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With years of retail and customer service experience under your belt, you might feel ready to pursue a retail manager position. We can help you get there. Our cover letter sample demonstrates the best ways to showcase your leadership potential, team management experience and inspiring communications skills to take on this new challenge.

In addition to our expertly written cover letter sample, you’ll discover our curated list of keywords that retail store hiring managers look for in applications materials. We’ll also walk you through the ins and outs of applicant tracking systems (ATS) and how to reinforce your resume with your cover letter.

Sections of a Retail Manager Cover Letter

The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:

Cover Letter Sections

As you’ll see on our retail manager cover letter sample, your heading includes your name and contact information. Including both your telephone number and email address provides retail store hiring managers with two ways to reach you.

    Example

    Heading

    Your greeting should be addressed to the person in charge of hiring store managers, which is often the regional manager or the human resources director. Addressing your letter to a specific person shows them that you take initiative.

    In our sample, you can see that Ann Hutchins reached out to a department supervisor, rather than a regional manager. This would be the correct step if you’re applying for a retail manager position at a large department store or flagship store; these stores tend to have multiple managers for each floor or separate departments. You can normally find out if this is the case by visiting the store website or asking a sales associate during an in-person visit.

      Example

      Greeting

      The retail manager cover letter example shows the introduction, which is your opportunity to make a good first impression. State interest in the position and briefly explain why you’re the right person to manage the store. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you need outright retail or store management experience. You just need to have relevant experience, like our sample applicant.

      Ms. Hutchins immediately lets the hiring manager know that she has eight years of experience in sales and retail. She also shares that she was previously a supervisor, led a team of six associates, and has effective experience in sales techniques and customer service. She may not have been a manager, but she proves that she has managerial-related experience in her introduction.

        Example

        Introduction

        Elaborate on resume details and expand on previous managerial experience in the body of your document. The retail manager cover letter sample can be used as inspiration for this section, which should also contain keywords relevant to retail management. You can find more advice on keywords in the section “Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out,” below.

        As you can see in the our retail manager sample, Ms. Hutchins dives deeper into her store management experience. In addition to her previously mentioned skills, she lets the hiring manager know that she has technical experience in operations management, inventory and security procedures. Her knowledge in these fields helped her previous store more than halve shrinkage, leading to better profit margins for her previous store. This talent would be heavily desired in any retail setting and increases her chances for an interview.

          Example

          Body

          End your retail manager cover letter with a brief sentence or two that confidently expresses interest and thanks the recipient for their time. Communicate that you look forward to an interview with them soon.

          Ms. Hutchins quickly summarizes her skill set again before letting the hiring manager know that she’s very interested in the role and looks forward to hearing from her, creating the impression that this job opening is her top choice.

            Example

            Closing

            The last part of a retail store manager cover letter is the signature. This is simply a closing such as “Warm regards,” “Sincerely” or “Thank you,” followed by your name.

              Example

              Signature

              Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

              To increase your chances of being called in for an interview, include relevant keywords in the body of your retail manager cover letter. Regional store managers often do a quick scan of cover letters and resumes to look for action verbs that demonstrate the qualities they’re seeking in a retail manager. Consider keywords such as those in the list just below. If you need inspiration, check out the retail manager cover letter sample.

              Manage: If you’re ever stuck in writing your cover letter, spell out what “manage” means to you and tell the hiring manager how you’re the best for that job.

              Develop: Lay out how you develop your employees’ abilities through, hiring, training and on-the-job feedback.

              Train: Show that you’re a training expert; lay out your process for getting new employees up to speed, and imply you can improve this process for your prospective employer as well.

              Communicate: Show how your excellent communication skills come into play every day, and how you foster your employees’ communication abilities as well.

              Resolve: Perhaps give an example of how you resolved an issue with a customer without losing a sale or experiencing similar negative effects.

              Importance of Using Retail Manager Job-related Keywords

              Not every retail store executive searches manually for cover letter keywords; some use applicant tracking systems (ATS). This helps save time in the hiring process by eliminating applicants who don’t include the right action words in their document. These automated systems can sometimes weed out up to half of all job applicants. This may result in qualified candidates not being called for store manager interviews simply because they didn’t include keywords.

              It’s relatively easy to find these keywords once you know what you’re looking for. Similar to scanning your sales floor for anything that looks strange or out of place, you’ll need to scan the job posting for anything that stands out. Look for repeated or rephrased responsibilities, tasks that are highlighted in different color or font treatments, or anything listed under “essential,” or “core,” tasks.

              The inclusion of on-the-job examples can also set your retail manager cover letter apart. Take a look at the retail cover letter example to get ideas. You might include details about how you minimize inventory loss or launched a store promotion, or you could discuss how you led staff meetings that improved retail worker morale. Practical examples included in your cover letter help showcase your aptitude as a retail manager.

              For example, if a job requirement expects you to “effectively train and develop a team of Retail Merchandisers and Store Leads,” “understand merchandising and client sales objectives,” “identify and implement policies to boost client sales,” and “ensure quality execution of seasonal store audit,” you could write the following statements:

              “I have experience developing and training a team of merchandisers and store leads. Together, we implemented sales policies that boosted client sales by over 38 percent in a single quarter.”

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              Match Your Retail Manager Cover Letter to a Resume

              Your retail manager cover letter is a great accompaniment to your resume because it can be used to expand on resume details. Use your cover letter to elaborate on resume entries, such as previous managerial job experience at other retail stores and any educational credentials you may have.

              Retail Manager

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