  • Use a font that is attractive while still being professional and easy to read, such as Calibri, Georgia, or Arial.

  • Use appropriate line spacing throughout.

Read more: How To Format a Cover Letter

2. Include contact information

Include your contact information in the document header. Make sure the information is the same as for your resume. Your contact information typically includes your name, contact details like your email address and phone number, and relevant professional social media information, if applicable.

After filling this out, leave a space for the date, which can be the day you send the cover letter to the employer. Leave some space under the date and add the employer's details: the location, name of the company, and the person you may be addressing.

Read more: Who To Address a Cover Letter to (With Templates and Examples)

3. Add a greeting or salutation

Begin your cover letter with a professional greeting or salutation. Then, you can address your letter to the hiring manager or an HR employee. To do so, look for your addressee's name and job title on the job posting, the company's website, or social media. For example, "Dear Mr./Ms." is a common way to start a letter.

Related: 8 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

4. Include an introductory statement

The next step is for you to introduce yourself. You can include your full name and a quick explanation of where you are in your career. For example, you might say "My name is Ane Dore, and I am a student at Edwards University studying electrical engineering," or "My name is Jacob Jones, and I have three years of retail experience." Then you can give a brief outline of your educational background and professional experience.

5. Mention why you're interested in the job

After you've introduced yourself, you can start talking about the specific job. You can tell the reader how you learned about the job, what you think of the company, and why you applied for this role. You can talk about the job's specific criteria and qualifications as well. It's a good idea to research the organization and its mission before commenting on the aims you both share.

Related: How to Answer "Why Do You Want This Job?"

6. Specify why you're the preferred candidate

Next, it's important to illustrate why you are the ideal candidate using specific references to the job requirements given in the ad. Examine the job description and make a list of the essential requirements and tasks for your new position. Then, consider the ones you've excelled at in a quantifiable way, and write about your accomplishments.

7. Include why you want to work there

Show the connection you already have with your prospective employer in the last paragraph of your retail cover letter. Tell them something you learned about them or the fact that you enjoy shopping there. Employers often look for candidates who enjoy their place of work and look forward to coming in each day.

8. Conclude the letter

In the closing paragraph of your cover letter, express your appreciation of the reader's time and consideration. You may reiterate your interest in the job and suggest they schedule a call or email to follow up. You can include this as a call to action by emphasizing how your qualities and skills make you the ideal person for the position. After the final paragraph, end with a professional closing statement, such as "Sincerely," and your full name.

Read more: How To End a Cover Letter: Key Elements To Ensure an Ideal Cover Letter Ending

Retail cover letter tips

A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other job candidates. Here are some pointers on how to write a retail cover letter:

  • Make use of both your hard and soft skills. Retail professions necessitate the use of a wide range of hard and soft skills. Basic math, minor physical work, communication skills, and social skills are examples of these.

  • Show your expertise. Retail employees may frequently need to deal with sudden increases in store traffic and other unforeseen circumstances. Describe your experience dealing with demanding customers or high-pressure situations to show that your abilities make you a good fit for the organization.

  • Take inspiration from the job description. Consult the job description for keywords you can use in describing your skills and experience. Mention particular responsibilities and explain why you'd be good at taking them on.

Related:

  • 12 Tips for Crafting a Great Cover Letter

  • Retail Skills: Definition, Examples, and How To Improve

  • How to Use a Job Description Keywords Finder for Your Resume

Retail cover letter template

Here is a template you can follow to write your cover letter:

[Your full name]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

[Date]

[Hiring manager's full name]
[Hiring manager's position]
[Company name]
[Company address]

Dear [name of hiring manager],

My name is [name], and I learned about the job posting for [position name] at [company name] from [location]. I'm convinced that as a [previous position title] with [number of years] of experience and [relevant abilities], I can contribute to your organization's excellent customer service.

Your job advertisement requests a [position name] with experience in [refer to the job requirements]. I excelled at [responsibilities, duties, or projects you've completed, supported by metrics, if possible] as a [previous position title] at [name of your most recent company]. I believe it will only be a matter of time before those critical talents translate into success for [company name].

I think it's great that your organization cares about [values/work style/something you like about the company]. This represents my philosophy, which is why I believe that working at [company name] would provide me with the best opportunity to grow while offering world-class customer service.

When can we talk about how my [best, most relevant skill/their most critical requirement] expertise can assist [company name] achieve [something vital to this company] over the phone or in person? Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Best wishes,
[Handwritten signature in digital format]
[Your complete name]

Retail cover letter example

Here's an example of a retail cover letter that follows a slightly different style, using a bulleted list in the middle to show the individual's most essential qualities as a candidate:

Jane Brown
111-222-2323
jbrown@email.com

August 15, 2021

Steven Hugh
Store Manager
Swift Thrift
1002 Reserve St.
Haliburton, ON KOM 1SO

Dear Mr. Hugh,

My name is Jane Brown, and I am a college student at McGill University in Montréal. I saw your advertisement for a retail sales associate position at Swift Thrift online over the weekend. I am highly interested in pursuing the position. As someone with three years of experience in the retail industry, I can help customers enjoy pleasant shopping experiences. I have extensive knowledge of stocking products, using a cash register, and interacting with customers. I'm also enthusiastic about promoting thrift shops as environmentally conscious alternatives to discarding used clothes.

My specific qualifications include:

  • A high school diploma

  • Three years of retail experience with a local department store

  • Bilingual in French and English

  • Exceptional mathematics and communication skills

If possible, I would like to set up an appointment for a personal interview. I would love to learn more about the store and the specific duties associated with this job. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Jane Brown

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