When Pursuing a Career Change, What Do I Need to Include in My Cover Letter?

A cover letter for career changes has similar aspects to all cover letters. It typically has three parts. The first part is introducing yourself, naming the position sought, and how you found the position, so the hiring manager knows why you’re applying. The second part ties your cover letter to your resume. Talk about what some of your transferable skills are and how they relate to the position. It’s important they quickly see what you’re bringing to the table when considering a career change.

The second paragraph ties into the job description. You also want to highlight your years of experience in a way that doesn’t promote a potential age bias and shows you’re not inexperienced. In addition to those hard skills, discuss your soft skills such as communication, managing people, motivating teams, and leadership, so they can clearly see what you’ve done before and how complete your skill set is.

Make sure they understand you are looking for a career, not just a job. You’re looking for a home to take your research and your skills to; this is something you’re dedicated to.

The third paragraph of your cover letter should be your reason for seeking that position, what your commitment is, and a call to action. For example, “I would love to have an opportunity to chat with you more about my experience and how I could fit,” versus just saying, “I hope you’ll give me a call.”

Writing A Cover Letter For A Career Change

A cover letter for a career should not be any longer than one page, so it’s easy for the hiring manager to understand why you’re applying for this job. It should be written in three distinct sections. The first section introduces you, the position and where you found it. If somebody referred you, mention their name.

The second section points out how you fit the job description. Be very clear and highlight the words they used. If they’re looking for someone who has experience in data analytics, use a bullet point that says “Data Analytics:” then list your proof point. You may have three or four proof points describing why you’re the ideal candidate.

The last part is your call to action and a thank you. “Thank you for considering and reading this information.” Ask them if they would be open to talk more about your experience. Don’t leave it as, “Thank you. I hope you’ll call.” You want to show energy towards engagement, not just applying.

Writing A Cover Letter With No Experience In That Field

When writing a cover letter with no experience in that field, let your transferable skills and the job description lead the way. You know whether you have the skillset they need. No one’s going to have 100% of the experience outlined in the job description, but you have transferable skills, whether that’s through volunteering or paid work. Those should be highlighted and illustrated to help distinguish you from the other candidates.

Contact Information To Include

The contact Information needed on a career resume and cover letter is different than it used to be.

It isn’t necessary to have a street address. Include a professional email address along with your phone number and your LinkedIn profile. City and state can be optimal. If you’re looking to relocate, you can address relocation in your cover letter. The contact information should be on the first and second page of your resume.

Career Change Cover Letter Templates And Samples

There are available cover lettertemplates and career change cover letter samples online. You can Google them, check resume writing sites, or the National Resume Writers’ Association. Customize them for your position, your authentic personality, and what you’re bringing to the table. Most hiring managers and human resource departments can easily spot a cover letter or resume template. Make sure this is really your dialogue coming across on the page. It allows the reader to see who you are. It’s best to use them more as brain fodder and idea generators, not necessarily as a cut and paste.

Do I Mention My Career Transition In My Cover Letter?

When writing a cover letter, career experts encourage discussing your career transition. You’re going through this because of a distinct purpose or objective, typically to leverage skills or interests you haven’t been able to utilize in the past. You’re crafting a position where you can have a bigger impact going forward. You can definitely highlight that. Say that you’ve done extensive research on how your skills would transfer into this new role. Substantiate the career transition so it doesn’t look like a fluke or a fleeting interest, you’re actually committed to this and there are reasons behind that.

Job Description In The Cover Letter

It is not necessary to repeat the job description verbatim in the cover letter, but you do want to highlight your skills that align to it. Also mention the job title in your first paragraph. “I’m applying for the customer service agent position recently posted on LinkedIn.” Then in the second paragraph note how your skills mesh with the qualifications of the job. You’re not reiterating the entire job description, just pulling out the salient information that ties to what you’ve done. Be sure to mention your years of experience, being careful to ensure you’re not creating any unconscious bias around age or tenure.

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