If you’re planning to change careers, you need a great cover letter. Here’s how you can create the best cover letter to showcase your skills for a career change.
Writing the Best Career Change Cover Letter
Career Change Cover Letter
Sometimes, the first career you work in just isn’t the right option for you, and you decide to go into a new field. A career transition can be a hugely successful option for people who are looking for a change in their professional life. But with that new career path comes some unique challenges in cover letter writing. If you’re a career changer looking for some career advice, here’s how you can use a career change cover letter template to format the perfect cover letter for a new position.
Career Change Cover Letter Example To Start With
How can you effectively bridge the gap to a new industry with your cover letter? Here’s an example cover letter that you can build on.
Dear Mr. Smith,
My first foray into software engineering was programming profile pages for my friends on different social media sites when I was just 16. When I first entered the job market, I thought of this as just a hobby and pursued a nursing career. Over the years, my hobby continued to grow and blossom, and I started attaining certifications in programming languages and learning more unique and efficient ways to program. In 2018, I decided to look into turning this into a career. That’s why I’m so pleased to apply for the software engineering position at Company Name.
I am extremely excited to venture out into this new career, and I can’t wait to show people what I can do in a different industry. Let me know when we can sit down so that I can give you more insight regarding the skills I bring to the table.
This is a fairly short career change cover letter sample, but it’s a great starting point for you to create your cover letter for a new job posting.
Build Your Career Change Cover Letter With This Example
First, you need to create the header for your cover letter. Add your full name and contact information with your phone number and professional job networking profiles, including your LinkedIn. Your salutation should also include the hiring manager’s name, not a generic placeholder like “Dear Sir or Madam.” From here, you can move on to writing the cover letter itself.
First paragraph: Hook, introduction
The opening paragraph is where you create a hook and convince the hiring manager to read through the entire cover letter. Oftentimes, this is where you would put the fact that you used to be in a different industry before finding this job opportunity. Include some general information about your skill set here.
Second paragraph: More information about you as a job seeker
In the second paragraph, you can discuss what makes you special as a job applicant. Discuss both soft skills and hard skills, as relevant skills will often be a defining trait of what makes you right for this job opening, more so than direct experience. Transferable skills, which are skills you learned in previous work experience that are relevant to your current job application, are often an important part of this. You may include bullet points after this paragraph to introduce even more technical skills and achievements.
Third paragraph: Call to action
Finally, in the third paragraph, you have the call to action. This is where you show your excitement about his job position and ask directly for the job interview. By now, you’ve hopefully convinced the recruiter that this would be a great career for you, so when they read the call to action, they’re more likely to request that you come in for an interview.
FAQ: Career Change Cover Letter
If you feel as though explaining the career change will help your job search, you can do this. In the example above, the applicant specifically discusses that she has been invested in programming since she was 16, but it was only recently that she wanted to pursue it as her full-time job. In this case, explaining the career change builds some interpersonal interest between the applicant and her potential employer, making it beneficial for the cover letter overall.
You typically don’t need to use the phrase, “career change” in your cover letter at all. All you have to do is talk about the job title that you’re hoping to move toward. Note that even in this example, although the applicant does mention her previous role, she never directly refers to a career change. She just mentions the previous job to put her job application into context.
Just like any other cover letter, a career change cover letter will typically be between 250-350 words or half a page to 3/4 of a page. There’s no need to significantly lengthen your cover letter because of a career change. You want to keep the hiring manager’s attention and ensure the cover letter is read in full. A long, overwritten cover letter may be discarded for being too long.