Your future in retail looks bright, you've proven yourself at the entry level and you're ready take on more responsibility. The time has come for your next big step up.
But before you can jump straight into a management position, your future employer is going to want to see a resume and cover letter. Your letter should provide an accurate and glowing picture of your abilities, while keeping the following tips in mind.
- Approach your letter in a relaxed and confident frame of mind. Success in retail begins with presentation and customer service, and both of these things begin with a warm voice, a comfortable smile and a positive attitude. Some industries respond well to a wooden tone and robotic delivery, but not retail.
- As a manager, your success or failure will largely depend on your ability to communicate with your staff. Great communication forms a foundation for great coaching, instruction, leadership and motivation. So make sure your sentences flow easily. Cross out anything that sounds awkward when read aloud. And delete all business buzzwords and phrases that could apply to anyone, not just you.
- Start the letter by stating the position you're pursuing. There's no need for a restatement of your name or a flowery preamble, and never begin a cover letter with an apology for wasting the reader's time. Just say, "I'd like to apply for your company's Associate Manager position."
- Discuss your most recent position and state what you've learned from the experience that will help you lead your prospective employer to success.
- Briefly summarize the arc of your career up to this point. List any awards you've won and any accomplishments that are unique for someone at your level. Don't include basic responsibilities or modest accomplishments, since cover letters should be short and concise. But if you were chosen as employee of the year, or you created a new customer returns processing system that saved your last company thousands of dollars, state that here.
- Explain what you like and admire about your potential employer's company or product. Express why you would be proud to join the team. Be specific and avoid fluff.
- The most promising candidates in retail management are those who enjoy people, who stand behind the company and its products, who solve small problems before they become big problems, and who are determined, engaged and pleasant to be around. You can simply describe yourself this way in a few sentences. Or better yet, you can let this message come through in your tone and your list of accomplishments.
- Sign off by stating that you'd be happy to further discuss your qualifications in person. Make sure your contact information is stated clearly, and try to keep your letter to one page.
Use proper formatting and line breaks to keep your letter short, memorable and visually appealing. For additional cover letter guidance and editing resources, explore the retail-specific job search information on LiveCareer.