Writing Cover Letters
Concrete results will always be the metric of success for employers. Oftentimes individuals don’t know the exact purpose of the cover letter. It isn’t there purely to provide an introduction or a summary of your ability, but rather to synthesize and communicate the points which encapsulate you as an applicant. Before even reading the resume, through the cover letter employers should have a clear idea of the contributions you can make in the workplace.
The letter must not only provide information on what you have done, but on what you plan on doing. It should convey ambition, dedication and resourcefulness in a more straightforward manner than the resume. The following page and retail samples provide the necessary information and real-life examples of how to accomplish this.
Balancing Structure & Content in the Cover Letter
There are general precepts to follow regarding the content of each paragraph and the expectations of the employer. A general outline of the purpose of each paragraph is as follows:
A) Introduction: Relay the most important information on academic and professional experience. Tell employers the reason you’re applying, and what contributions you can make to the team and working processes.
B) Body Paragraph: Go in-depth on the types of work experience you have, and the expertise and retail sales techniques you’ve developed. Most importantly, include measurable indicators of success such as feedback or sales numbers.
C) Conclusion: Thank the employer for the opportunity, give a closing argument on what separates you as a candidate, and express hope and optimism for the future. It’s important to remember that the cover letter isn’t merely a document intended to inform, but convince. Much like the resume, you’re selling yourself in the cover letter, so any way you can quantify the specific contributions you can make or distinguish yourself, seize it. With a clear understanding of each paragraph’s purpose, it’s then a matter of determining how best to create a comprehensive profile within these limitations.
5 Best Practices for Writing Cover Letters
Because of the variation in industries, positions and employer expectations, there are no simple fixes or outright rules to follow in the cover letter writing process. However, there are general principles of writing the retail cover letter which can be applied universally. It’s vitally important to:
- Give employers a legitimate reason for why you’re applying: go beyond cliches or formulaic responses and express genuine interest in the company or work.
- Highlight and expand on the most important elements of the resume. This doesn’t mean repeating things, but finding new ways to express them.
- Express a wide range of ability in the retail industry: communicate product knowledge, customer research and familiarity with the market.
- Include specific numbers which indicate your sales performance or ability.
- Maintain a professional decorum, providing the proper expression of gratitude and establishing a connection with the employer.
Distinguishing Yourself with the Cover Letter
The ultimate aim of any job application document is always to catch the employers eye and separate yourself from the masses. This is much easier said than done, however. Most people are content to settle for a mediocre or average cover letter, so the impact of an effective letter can be that much greater. In an industry like retail distinguishing yourself is mostly a matter of providing a proven track record, but if you create a profile which is engaging and effective it can win an employer over. An excellent place to start the writing process is with a retail cover letter template. This allows you to build from a strong foundation and a clear understanding of the content and structure of the cover letter. From there, by following best practices and ensuring that each paragraph fulfills its express function, the letter will prove your professionalism and convince employers of your ability.
General Cover Letter Samples
Generic Cover Letter
Sample generic cover letter. It is always advisable to personalize your general cover letter for the target job opportunity. However, there are situations when it is appropriate to use a generic cover letter. These are usually instances where you are not submitting your resume in response to a job posting or to a specific employer.
You can use a general cover letter when you go to a job fair and you are giving your resume and cover letter to a number of potential employers for different jobs.
You can also make use of the generic cover letter when you upload your resume and cover letter to a general job board or submit your resume to an employment agency to help you find a job.
If you are responding to a newspaper advertisement, online job posting or networking with a specific potential employer it is important to customize your cover letter to each employer and each job opportunity to show how you fit the job and company requirements.
Generic greeting to use for your cover letter
When you have to use a generic greeting there a number of suitable options.
Dear Sir or Madam
To Whom it May Concern
Some people use the salutation Dear Hiring Manager. This can be an issue if the person who reads the letter does not have that title.
In a generic cover letter the first section of your cover letter should include all the information on how the employer can contact you.
The body of your generic cover letter should include:
- the special skills and knowledge you have that result in successful job performance
- the education and qualifications that have prepared you to successfully carry out work-related tasks
- the strengths you have that make you an asset to any employer
- your work-related achievements
Example of a generic cover letter
Dear Sir or Madam
I am a hard-working and determined professional seeking an opportunity to succeed in a dynamic company such as yours. I am confident that my knowledge, ability and experience allow me to deliver successful results for any company in a range of administrative positions
Please allow me to highlight my key skills:
- able to effectively manage my time through careful planning and organization of work activities
- an aptitude for identifying and resolving problems efficiently
- excellent communication skills that result in positive interpersonal relationships
- a track record of meeting deadlines and producing accurate work of a high standard
- proven ability to make sound decisions based on valid information
- the capacity to learn and and apply new information quickly and accurately
- strong computer skills with proficiency in MS Office
I am convinced that I can be an asset in any position requiring hard work, enthusiasm and reliability and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
The enclosed resume expands on my qualifications and experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When writing a general cover letter it is best to focus on transferable skills and core competencies that ensure success in a range of jobs and companies.
12 Core Competencies
List of Strengths
What are your Strengths?
You can use phrases like these to describe generic skills and competencies in your general cover letter.
Motivation - I am an enthusiastic and self-directed worker looking to join a reputable company who would benefit from an employee who is ready to give his/her all to succeed
Problem solving - able to collect and analyze information to find workable solutions to problems
Planning and Organizing - My focus on efficiently planning and organizing my work has proven successful in prioritizing and handling multiple tasks
Communication - Proven ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of people
Teamwork - I enjoy working as part of a team and positively contributing to group achievementReliability - I approach all my work with focus and commitment to complete the task on time and to standard
Stress Tolerance - I am accustomed to a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure
Use these Sample Cover Letters for different jobs. Adapt the cover letter that suits your needs.
Basic Generic Cover Letter
Cover Letters for Employment
Email Cover Letter
Letter of Intent for Employment
Cover Letter Formats
Cover Letter Template
The Right Resume Keywords
Winning Resume Resources
Sample Job Descriptions
Free Sample Resumes
Job Skills List
Job Interviews > Cover Letters > Generic Cover Letter
Use the search box to find exactly what you are looking for.
To Top of Page