Starbucks is one of the world’s most desirable employers, with some 33,000 retail locations worldwide and an excellent reputation for good pay and benefits. And while you do need to follow the process of creating a profile on its Careers page to apply for a job, an excellent Starbucks cover letter can give you the edge you need to stand out from an applicant pool that numbers in the millions.
Here’s what will cover in this writing guide along with our Starbucks cover letter example:
- Best format for a Starbucks cover letter
- The 6 essential elements of a cover letter
- The psychology of writing a persuasive cover letter
- Common mistakes you need to avoid
If you’re looking for other entry-level or part time positions, check out our 125+ free cover letter samples. Our guides are written for specific companies and positions so you can be sure you’re getting the best advice to help you land the job.
Best format for a Starbucks cover letter
The question of how to format a Starbucks cover letter has to do with structure, design and layout. The structure involves the essential ingredients, while the design and layout involve the overall visual impression you create with your letter.
A Starbucks cover letter should be one page only and should contain these six essential elements:
- Cover letter header
This guide will discuss what each of these should contain, with excerpts from our Starbucks cover letter example.
Other format considerations, including design and layout, involve multiple decisions about fonts, font sizes, text alignment, paragraph spacing, margins, visual balance, use of white space and more. We strongly recommend that you choose a free cover letter template where these choices are already built in.
For even more professional writing advice some of our related hospitality and catering cover letter examples:
- Hospitality cover letter sample
- Barista cover letter sample
- Restaurant cover letter sample
- Waitress cover letter sample
- Chef cover letter sample
- Cleaning job cover letter sample
- Bartender cover letter sample
- Server cover letter sample
- Hotel Receptionist cover letter sample
- Travel Agent cover letter sample
- Restaurant Manager cover letter sample
- McDonald's cover letter sample
- Pastry Chef cover letter sample
Cover letter header
The cover letter header at the top is where you put your name, occupation, address, phone number and email address. Obviously, employers need to know how to reach you if they’re interested, and you shouldn’t expect them to look this info up on the resume you’re attaching separately.
The header also gives you some creative freedom to experiment with fonts, color and layout, and the final product should give your overall page an attractive look and feel that starts at the top. Again, rather than design your own header, your best bet is to use a template where the design is already done for you.
Cover letter greeting
Our advice for the cover letter greeting is always to try to address the hiring manager by name, as in “Dear Ms. Anderson.” But this advice may not be possible with Starbucks, which prefers to process job applications at a centralized website.
If it’s not possible to find out the name of the hiring manager for the job you want, alternatives could include “Greetings Starbucks Hiring Team” or something similar.
Here’s the greeting from our Starbucks cover letter sample:
Dear Ms. Clevedon,
Cover letter introduction
In your introduction, make a compelling opening statement about the job you’re seeking and the reasons you make a great candidate. If you have experience in the field, emphasize that, or if not, you may have relevant educational or training credentials to boost your case.
Work on your introduction carefully, making sure it contains well-written language that will hook readers and compel them to read on.
Check out the introduction from our Starbucks cover letter sample:
Working at Starbucks is the pinnacle of any young barista’s career, and while my four years of experience at the Bean Café have given me a grounding in outstanding customer service, I hope for the opportunity of learning how to make great coffee the Starbucks way.
Cover letter body
Your cover letter body, the central two to four paragraphs, should present your strongest evidence that you’re the right person for the job. Again, it will typically focus on experience, education and skills, although if you’re brand-new to this field, there are work-arounds in which you can emphasize your passion and enthusiasm for customer service, collaboration in a team environment and other qualities that are important to Starbucks.
If you do have relevant job experience, be specific about what you’ve accomplished at past jobs, using facts and figures where possible. Try to tell the hiring manager a short story about a challenge you once faced on the job and how you surmounted it. And try to mention the company, Starbucks, and perhaps the specific store you want to work for, and explain why you think you’d be an asset there.
Use the body section from our Starbucks cover letter sample as a guide:
Working in a team of 4-5 Baristas (in any one shift) and serving over 200 customers a day made for a busy working environment in which latte designs were put first and cappuccino machines were constantly steaming.
I love the buzz of a busy coffee shop and there is nothing better than seeing the gentle smile of delight when you present your latest piece of coffee-art to a customer who expects more than a caffeine shot. People come to Starbucks for an experience, and they come back for the relationships that they can build with the baristas. I made it my mission to learn as many names as possible and our team’s customer-first attitude helped us to climb into the top ten national coffee shop list for the Bean franchise (out of 85).
I am also proficient with the technical side of being a Barista and was chosen to lead machinery training for our region. Mechanical issues can often seem baffling, but a coffee machine is not such a complicated beast to repair. My colleagues called me the “coffee whisperer” as I was always the one who managed to get things working again.
How to close a cover letter (conclusion and sign off)
Your final paragraph, the cover letter conclusion, should wrap up with a call to action that urges the hiring manager to get back to you. You don’t want to be arrogant, presumptuous or demanding, but neither do you want the recipient of your letter to set it aside and never look at it again.
Suggest that you are eager to receive a response, that you’re always reachable at the contact info you’ve provided, or that you’d be delighted to be invited to an interview, in person or remotely. Let the hiring manager know that you’re really interested in this job and you look forward to the next steps in the process of evaluating your qualifications.
Close with a sign-off like “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” “Best regards” or the like, add a space and type your full name. If submitting a hard copy of your letter, you need to sign it, but if submitting it electronically, this is not necessary.
Many Starbucks customers are coffee aficionados and I always strive to improve my knowledge of the product, regularly achieving 100% on the annual coffee exam. I have a forensic knowledge of the Starbucks operating practices and look forward to exploring how I might be able to make a difference to your customers (and my colleagues) at an interview.
The psychology of writing a persuasive letter
A persuasive cover letter is one that establishes a personal connection with a hiring manager and makes a convincing case that the conversation you’re starting here must be continued.
Remember that only human beings make hiring decisions — not computers, robots or algorithms — and so you need to write like one human being reaching out to another. While a cover letter is a formal piece of business correspondence, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be personal.
Your letter should make you sound enthusiastic, interesting, personable and likable. Nobody wants to hire somebody they don’t like, so be sure that the tone of your letter doesn’t strike any sour notes that make you sound arrogant or overconfident. At the same time, you do have to blow your own horn a bit, projecting competence and confidence without going overboard.
Also, always remember that you aren’t writing this letter to convince anyone that you deserve a job. You’re writing to convince a hiring manager that you can make some Starbucks branch a more efficient, customer-oriented and profitable operation. Focus on the needs of the company you’re writing to, not your own needs. As you read and reread your letter, put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and ask yourself whether you would hire the person who wrote this letter.
Mistakes to avoid in a Starbucks cover letter
To err is human, but here are some of the errors you can’t afford in a cover letter:
- Typos and other writing mistakes. We heard about a Starbucks customer who was asked his name and he said “Marc with a C,” so the barista wrote “Cark” on the cup. A sense of humor is always appreciated, but typos and other spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization mistakes in a cover letter are not.
- Mass-produced cover letters. If you send the exact same cover letter sample to 50 employers, you’ll save yourself a lot of time because you probably won’t be invited to any interviews. Make every cover letter unique and tailored to the employer you’re targeting.
- Cliches, robotic language and “fluff.” Avoid familiar or lazy paths when choosing the words for your letter, and use original, fresh language that the recruiter hasn’t seen a thousand times before.
- Irrelevant info. If you feel compelled to mention in your cover letter that you enjoy growing award-winning roses in your garden, you may have a lot of time for that in the near future. Starbucks is interested in your job-related skills, not your personal hobbies and interests, so use the short space you have wisely.
- Starbucks is an excellent employer but applicants far outnumber openings, so give yourself an edge with a standout cover letter.
- Follow the correct structure for your cover letter — header, greeting, introduction, body, conclusion and sign-off — and study what each of these should contain.
- Write a persuasive letter that is businesslike yet personal, and appeal to the employer’s interests rather than your own.
- Avoid writing errors and design flaws that would make your letter read badly — or just look bad.
- Use a professionally designed cover letter template to maximize your chances and minimize your missteps.
Best of luck with Starbucks!