How do you write a resume? With so many conflicting opinions out there, we’ve set out to find the ultimate answer to this question.
The dream? Getting a job that makes you go from “Thank God it’s Friday” to “Thank God it’s today”.
Now, this can be you. Even if you feel like Michael Jordan on a soccer field, this guide will help you write a career change cover letter that will make all the old-timers fall way behind.
In this article:
- A career change cover letter example that stands out.
- How to write a career change cover letter from scratch.
- Expert tips on writing a career change cover letter that will get you that dream job.
- Fill-in-the-blank templates that you can use in your career transition cover letter.
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Looking for something else? Check these cover letter writing guides:
- Business Cover Letter
- Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- Human Resources Cover Letter
- Marketing Cover Letter
- Social Work Cover Letter
- Firefighter Cover Letter
- Project Manager Cover Letter
- Executive Assistant Cover Letter
- Librarian Cover Letter
- Customer Service Cover Letter
- Office Manager Cover Letter
- Nursing Cover Letter
- Data Entry Cover Letter
- Server Cover Letter
- Retail Cover Letter
- Substitute Teacher Cover Letter
- Finance Cover Letter
- Good Cover Letter Examples for All Jobs
You’ve got a great career change resume. Now it’s time to draft a persuasive cover letter. Here’s an example of a career change cover letter that’s well-written:
Career Change Cover Letter Example
Let’s take a look at a career change cover letter written by Janet, a marketing specialist with a passion for teaching. She took the time to get certified, but now she needs to find her first job as a middle school teacher. In her cover letter, she shows how her previous experiences apply to the new role.
Janet A. Soto
4096 Hickory Ridge Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Las Vegas, July 15, 2020
Principal Emily Olson
Elkhorn Middle School
3478 Main St.
Las Vegas, NV 80506
Dear Ms. Olson,
I was very excited to learn that Elkhorn Middle School is looking for a new teacher. As someone who is bilingual and truly passionate about teaching, this is an incredible opportunity for me to put my previous work experience and skills, as well as theoretical studies into practice.
During my time as a professional marketing consultant, I specialized in planning and creating marketing strategies. I’ve successfully completed 50+ big marketing projects in 4 years. Two of them won 1st place in Targetic’s annual corporate creativity contest. I provided a high level of client service that earned me 95% positive customer reviews. As a team leader, I’ve evaluated team members, while setting goals and serving as a mentor. I was responsible for holding weekly meetings, training sessions and workshops for more than 50 people. My passion for sharing knowledge has motivated me to pursue a long-held interest of mine: teaching.
This spring I have finished my teacher preparation certification at California State University, hoping to find my first professional role as a middle school teacher. Your job ad states that you’re looking for someone who can demonstrate enthusiasm for working with teenagers and an ability to clearly and accurately communicate with students, fellow staff and parents. Communication was my profession for more than 6 years and I truly believe that my achievements as a marketing professional and eagerness to tackle a career change challenge show that I will be of great value to you and your students.
My qualifications include a BA in English, 8 years of professional experience and a teacher preparation certification.
When could we meet to discuss how I might contribute to your school’s success.
Janet A. Soto
Janet is obviously eager to take on new responsibilities, and her cover letter shows that.
Let’s do this together. Step by step.
Here are the best cover letter writing tips that you need to know:
How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter
No matter what job you’re applying for and no matter what you’ve done in the past, you want your job application to be concise, readable and professional.
Otherwise, it will land in the trash like a plastic wrapper.
Follow these cover letter format tricks to blow the recruiter away:
1. Use the Correct Career Change Cover Letter Formatting
Nailing your formatting is the like adding a big red bow on top of a gift. It’s the first thing a recruiter notices, and the first thing that can make your application land in the trash. By using a correct cover letter format, you ensure that your document is easy to read and navigate.
Follow these simple rules to properly format your cover letter:
- Since it’s a formal letter, align all text to the left. Don’t use justification.
- Pick a professional font that’s clean and readable, and make sure to stick to it throughout the entire document.
- Use even 1-inch margins on all sides. Single-space your text.
- Leave an empty line between each section / paragraph.
- A single-page is the ideal cover letter length.
2. Create a Professional Career Change Cover Letter Header with Contact Information
Don’t be a stranger.
Your cover letter header is as is important as any other section. Recruiters want to see at first glance who they’re dealing with.
Follow this cover letter heading template:
Career Change Cover Letter Template: Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g. Customer Service Team Leader ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Also, remember to include a proper salutation and address your career change cover letter to a specific person by stating their full name.
Starting a letter with “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam” is very old-school and makes your cover letter look generic. So, unless you’re Mr. Darcy, don’t use these salutations.
If you’re not sure how to address your cover letter, here are some tips to help you find the right addressee:
- The job posting should have the recruiter’s name and / or email address included. Google that name and the company to find out exactly who to put in the header.
- Browse the company website. Sometimes you may be able to find a tab called “Team” or “Who We Are”—that’s where you might find the name of the department manager.
- Call the front desk and ask the receptionist to provide you with the full name of the hiring manager.
If you really can’t find the recruiter’s name, stick to the good ol’ Dear Hiring Manager. It’s not the ideal solution, but it is the most preferred cover letter greeting.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
3. Introduce Yourself and State the Position That You’re Applying For
Now, moving on to the meat.
Get them hooked like a starving fish on the line and start the career change cover letter strong, like it’s your first, last, and only chance to turn your life around.
This means that you should make your intent known.
In your cover letter opening paragraph talk about who you are and which position you are interested in. Mention the exact position by name. This shows that you actually took the time to tailor your career change cover letter to a specific job posting.
Nobody wants to read a spammy cover letter that could have been sent out to any other employer. Prove them that you care.
The first paragraph can be similar to your resume summary. But don’t just copy-paste it!
You can use this fill-in-the-blanks template:
Change of Career Cover Letter Example: Introduction
Dear [ Hiring Manager’s Name ]:
I am very excited to offer my [ Name 1 or 2 Transferrable Skills ] skills and expertise for the open [ Job Title ] position at [ Target Company Name ]. As a [ Your Current Profession ] professional with [ X ] years of professional experience, highly skilled in [ Your Current or Past Responsibilities ] I’m sure I can help your team with the upcoming challenges.
Notice the hook in this career change cover letter?
What will grab the reader’s attention the most is your most prominent accomplishment.
It has to be transferable.
Being responsible for building batch applications in COBOL/JCL to process 2k+ of credit transactions for 15 international bank clients is a fantastic achievement, but it won’t do you any good if you’re planning to switch careers from software engineer to nurse.
Find a common denominator between the positions and target your resume and cover letter to the new opportunities.
Expert Hint: A study shows that employee referrals are 4x more likely to be hired, so if you were referred by a friend, indicate who that is in the first paragraph, so the employer knows that straight away.
4. Highlight Transferrable Skills and Relevant Qualifications in a Career Change Cover Letter
This is your hour of glory, so shine like the Yankees during the Babe Ruth Era.
To make that happen, scan the job advertisement to single out the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. These will be the main components of your career change cover letter.
Now, look at your previous responsibilities and list your skills. Most of them are transferable between different industries—like a majority of soft skills and technical skills.
Make sure to use numbers to show how efficient you were at your previous position.
Recruiters love passion, but even more, they love applications that are full of figures and achievements.
Here’s a template that you can edit with your own information:
Cover Letter for a Career Change: Body Paragraph
In the job listing, you state that you’re seeking a [ Position ] experienced in [ Use the Requirements Listed in the Job Description ]. In my most recent position with [ Name of Your Current or Most Recent Company ] I have succeeded in [ Relevant Responsibilities / Duties / Projects You’ve Successfully Completed, Supported By Metrics ]. I strongly believe my skills will translate into similar results for [ Target Company Name ].
Here’s a tip:
Most companies use an Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, which helps them fish out the best applications. Targeting your cover letter with relevant keywords significantly boosts your chances of creating a successful ATS resume, passing the ATS scan, and landing an interview.
Expert Hint: If you feel the need to change your career, but are not sure which path to choose, consider selecting an occupation projected to have many job openings in the near future.
5. Explain Why This Is Your Dream Job
The American Dream is all about pursuing happiness. So kudos to you for taking that first step to improving your life.
But at the same time—America wasn’t built on dreams, but on hard work and productivity. This is exactly what you need to put in your career change cover letter. Proof that you’re efficient and goal-driven.
The best way to do it is to show the employer how you’ve channeled your passion.
Plus, pay the company a compliment or two and tell them what you admire them for.
Here’s a career change cover letter template you can use:
Career Change Cover Letter Example: Third Paragraph
I’ve been passionate about [ Industry / Job You’re Applying For ] since I first [ Your First Experience / Contact With the Trade ]. I’ve channeled this passion into [ Something You Did at Your Previous Job That’s Connects With the New Position ], and [ Another Transferable Achievement Backed by Numbers ]. An opportunity to work for such a prestigious company like [ Target Company Name ] would allow me to do the job I have dreamed of doing for a very long time. I would finally be able to apply my [ Skills / Experience] to [ What the Company Does] and help [ Target Company Name ] reach its goals.
Persuasive career change cover letters are about the job—not just about you. So make sure you know how to write a cover letter that talks about the company, the position and the employer’s expectations.
6. Request an Interview and End With a Proper Sign-Off
In your cover letter closing statement, demonstrate your assertive, proactive attitude by requesting a meeting in order to talk more about how your previous experiences and skills will apply to reaching the company’s targets.
Ending your career change cover letter with a “Hope to hear from you.” might leave you hanging and hoping for weeks.
Use this template:
Persuasive Career Change Cover Letter Example: Closing
When would be a good time to have a call or a meeting to discuss how my [ Your Best, Most Relevant Skill / Experience / Their Most Important Requirement ] experience can help [ Target Company Name ] achieve [ Something Important to This Employer]?
[ Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature ]
[ Your Full Name ]
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
These templates are a quick and easy way to create a persuasive career change cover letter. But if you have some more time on your hands and are willing to play around with formatting, you can also use Word cover letter templates.
Expert Tip: If you’re sending your cover letter as an email, your contact details should be a part of your email signature.
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Making a different career move? Here are some other guides that might be helpful:
- Graduate School Cover Letter
- Postdoc Cover Letter
- Scholarship Cover Letter
- Recent Graduate Cover Letter
- Internal Position Cover Letter
- Entry-level Cover Letter
- Non Profit Cover Letter
- Internship Cover Letter
- No Experience Cover Letter
- Internship Cover Letter
- Relocation Cover Letter
- No Experience Cover Letter
Here’s how to write a cover letter for a career change:
- Use the full name of the hiring manager when addressing your career change cover letter.
- Make an introduction and express your interest in a specific position.
- Show relevant experience and accomplishments and highlight the transferrable skills that could help you succeed in the job you are applying for.
- Explain your motivation to join the company.
- Finish your career change cover letter with a strong call to action and an appropriate sign-off.
Did you find our sample career change cover letter helpful? Do you have any questions in regard to writing a cover letter for a career change? Leave us a comment, we’ll be happy to hear your thoughts!