Best Career Change Cover Letter Examples
Writing a career change cover letter? A career change is when a professional decides they’d like to apply to a job title that they don’t have any prior experience in. Job seekers should lean heavily into their cover letters when changing career paths. The cover letter is going to be stronger than the resume. Considering the resume may have job titles that aren’t exactly relevant to the job application.
The cover letter should contain a healthy amount of transferable skills and career accomplishments relevant to the job title being applied to. For example, a job seeker who has previous sales experience. This professional can learn software engineering hard skills and apply their previous sales experience to the job function. This allows the job seeker to take transferable skills. And add a new skill (technical skills in this case). And have a much easier time entering a new industry.
Writing a Career Change Cover Letter
When writing a career change cover letter, it’s important to consider these variables.
Is the job title a good fit?
If switching careers from being a pharmaceutical technician to being a software engineer, the employer might have difficulty comprehending the career transition. In that circumstance, it may be more beneficial to create freelance projects or have an internship as part of the prospective employer's experience.
List impressive accomplishments from a current role or current job
The ability to drive results is a transferable skill. And it can be a great way to bridge the gap between a previous job and a new job. Especially if they aren’t of the same job title. An employer is going to value an “executor.”
Speak to the process of "getting work done"
Rather than mentioning communication skills as a value proposition for the employer, mention the process of getting work accomplished. Processes across multiple industries are often similar. Coordinating with team members, performing quality assurance checks, driving customer satisfaction, and more. Having a comprehensive knowledge of the work process can be a great way to transfer to a new career or industry.
Pay close attention to the job advertisement (job ad)
The job description has insights that can help to position non-relevant work experience to another job opportunity. The job description normally lists duties and responsibilities that speak to requested skills. Try to align those requests to previous work experience for the potential employer and hiring manager.
Accompany the cover letter with a functional resume
A functional resume format uses prior work accomplishments and higher priority skills than work experience. This can be helpful for the hiring manager since previous work experience is going to be irrelevant. There is no “career change resume,” rather a resume that helps the hiring manager make an informed decision. A functional resume can assist with that process.
Speak to the company’s values or objectives
Writing a professional cover letter that reassures the employer of the comprehension of business goals or objectives can help receive a first job interview. A hiring manager is looking for qualified applicants and applicants who possess a strong passion and knowledge for the business.
Positioning the cover letter
These communication methods that the hiring manager will appreciate when reading a career change cover letter. It’s best to avoid mold and fit previous job titles' duties and responsibilities into other job titles. But rather, speaking to career accomplishments that elevate the value of the job seeker (or “career changer”).
Tip: As a job seeker, performing an informational interview can be beneficial before writing a cover letter. An informational interview is an interview session where a prospective employee can interview an employed person. And ask for career advice (like a career coach). It can be a great opportunity for job seekers. And they can learn how to position their prior less relevant work history to their new career path.
Career Change Cover Letter Example
Below is a cover letter example of a professional going through a career transition.
Persuasive Career Change Cover Letter Example
Below is a cover letter example of a professional going through a career transition and wanting to be persuasive about the job opportunity.
Entry-level Career Change Cover Letter Example
Below is a cover letter example of a professional going through a career transition and applying to an entry-level position.
Career Change Cover Letter Format Template
Career Change Cover Letter Tips
Tips when writing a career change cover letter.
Read the job description
A lot of insight can be gleaned from reading the job description. And attempting to understand what the hiring manager is looking for in an ideal candidate. Look for key points like desired outcomes of the position. Or key responsibilities. Or other aspects of the job that can be spoken about in the cover letter.
Refer to on-the-job experience rather than skills
Many transitioning careers professionals decide to list key skills and other criteria that make them an "ideal fit" for the hiring manager. Unfortunately, the hiring manager is going to read that information and lose some trust over it. The best way to position key skills and core competencies is to share work experiences that display skills.
For example, if we were a job applicant applying to a position as a software engineer. And coming from a sales position. Then we might want to share work experiences that talk about collaboration and working together as a team. Since software engineers and sales professionals produce higher quality work in a collaborative setting.
This is a far better method of positioning a job application during a career transition. Rather than simply stating a list of key skills on the cover letter and the resume.
Ask a mentor what to say
When the job description isn't enough to write a cover letter, ask a mentor or friend. Someone who has experience working in that industry, job title, or has someone close to them who has had those. Asking a friend for advice can be a great way to get more minds in the cover letter. And ensure the letter speaks to the correct skills, requirements, core competencies, and more.
That friend may be able to provide an introduction to a professional who holds the same job title. Allowing them to give the job seeker advice, input, and tips on positioning the cover letter for the desired role. When all else fails, use a professional network to gather insights and assistance.
Don't give up
And while this is easier said than done. A job seeker who has a strong passion for moving into a new career or new job title should uphold perseverance. It's important to apply to as many job opportunities as possible. And writing a unique cover letter for each job application (based on the job advertisement).
Many hiring managers will be looking for job applicants with years of experience in one type of job title and job function. It's going to take the type of hiring manager who is willing to "invest in people" to see the candidate's value. And potential in the job application.
Cover Letter Resources
- How Long Should a Cover Letter Be
- Start a Cover Letter
- How to Address a Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Format
- Career Change Cover Letter
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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