How To Write A Fashion Cover Letter

A fashion cover letter is the accompanying document that goes with your resume. It is a MUST.

There’s no question of whether you can hand in your resume without your cover letter. In fact, the cover letter is the first thing a human employer will look at before your resume.

But before we get into how to write your own, why don’t we start by looking at a…

Fashion Industry Example Cover Letter

Below is an example cover letter that I wrote for a fashion resume in response to a job from the bridal store A&Bé. Let’s go through it together so you can understand how and why I did it this way.

Fashion Resume Cover LetterFashion Resume Cover Letter

See more fashion cover letter examples

Preparing To Write Your Fashion Cover Letter

Before we get into actually writing a cover letter, there are a few points we should go over.

Following them will make your fashion cover letter more effective. Omitting them will mean creating a document that will do no good to your chances of getting an interview.

Which brings me to the first point…

Is a Fashion Cover Letter Necessary?

It may be a surprise, since so much more emphasis is put on the resume, but a cover letter is actually read before the resume. So quite contrary to what may be said about using an out-of-this-world resume template in order to stand out, this is actually the job of the cover letter.

Especially where human beings are concerned.

I like to explain it like this.

A resume is like a basic profile that outlines your general information namley your education, past experience (or the lack thereof) etc.

Your cover letter is (literally) your 15-seconds-of-fame for you to say something that will make your candidacy truly memorable.

And yes, it is in the form of an actual letter. As in Dear Anna Wintour..

So What Makes A Good Cover Letter?

53% of hiring managers feel a resume is not enough to get noticed.

58% of hiring managers prefer to receive cover letters and find them a valuable hiring tool.

-A Robert Half Study

Apart from a basic structure that we can follow, you’ll also want to…

  • Put effort into writing it: seems pretty obvious , but if I have seen rushed resumes, then I have seen lightening quick cover letters.
  • Keep it short: I’d recommend 250 words at most. This is a cover letter not a love letter. Make your point and be done with it.
  • Make it scannable: use bullets and short  paragraphs in your cover letter 
  • Include a Call To Action (CTA): direct the reader with next steps i.e., call you, look at your portfolio etc. and make it easier for them by making this an active link.

Now let’s get into the…

Structure Of A Fashion Cover Letter

Fashion Cover Letter StructureFashion Cover Letter Structure

Your fashion cover letter will consist of the following parts. Namely…

  1. Heading/header
  2. Salutation/greeting
  3. Introduction/opening lines
  4. Body of the letter
  5. Closing Paragraph/Call to action and
  6. Signature

These sections will form your basic cover letter layout or structure as shown in the image above.

Also note, your fashion cover letter should be formatted to look like it belongs with the corresponding resume. Making use of a similar header style and colouring for example. Mose templates will take care of that, so we can focus on the content of our documents.

 Now let’s learn how to complete each part.

Writing Your Cover Letter Heading

Your cover letter heading consists of…

  • Your contact information
  • The date you're sending this letter
  • The receiver’s contact information

Your contact information will probably form the most obvious part of the formatting that you pulled from the resume.

Then will follow the date, probably of the day that the cover letter and resume are being sent.

Then the receiver’s contact information. Just like with your resume, this may all seem like very basic information. But it will also be your challenge.

Did you take the time to use the specified address? Or go the extra mile to clarify to which address job applications should be sent?

Small but significant details like that are tell-tale signs of whether or not a candidate is as detail oriented as they might claim.

Writing Your Cover Letter Salutation/Greeting

Your cover letter salutation is the line that goes Dear

In theory you would want to use the name of the person who is in charge of hiring. This is much more personal. Sometimes, usually in smaller companies, this person may include their name in the job ad.

For larger companies, it’s usually a wild goose chase trying to find that person. It’s worth the effort, if it yield’s anything. But I wouldn’t wait on any responses for too long - while others hand in their resumes.

So what should you write if you can’t find a name?

Dear Hiring Manager: is the new favourite.

Dear Human Resources Manager: is not as good as this person may likely be managing the department, not necessarily screening new hires.

To Whom It May Concern: is so out of date, it doesn’t know what the pandemic is. Avoid that one.

Writing Your Cover Letter Opening Lines/Introduction

This is where you actually start your cover letter. And I’ll stray from some of the more common advice I‘ve heard from other resume writers.

Ideally, you’d want to strike up some kind of connection to this company. That is to say, if you have been networking and such, you would have heard about this job from so-and-so.

Say for example you were at a job fair. Or a company representative made a presentation at your school and mentioned internship positions.

Your best way to start your cover letter would be like…

[First & Last Name of Contact] recommended I contact you regarding the fashion intern position in your company.

Yes. It’s all about name dropping. That’s why it’s more effective to have a targeted job search rather than applying to every position under the sun.

Career Coach’s Notes: This is the point where I would tell you that no matter how “desperate you are for a job” you’ll get much better results by slowing down, taking a breath and being more deliberate about your job search. Being able to claim a connection to a company means you’re doing more than searching Indeed for jobs. It also means your networking is working. Details like that set you apart from other candidates.

In the event that you cannot make such a connection, we’ll have to settle for the next best thing.

Open your cover letter by informing the reader of how you found out about their job opening. It’s not as strong as having a personal connection to the company. But it will let them know which of their marketing streams are working. Which they’ll appreciate.

So, what does that look like?

The fashion stylist position posted in your LinkedIn feed on July 5 instantly drew my attention…

But you’re opening statement isn’t quite done!

Now you need to add a line in there that shows you’ve done your research about this company. This’ll usually take the form of some statement of flattery of some sort…

  • Mention some news story where the company was featured
  • Talk about the company’s goals in how they are handling the new work from home conditions
  • Say something that will let the hiring manager know this isn’t just your 101st job application and you have no idea why your writing letters anymore.

But here is another tip I’ve picked up.

Tip: In some job ads, they leave specific instructions for the applicant to follow. For example, Tell us why you want to work for this company. Or Complete this sample assignment. Since those specific instructions where left, you’d like to make a statement that alludes to completing those instructions.

Writing Your Body Of The Cover Letter

By now, you’ve set up your letter pretty well. Now we get to the core of things.  In the body of the cover letter, you want to be very direct about why you are a good fit for this role.

To do this, I like to pull from the skills section of the resume and take 3 skills – two technical and one transferable. I take these 3 skills and turn them into bullet points that showcase you understand the majour demands of this role and that you are up to the challenge.

So this is what the body of my cover letter would sound like…

My Social Media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Time Management skills make me a strong candidate for this role.

  • Social Media: ideated and created visual and video posts customized for Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook increasing page followers by at least 1000 followers in the first month
  • SEO: explored winnable keywords and incorporated optimization best practices into content that has achieved top 10 Google rankings for over 50 competitive keywords.
  • Time management: researched, wrote, edited and uploaded over 1000-word articles in 3 working days or less.

A few points to remember here:

  • Go for the kill: be direct about what you bring to the table. No need to beat around the bush
  • Bullet points: Use bullet points to make this vital section scannable. I like to put the skill in bold type for greater impact
  • Verb tenses: the powerful -ed tense that is carried through from your resume
  • Power words: after the colon comes a verb. No need for full on sentences here.

Writing Your Cover Letter Closing Paragraph/Call To Action

At this point, the employer should be itching to hire you. So, make it easy for them with a Call To Action, presenting their next steps.

Politely mention how you look forward to hearing from them by a certain time. Mind that you will let them call you, not the other way around. But the invisible deadline will silently let them know you’re not waiting by the phone for them.

Then leave active links to your contact details and/or portfolio.

For example…

At your convenience, I look forward to speaking with you next week. I’m available for interviews Monday through Friday between 9.00 am to 12.00 pm Eastern time.

Writing Your Cover Letter Signature

And your cover letter is done! Sign off with a…

  • Sincerely
  • Sincerely Yours
  • Yours Truly

In the next line type your name as it appears on your resume.

Tip: I like to have a branded signature by including my job title in the third line.

6 Fashion Cover Letter Killers

And now a few words on what not to do on your cover letter.

  • Addressed it to the wrong person: when you’re sending out several job applications in a day, things can get mixed up.
  • Typos: spellcheck, read it aloud and check it again.
  • Canned responses: I shudder to think about the cover letters that have been copied from something someone saw online. The cover letter, just like the resume, must be tailored to the job post that is being applied to.
  • Too long and cluttered: Best to keep the letter short and make use of white space. Also make it is scannable with bullet points.
  • Overly aggressive tone: While you should be direct and toot your own horn, endeavour not to go overboard. “I’ll call you...” or “I know you’ll be impressed…” is taking things to far.

Should My Fashion Cover Letter Be ATS Optimized?

Screening resumes & cover letters is commonplace in hiring today. This is why it can’t hurt to include keywords in your fashion cover letter.

However, I would keep in mind that the cover letter is more for the sake of a human being. So I wouldn’t jump through linguistic hoops for the sake of optimization.

The best sections to optimize your fashion cover letter are…

  • in the resume headline you pulled from your resume
  • bullet points highlighting your skills and
  • anywhere else that it makes good sense to include a keyword or two.

Drawing To A Close

Your resume and cover letter go hand in hand. It’s a common misconception that the resume carries more weight.

As a result many job seekers hand in their resumes without a cover letter. This single detail of including a fashion cover letter could set you apart from the majority of candidates.

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