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Feel like it's time for a change in your career? Whatever your reason may be, turning the wheel over to another industry or career field is never an easy task.
The fear of leaving something that's reliable and the insecurity of not going to make it in the new field are only a fraction of the struggles. You also have to compete with people who have relevant experience. On top of that, convincing the interviewer or hiring manager why you're willing to change your career and that you'd be great at it is a different kind of battle.
Your resume might not have all the relevant information for your new venture, but it's not a reason to fret. This is where a cover letter to explain your transition to a new career becomes an important weapon. A persuasive career change cover letter should show that despite the lack of relevant background or experience, you are still the best fit for the role.
This article will show you a step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter for a career change that can engage the hiring manager. You'll pick up some tricks from reading some career change cover letter examples. We'll also show you a compelling career change cover letter template that you can use as a base for your career transition cover letter. Lastly, we'll reveal some useful tips on writing a cover letter for a career change.
There's no absolute right or wrong formula to write a cover letter for switching careers. However, to ensure your career shift cover letter shines brighter than the other candidates, follow the below steps.
This is your chance to check if you meet the minimum qualifications and find more information about the company you are applying to. Highlight your knowledge about the industry and the company on the cover letter when you're explaining a career change.
Briefly talk about your previous or current experience. You don't need to over-explain yourself on a cover letter for a job transition. But, you still need to present your background efficiently.
On a career pivot cover letter, show them what excites you about transitioning into the field or industry. Let the hiring manager see that you are genuinely interested in the job opportunity and wouldn't mind starting from the bottom to learn.
It might not always be obvious, but you probably already possess the skills to thrive in the new industry or field you want. Make sure you emphasize them in your career transition cover letter.
In support of your cover letter to explain your career change, illustrate those transferable skills with a concrete example by elaborating on your previous achievements. Having a quantifiable example on your cover letter for changing career fields will put less focus on the lack of experience, and in return, highlight the skills you do have.
Address the elephant in the room by conveying your reasons for changing career paths on your cover letter. This part of a career change cover letter can be tied with your passion for the field.
Reliable references (e.g. from your former or current managers, mentors, etc.) that can vouch for your qualifications become a crucial part of switching careers and should be included in your cover letter.
You are not fully finished writing a great cover letter for a career change if you haven't proofread it. Before sending in your application, read it over, and do grammar and spell-check. You can also share it with your friends to get a fresh eye review.
Below is an example of a career change cover letter from retail to marketing.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm very excited to learn that Stretchily is looking for an Assistant Content Strategist. I have been wearing the Stretchily yoga series for a few years and I absolutely love the breathable and stretchy fabrics, not to mention the cool designs. Ever since I got into yoga and wellness 3 years ago, I've been following all of your social media and keeping up with your blog.
My experience in fashion retail has accumulated to a solid 5 years and combined with my previous degree in Business Administration, I possess the knowledge as well as the practical skills in the fashion business. My desire to transition into content marketing, hence applying for your Assistant Content Strategist, grew after I started an Instagram account a year ago for my wellness journey where I also feature sustainable yoga attire like Stretchily.
Some of the skills that I also implement in running my social media account are:
Thank you for your consideration of my application. I am available for a video interview at your earliest convenience. Looking forward to discussing this role further with you soon.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm really excited to apply for the Administrative Assistant position at Company W.
With over 4 years of experience as a Sales Representative at Company X, I am adept at communicating with different people. What I've realized to be the most enjoyable parts of my work are serving my clients, addressing their needs, and maintaining a positive relationship with them. Being an Administrative Assistant means I would be able to serve my organizations and ensure a smooth sailing operation to achieve the company's goals, and I believe that the skills I have honed in my previous experience would help me provide great contributions to your company.
The following are a few highlights of my skills that would make me a competitive candidate for the role:
I am confident that my qualifications will bring more value to support your organization. I look forward to discussing my suitability for this role during an interview at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dear Mr. Langford,
Music has and will always be a part of my life. Ever since I picked up the violin at the age of 5, I have fallen in love with how music could transform a timid person into a beacon of confidence. Hence, I am sincerely excited to apply as a Music Teacher at Treble Academy.
To me, being a musician is not only about performing at prestigious venues and receiving applause. Playing music is about self-expression and being understood without saying a word. When I learned that Treble Academy is looking for a Music Teacher, it reminded me of one of my fondest memories when I volunteered at a children's summer camp before I went to play for the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).
With my professional training and experience, as well as my love for children and mission to make learning music accessible for all, I believe that I would make a great addition to Treble Academy. If you need any references, you can contact the lead violinist of LSO, Ms. Jenna Stringers, at +11-111-111 or [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you and hope we can discuss this opportunity at a face-to-face meeting. Thank you for considering my application.
Dear Mr. Jennings,
This email is in regards to my interest in the IT Consultant position that is listed on your company's LinkedIn page.
With my technical expertise and easy-going personality, I realized that I can still do all the things I love about programming and at the same time enjoy interacting with others by being a consultant. Please find attached my resume for your reference.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity in an interview at your earliest convenience. Thank you.
Dear Hiring Manager of the Human Resource Department,
I'm Josephine Langdon and this email is to convey my interest in the Human Resource Associate position at Agencio. As a former actress, I have to be confident speaking up in a crowd and learning scripts, which I believe are important skills to have for training new employees that utilize acting skills.
In addition, being an actress has trained me to exercise empathy and read body language. I am confident these skills will help me in scouting the best employees during the recruitment process.
I have attached my resume to this email for your reference, you are welcome to contact me via email or at +123-89074410.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
The journey in arriving at one's desired career field might be bumpy. So, to make it less complicated for you to write a convincing industry change cover letter, here's a free career change cover letter template that you can use. Remember to snip and add your own touch to it, though!
[Date of writing]
[Hiring Manager's Name] (if available)
[Hiring Manager's Title]
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
I'm writing to express my profound interest in discussing the [role/title] position at [company name]. The presented opportunity is very appealing, and I believe that my experience and other qualifications will make me a competitive candidate for this role.
I've been working primarily as [current/previous role/title] for [years], and now I'm looking to transition into [new role] at a reputable company like yours. Although successful in my [current/previous] role, I found the most rewarding aspects of my work were all related to [desired role/field]. Below are a few highlights of my qualifications that might fit your needs:
I hope you will consider my enclosed resume in my application for your [new role/title] position, as I am confident that I could provide value to you and your organization as a member of your team. I believe my [other skills or qualifications] and values, such as [personal value], align strongly with your company's mission and are reflected in my personal and professional experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to reach out anytime on [phone number] or [email address] to discuss this opportunity further. I look forward to speaking with you.
List down all your skills first and once you’ve reviewed all the job requirements and see which ones you can put on your career change resume.
Here are some versatile skills (soft skills and hard skills) examples that you might want to consider when writing a career change cover letter:
There’s a thin line between assertive and arrogant. Choose strong action verbs to write a cover letter for a career change to show confidence and keep your letter concise, especially when describing your previous roles and accomplishments. You don’t want to bore the reader with rambling language.
Grammatical or spelling errors can be a deal-breaker for most recruiters. Evaluate each word and sentence to ensure its correctness.
A cover letter for a job change is not successful if the recruiter doesn't reach out to you. An influential call-to-action sentence that urges them to invite you for an interview is a critical element to your career change cover letter.
By this, we mean tailor each of your career change cover letters to the company and position you apply for, as they might value different things.
🔑 Key Takeaways:
Deciding to make a career switch requires bravery that deserves its own recognition. A few key things that need to be kept in mind while crafting a winning career change cover letter are being sincere, not overcompensating your lack of experience with lies, and omitting irrelevant experiences (if there are no transferable skills).
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--- Originally written by Teresa Edria ---