Changing careers may mean it has been a while since you last wrote a cover letter. Writing a great cover letter could be an essential factor in helping to land you your dream role.
If you are considering changing fields or industries, it may be the case that your CV doesn’t present the directly relevant experience that other candidates may possess. This is where you should use your cover letter to explain how your skills and expertise illustrate that you would be the best person for the job.
Writing a cover letter can be a daunting process at any stage of your career, let alone when you are venturing into less familiar industries and sectors. It is important to remember that the sole aim of the cover letter is to demonstrate why you would be suitable for the role and why you would be the best person for the job!
We have compiled a short list of tips to use as a template when writing your career change covering letter. They are as follows:
Open With a Simple and Straightforward Paragraph
Indicate the role you are applying for and how you found that listing. It may have simply been on a job site or through a personal contact. If this was the case, make sure you mention them by name as it aids in demonstrating you already have industry contacts.
Next, briefly mention why you are looking to change careers. It is essential to be honest when discussing this as you will more than likely have to explain your reasoning. Keep this section positive; it is crucial not to talk about previous roles/employers negatively as this will come across as unprofessional.
After this, move onto explaining your knowledge and excitement towards the new company and role, alongside demonstrating your commitment. Employers may be concerned that you could decide to change careers again. As such, it is vital to show you are enduring the difficulty of a switch because you are so sure this move is right for you.
Following this, discuss your performance in previous jobs and highlight your successes. This could include aspects such as hitting sales targets, managing others, or collaborating on an exciting project. We recommend including achievements that will make you stand out against other candidates.
Highlight Your Transferable Skills
Expand on the skills you have listed on your CV. It is beneficial to emphasise your soft skills as these can aid with success in any industry, alongside any relevant technical skills. This could include skills such as project management, research, data analysis and technical writing.
When writing this section, you should address the skills the role is looking for and use any anecdotes to support them. It is no good talking about skills that have no relevance to the job specification; the employer wants to judge your suitability to the role.
Use the final paragraph of your cover letter to sum up your most relevant strengths, put forward an action item and thank the recipient for their time. Make sure to reinforce why you would be perfect for the role, but display both confidence and politeness, as the closing line will be the last impression left in the reader’s mind.
For help writing your CV, see our dedicated guide.