The role of a sales assistant is to ensure that customers have an enjoyable experience and that they leave feeling happy and fulfilled with their visit. Sales assistants are paramount to a business because customers who are greeted with a friendly and helpful assistant are more likely to return and leave a positive review.
Sales assistants usually work within a retail setting, although this may be in-store or online. The main criteria for someone in this role are that they are friendly, positive and passionate about the products and about helping the customer.
Although you normally don’t require specific qualifications to be a sales assistant, you do need to have certain ‘soft’ skills, including being a strong communicator and having a personable nature. Your cover letter should bring out the best of your personality and attitude. In this cover letter guide, together with the supporting cover letter examples, we will help you understand the following:
- The best type of cover letter to use and what paragraphs your cover letter should contain.
- How to cover the most important aspects of your experience and skills.
- How to avoid making any mistakes with your cover letter.
Although the retail sector is the UK’s biggest private-sector employer, there has been a significant loss of jobs due to online shopping, and of course, the consequences of the ongoing pandemic. With numbers falling in sales assistant roles, it is even more important to create a cover letter that sets you apart from other candidates. If you are looking to secure a role as a sales assistant, you may want to read through our library of cover letter examples.
Best format for a sales assistant cover letter
It can be difficult to stay on track if you’re not quite sure where your destination is, which is why planning is key. Before you leap straight into writing your sales assistant cover letter, consider what key elements you want to cover. We would suggest following this format with your cover letter:
- Header – section at the top which includes your main contact details
- Greeting – the way you address the recipient
- Introduction – a short introduction to who you are and what brought you to apply for the role
- Main body – your most relevant skills and experience to date
- Conclusion – round-up of the cover letter with a call to action
Your cover letter is a short insight into your key skills and experience, which leads the hiring manager to your CV. It only needs to be one page in length. You may want to take a look at our comprehensive cover letter guide for some further insights into creating your cover letter.
Below you’ll find our sales assistant cover letter example.
Cover letter header
Your cover letter should always have a header, where you will place key information, including your name and contact details. Check out the header on our sales assistant cover letter example for more insight.
What you want to achieve with your cover letter header: The cover letter header is quite simply, the way the hiring manager can reach you. Your contact details may include your email address and the most relevant telephone number.
Cover letter greeting
Formalities are a way of life for a sales assistant, so you will understand the importance of a friendly greeting. However, you would rarely be as formal to a customer, as you would on a cover letter.
It is best to refrain from using “hello” or “hi” on a cover letter. Quite simply, these are personal greetings and you want to keep it professional. If possible, you should try to personalise your greeting for the recipient, although it might take some detective work to track down the recruiter’s name.
The standard format would be “Dear Mr. XYZ” if you know the person’s name. If you don’t have details of the key contact, you can simply use “Dear Recruitment Team” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” Below you’ll find the greeting from our cover letter sample.
The purpose of the cover letter greeting: Just as you would use a greeting for a customer, the cover letter greeting is a way to instantly engage with the recipient. Keep it formal but personalise it where possible.
Dear Mr. Firth,
Cover letter introduction
The cover letter introduction informs the hiring manager of what you bring to the role you are applying for. A couple of sentences is all that you need for the introduction, but the key is to ensure it grabs the reader’s attention. Make sure to mention the name of the position you are applying for and the store branch name, if applicable.
Here’s the introduction from our sales assistant cover letter sample.
I would like to apply for the role of sales assistant at Julie's Boutique downtown Aberdeen location, as advertised on your website.
The main purpose of the cover letter intro: The hiring manager should quickly be able to gain an understanding of where you are in your career, and why you are applying for this role.
Cover letter middle part (body)
The next section is the main part of your cover letter and the place to highlight the skills and experience you have, as well as any achievements you believe are significant to the role. You can either write short sentences or bullet points to get your message across – whatever you prefer.
The average hourly rate for a sales assistant is £7.95, with the majority of the workforce being under 25 and working part-time. You may only be working as a sales assistant part-time to fund your studies, or it may be a career choice, but either way, you want the hiring manager to be left in no doubt that you are a) capable of doing the job, and b) that you are passionate about it.
The overall purpose of the body of your cover letter: The hiring manager should get an understanding of how you would operate as a sales assistant. What would your overall attitude be like and how would you treat the customers? This is what they are keen to find out!
Here’s the body section from our cover letter sample.
I have been working in retail for the last five years, and I have also completed a degree in fashion marketing, which has propelled me to apply for this role. I am a team player that enjoys working with others and helping to ensure the customer has an enjoyable experience. I have always been people-oriented, with a confident and friendly nature. I believe working as a sales assistant is the ideal fit for me.
Working for Julie's is one of my lifelong dreams. I have always had a huge interest in fashion, which is why I decided to undertake a degree in this subject. Your brand has always been one that resonates with me, especially the rare elements of the designs.
How to close a sales assistant cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)
In the conclusion of the cover letter, you may want to reiterate your interest in the role and your reasons for applying to this particular company. You can tailor this section to each role you are applying for. It is also the section where you can let the hiring manager know what your next steps are, and what you are looking to achieve from your career. Check out the cover letter sample conclusion below.
The purpose of the conclusion: The conclusion can be personalised to show the hiring manager why you want to work for this particular company and your main desires from the role.
I am looking to work in a company where I will be challenged and one with which I can grow. I feel that my skills and experience to date make me an ideal candidate for the role. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my credentials and your opportunity in more detail.
Basic mistakes in a sales assistant application letter (and how to avoid them)
It is important not to rush your sales assistant cover letter. It can be easy to make mistakes, but these can put the hiring manager off. It can reflect badly on your professionalism and attention to detail. These are some common, basic mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Generic. The hiring manager wants to know why you want to work for them, they are not interested in reading a generic cover letter that you have sent to ten other employers. Make sure you tailor it to suit the company and role you are applying to. Small tweaks are often all that is needed.
- Lengthy. The cover letter should be short and sweet. One page is enough.
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes. Always ensure you check your sales assistant cover letter for spelling and grammatical mistakes. These can be easy to miss but can negatively affect the hiring manager’s impression of you.
A great header can help your cover letter stand out from other applicants, especially for entry-level positions like sales assistants. A cover letter template can make a great page layout quick and easy to accomplish.
- Tailor your cover letter to the company you are applying to.
- Ensure the reader understands why you are applying for the role and what you can bring to the role, and the company.
- Check out our sales assistant cover letter sample for more ideas on creating a great page layout.