Tips for Writing a Career Change Cover Letter
by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert
Are you miserable in your job and dreaming about a career change? Were you downsized from your last position and wondering if a new direction is right for you? Whatever the reason you want to change careers, you’re certainly not alone. Major career shifts have become common in today’s job market.
As you go through the steps to ensure a smooth transition, including researching your new career goal, networking with people in the field and brushing up on related skills, you might get stuck when you start to write your cover letter. After all, how do you market yourself for a career field where you have limited or no experience?
Here’s the good news: The cover letter is your friend. You can use this valuable tool to point out your relevant credentials, transferable skills and even passion for your new career choice. More than any other job seeker, you need a dynamic cover letter to prove how you would contribute to an employer. Follow these guidelines when creating your letter.
It’s Not About You
Many career changers make the mistake of writing about how the employer can help them achieve their new career objectives. Employers may not care about what they can do for you, but they definitely want to know what you can do for them. Look at the difference between these two cover letter statements:
- Before: I was excited to learn about your search for a technical support specialist. Your position will help me transition to the IT field and continue to develop my related skills.
- After: Your technical support specialist opening is an excellent match for my qualifications. Your customers will benefit from my strong customer-service orientation, expert problem-solving skills, and ability to quickly learn and master new technologies.
Tout Related Skills
You might lack the direct experience employers find desirable, but your skills may be transferable from another career. Show employers how these skills would enable you to be a top performer if you were hired. Here’s how one career changer presented such skills in her cover letter:
- I am seeking to leverage 15 years of top-ranked sales performance to transition to an HR role. I bring to the table a relevant skill set, including a high degree of organization, well-honed presentation abilities and familiarity with a range of IT systems.
Demonstrate Your Commitment
Maybe you’re willing to work for a day without pay to show how serious you are about your new goal. Or perhaps you’ll work part-time to get your foot in the door. Use your letter to prove that you will do what it takes to break into your new field. You can even make a win-win proposition in your cover letter, as this job seeker did:
- My goal is to secure a part-time assistant teaching position, which will allow you to appraise my performance before investing in me as a full-time employee.
Show Your Passion
Employers like applicants who are enthusiastic and motivated to succeed. Here’s an example of how to convey your passion in your cover letter:
- I am seeking to combine my scientific background as a chemist with my passion for sales. Your team will benefit from my proven ability to outperform customer expectations, sales quotas and project timelines within competitive, deadline-driven environments.
As you write your cover letter, be honest about your plans to change careers. You also need to communicate the reasons why you should be considered for a position in a new field. Believe in yourself, and you’ll have a better chance of convincing employers to believe in you.
This article was written by Kim Isaacs, director of ResumePower.com and author of The Career Change Resume book. Visit ResumePower.com to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.
Copyright 2014 – Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles visit http://content.monster.com.
If you are changing careers, your cover letter needs to be carefully developed to showcase your transferable skills. Would you like us to write your career change cover letter for you? Contact us now — we would love to hear from you!
Career change cover letter sample
Wondering how to change careers? Start by explaining your value in your cover letter.
If you're changing careers, use these cover letter writing tips.
When changing careers, it's especially important to outline your value proposition to a potential employer. View our career change cover letter sample below.
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1400 Main St.
Sometown, PA 11111
Phone: (215) 555-5555
Jan. 10, 2017
VP Business Development
15 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 12345
I am writing to you as a fellow graduate of Hofstra University (class of 2002) and would sincerely appreciate any insight you could provide me into McClain Companies. I have been working in sales for almost five years, and I am now looking to transition into corporate human resources at a company such as yours.
Although successful in my sales career, I have realized the aspects of my work I find most rewarding are all in HR-related functions. The following offers a few highlights of my qualifications:
- Solid foundation in HR affairs: As senior account executive, I have been responsible for a number of HR functions, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training new employees. A quick learner of complex concepts and legal issues, I am eager to broaden these competencies.
- Dynamic communication style: I am adept in building relationships, consensus and a shared sense of purpose. I am known for my ability to quickly establish trust with employees, mediate disputes and motivate others into action.
- Experience in corporate training: A constant throughout my sales career has been my passion for the design and delivery of staff development programs. Comfortable and experienced giving both large and small-group presentations, I have conducted hundreds of training seminars for diverse audiences across all organizational levels.
If you know of anyone within McClain Companies who might be looking for someone with my qualifications, I would be very grateful for your referral. Thanks in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.
See all sample cover letters on Monster.