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Retail Assistant Cover Letter Example

The best retail assistant cover letters sell your customer service and knowledge so that despite flat demand, you can have the job you desire in 2022. Take advantage of our cover letter samples and expert guides to get you there.
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Retail Assistant Cover Letter Example
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Retail assistants are the backbone of the industry and a great way to get your career started. You will often be the face of the company for which you work, so your attitude and helpfulness can make all the difference. 

Customers may look to you to suggest products, give advice on gift purchases and explain store policies. Store managers look to retail assistants to keep the floor spotless and the merchandise displayed neatly. 

So how do you get your foot in the door? Start with a great retail assistant resume. You can get guidance and see specific examples of a sales assistant resume (one of the many titles retail assistant jobs may have), our resume templates and general resume writing guide.

Once you have created a great retail assistant resume, it’s time to craft a cover letter that will close the sale and get you that coveted interview. Use this guide along and our retail assistant cover letter example to learn:

  • Why a convincing cover letter for a retail assistant can propel your application to the top of the heap
  • All the elements of a cover-letter format with free cover letter examples , templates, and samples
  • How you can use writing strategies to win over recruiters and hiring managers
  • The best way to let your personality and professionalism shine through

Before you jump into writing that great cover letter for retail assistants, first you need to get an overview of why it’s important and how these paragraphs can make all the difference in your job hunt.

Best format for a retail assistant cover letter

While your retail assistant cover letter is more free form than your resume, it still follows a format. Before you begin writing, you need to know what that format is.

The format of a retail assistant cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

The comprehensive cover letter guide give advice on writing cover letters in general advice about, but this guide offers specifics on making each paragraph count when you’re looking for a retail assistant position.

This retail assistant cover letter example will give you a blueprint for writing your own cover letter:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Weathers,

As an ex-plumber and joiner who is no longer able to work due to a physical impairment, the retail assistant role at your builder’s trade outlet would be an ideal way to remain in the industry and pass on my knowledge to others.

During my teenage and college years, I worked at my parents’ hardware store and have a strong understanding of what goes into a successful retail business. I managed the inventory, sorted the pricing and ran the promotional calendar. I was passionate about the trade, so assisting customers who are always in need of practical advice was a pleasure.

A step into becoming a tradesperson myself was entirely natural, and after fifteen years of building up a local clientele, it is time for my career to come full circle. I have a huge number of contacts in the business and am sure I would attract much business your way.

I understand the profile of customers who visit your store and am able to help by ensuring suitable stock for project purchases and helping to coordinate the best promotions. Tradespeople love to take advantage of a bargain, so the role of a retail assistant is to point them in the right direction. I increased sales by 20% year-on-year when I worked in retail previously – you have to be proactive, or the customers will go elsewhere.

I realize that retail has moved on over the past few years, so I took a retail ops course at Harvey College and have been working weekends as a cashier and shelf stacker at MallMart for six months. I know that I can bring growth in both sales and profits to your store.

I would love to visit for an interview and experience the sales atmosphere firsthand. Let me try and sell you a bathroom suite and you can judge for yourself.

Sincerely,

Steve Kramon

Copied!

Retail assistant cover letter example and general info

What’s the purpose of a retail assistant cover letter?

You want to write the best retail assistant cover letter possible. You’ve already spent hours developing the perfect resume for your retail assistant application and you want to put in as much thought here. But why do you need a cover letter for a retail assistant? 

Well, first, cover letters are commonly required as part of your job application, although they may be called an application letter, letter of interest or letter of motivation. While that’s true, there’s a reason hiring managers want you to write a cover letter: It gives them insight into who you are as a professional and whether you will fit on the team. Yes, you have a bit of leeway in the profile you write for your resume, but a cover letter for a retail assistant allows you to offer information that doesn’t fit in the strict formatting of a resume. For ideas on tone and content, check out our retail assistant cover letter examples.

YYou know that brick-and-mortar retail has been suffering for some time. The convenience of online shopping and overnight delivery combined with its economic efficiencies for companies makes stores a hard sell both for businesses and customers. Demand for retail employees is expected to remain flat through 2030. The good news is that retail executives are planning transformational improvements to their business models that include technology upgrades and initiatives designed to promote customer loyalty, a Deloitte study found.

Your cover letter shows off your brand

Think of your cover letter for a retail assistant as a value-add. You won’t know how closed recruiters will read it, but you should always include it in your application. Your cover letter gives you two to four more paragraphs to get deeper into who you are. Here you have the opportunity to get excited about a niche expertise, to write about a skill you haven’t yet had a chance to use at work, or to explain why you are switching careers.

Your cover letter also gives you another opportunity to customize your application for each job. Hiring manager will want to know why you want to work at their store. You can detail the experience you have that directly relates to their merchandise and show off your expertise and the friendly personality that makes you great at customer service. 

Expert tip

Consistent design

Your cover letter for a retail assistant offers you much more opportunity to get creative and show off your personality and skills than your resume.

Keep your design consistent between your resume and the cover letter for a retail assistant position by using the same fonts and styles. Check out Resume.io’s retail cover letter examples and templates and find the one that matches your resume layout. Consistency not only looks more professional and less distracting, but makes it easier for hiring managers to match your materials to each other in case one slips out of your file.

Now let’s start at the top with the content of your letter.

Cover letter header

You may be tempted to leave out the header since you most likely will be attaching your retail assistant cover letter to an email. Don’t give in to this temptation. Your application materials may get printed out and passed from one manager to another. In that process, a piece may get separated from your file. If that piece has your name and contact information on it, it will be easy for hiring managers to replace it. If not, it’s likely to end up in the trash and your file will be missing your cover letter.

On the chance that you are mailing a letter, your header should follow the same guidelines. 

Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you. That means your phone number and email are prominently displayed on your cover letter as well as your resume. Consider using a bit of eye-catching color to make this information stand out even more, but don’t get too flashy. Our retail assistant cover letter samples will help you see where that line is.

Cover letter greeting

There’s more to think about here than you may realize. Your greeting sets the tone for the letter to come and you want to make sure you set the right tone. You can’t go wrong with “Dear” Mr. or Ms. [appropriate person’s name here] as your greeting if you’re not sure how formal to get. 

If your retail assistant cover letter is going to a company with a youthful image or one that prides itself on a casual style, you may go with “Hi” or “Hello” instead. A more casual tone is also more appropriate for an email.

Here’s a Must: Always use the name of a person in your greeting to establish a personal connection. Here are five ways to find out to whom you should address your letter:

  1. Look on the company’s website
  2. Make a phone call to the company (and ask for the correct spelling of the person’s name)
  3. Search online on LinkedIn or an industry website
  4. Read the job listing to see if contact information is included
  5. Research who you would be reporting to and use that person’s name.
Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Weathers,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

Your first job is to tell the recruiter who you are. As a retail assistant, you will introduce yourself to customers many times a day, so this is a great opportunity to show how you would accomplish that. 

Of course, at work, your introduction will simply be your name and asking how you can be of assistance. In your cover letter, you want to open with a friendly statement or anecdote from your career that offers an insight into your personality. 

Here, you want to set the tone for the rest of your letter by showing that you are personable and professional. Make sure you give the hiring manager a reason to read on. 

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

As an ex-plumber and joiner who is no longer able to work due to a physical impairment, the retail assistant role at your builder’s trade outlet would be an ideal way to remain in the industry and pass on my knowledge to others.

During my teenage and college years, I worked at my parents’ hardware store and have a strong understanding of what goes into a successful retail business. I managed the inventory, sorted the pricing and ran the promotional calendar. I was passionate about the trade, so assisting customers who are always in need of practical advice was a pleasure.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The body of your retail assistant cover letter should detail why you are a great fit for the job without relying on cliched statements such as “I am a great fit for the job because I work hard and love helping people.” Instead, show that with a story or two from your work history. Be sure you call attention to your highest level skills.

Review your resume and avoid repeating yourself. Consider mentioning talents and attributes that are not requirements of a retail assistant position, but may allow you to expand your role or make you better at your job. These may include talents such as design, social media savvy, or customer service experience in a different industry. Check out our retail assistant cover letter samples for ideas.

Tell your prospective employer why you want to work there. Show that you have done research into the company and know its business style, branding, and any new initiatives it is introducing. Add a sentence about retail trends and how they affect your prospective employer. Make sure you personalize your cover letter for a retail assistant every time you apply at a different company. 

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

A step into becoming a tradesperson myself was entirely natural, and after fifteen years of building up a local clientele, it is time for my career to come full circle. I have a huge number of contacts in the business and am sure I would attract much business your way.

I understand the profile of customers who visit your store and am able to help by ensuring suitable stock for project purchases and helping to coordinate the best promotions. Tradespeople love to take advantage of a bargain, so the role of a retail assistant is to point them in the right direction. I increased sales by 20% year-on-year when I worked in retail previously – you have to be proactive, or the customers will go elsewhere.

I realize that retail has moved on over the past few years, so I took a retail ops course at Harvey College and have been working weekends as a cashier and shelf stacker at MallMart for six months. I know that I can bring growth in both sales and profits to your store.

Copied!

How to close a retail assistant cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

You’ve demonstrated that you will make a great retail assistant by detailing your accomplishments and illustrating your friendly nature. Now it’s time to conclude your letter with a call to action. Your goal, of course, is to get an interview, so let the hiring manager know that. Remind them how excited you are about the position and let them know you would love to hear from them. Repeat your contact information if space allows.

Finally, add your signature with a closing salutation such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.” 

Adaptable cover letter example of the conclusion & sign-off

I would love to visit for an interview and experience the sales atmosphere firsthand. Let me try and sell you a bathroom suite and you can judge for yourself.

Sincerely,

Steve Kramon

Copied!

Now that you have an understanding of all the elements, you should look through our retail assistant cover letter examples to get you started. 

Cover letter for retail assistant with no experience

If you are already wondering how you write a cover letter for a retail assistant if you have no retail assistant experience, we can help. First, check out our cover letter samples for first-time job seekers .

If this is your very first job, you should take time in your cover letter for a retail assistant to explain why you want to work in the field. Retail managers want employees who choose to be retail assistants for a reason. Remember that you have skills and attributes you have demonstrated outside of a formal job. Volunteering is an excellent experience to mention in a cover letter, especially if it requires skills necessary for a retail assistant job.

Consider basic skills such as organization (did you get all your schoolwork in on deadline?), teamwork (were you an athlete, in a club, or create group projects?), leadership (were you a club officer?), and time management (how did you juggle your classwork and all your activities?). These are the attributes hiring managers look for in a first-time employee, so make sure you mention them in your retail assistant cover letter.

If you are a career-changer, you should explain why you want to move into being a retail assistant. Then, think about the skills you use in your current position that will transfer to retail. 

Read each of the retail assistant cover letter sample paragraphs below.

  • Sample 1: I am looking for my first job and would be very excited to work at your store. I just got out of high school and need to make money for college. I am friendly and work hard, so this would be a great fit for me.
     
  • Sample 2: I am a recent high school graduate excited about pursuing a career in retail. I am a fan of your merchandise and, in fact, am wearing a pair of your shoes right now. They are so stylish and comfortable, I would wear them to work every day. As a volunteer with the local food bank, I interacted with clients and helped to organize inventory.

Sample 1 starts out OK, and you may think that your goal to pay for college is admirable, but hiring managers are not interested in what you plan to do with your paycheck. Being friendly and working hard are good qualities, but this statement is too general. Your retail assistant cover letter should be more specific.

Sample 2 is a much better paragraph. It tells hiring managers that the candidate wants to work in retail, and knows the store and has shopped there. The last sentence in this retail assistant cover letter sample details the volunteer experience that translates into skills necessary for a retail assistant.

Writing psychology - cover letter tools and strategies

As a retail assistant, there are a few key qualities that a hiring manager will be looking for to make sure you will represent the store well. Your cover letter must reflect these attributes. Remember to show these skills in anecdotes and experiences instead of merely saying, “I am great at time management.”

  • Grace Under Pressure: Let’s face it -- customers can be difficult at times. It is your job as the face of the establishment to smile through it and to problem-solve so your customer leaves happy.
  • Positivity: You’re a can-do person who will weather the holiday rush and other busy times with a smile. As a retail assistant, you will be relied upon by managers, customers, and co-workers to get the job done under pressure.
  • Flexibility: The industry is changing and your job as a retail assistant will change with it. In the State of the Connected Customer report from Salesforce almost 90 percent of customers said that their experience was as important as a company’s products or services. That means you have to be prepared to embrace new initiatives that promote customer experience both in person and online and expect your role to change with it.
  • Organization and time management: As a retail assistant is an entry-level position, you should show that you have the basic skills to hold a job. You need to arrive on time, prepared to work, and complete all the tasks assigned to you efficiently as you work with customers and keep a friendly attitude.

Notice that at the core of all these retail assistant attributes is customer service!

Retail assistant cover letter common mistakes and how to avoid them

As the brick-and-mortar retail industry tries to innovate to stay relevant, you may have a tougher time finding a retail assistant position. You can increase your chances by writing a great cover letter. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

  • You don’t customize your letter for each job. A generic cover letter for a retail assistant won’t make the grade. Show you read the job listing and understand the business to which you are applying.
  • You get too casual. Sure, some businesses are relaxed, but it’s always better to make a professional (not stuffy) first impression. When in doubt, use a business appropriate tone.
  • You start off with “To Whom It May Concern.” Do some research and make a personal connection by writing directly to your future boss or the hiring manager.
  • You don’t proofread. There’s no reason to have spelling and formatting mistakes in your retail assistant cover letter. Reread and then have a trusted friend or colleague proofread as well.

Check out our pre-written sample sentences within our free cover letter templates to see some retail assistant examples.

Key takeaways

  1. With a lot of competition and an industry in flux, your retail assistant cover letter must demonstrate that you know how to put the customer first.
  2. Your cover letter affords you the opportunity to show off your personality so let your friendly voice shine through. Hiring managers want to know how you will connect with customers.
  3. Get personal by addressing your letter to an individual.
  4. Match the design of your cover letter to your resume for consistency and make sure you proofread!
  5. Take advantage of professional resume and cover letter builder tools to help you avoid some of these pitfalls and get the tone just right.

If you’re looking for additional inspiration for cover letter writing, you can check out our related retail cover letter samples:

Now you’re ready to create your professional retail assistant cover letter and land that job. Resume.io makes the process easy with expertly-designed tools and retail assistant cover letter sample text to help you craft the perfect cover letter in just minutes!

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