Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
Community Specialist
Posted May 10, 2021

How to write a change of career cover letter (with example)

Learn how to write a cover letter when changing your career or industry.
Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
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How to write a change of career cover letter (with example)
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If you’re thinking about a new career, you’re not alone.

While it’s difficult to measure how often people change careers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that people change jobs an average of 12.3 times between the ages of 18 and 52.

But to compete against candidates with years of experience in the field, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

This is where your change of career cover letter comes in.

This article will explain how to write a career change cover letter that will help you be successful in your job search.

How do you answer “why did you change your career path?”

The days of having one job for life are over — and that may be a good thing. As the adage goes, “variety is the spice of life”

The trend of having multiple careers over the course of a lifetime was already on the rise before 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the process for many job seekers.

Experts estimate that one in 16 workers in the post-COVID world will have to change jobs by 2030 — an increase of 12% as compared to pre-pandemic times.

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But the question, “what are your reasons for changing careers?” is one that can stump job seekers going through a career transition. That’s why it’s important to prepare your answer carefully.

Perhaps you want to earn more money or have more time to spend with your kids.

Those are legitimate reasons to want a career change.

But when facing a hiring manager, you should focus on the professional motives for switching your career path.

Perhaps you have skills that you believe could be of better use in a different industry, or you want to make a positive impact and are looking for meaningful work that aligns with your values.

These are some of the things you’ll want to highlight in your career transition cover letter.

How to write a career change cover letter in 6 steps

Almost every job seeker knows how it feels to pour your heart and soul into a job application, then start checking your email three million times a day hoping for a response.

After a few weeks of radio silence, hope begins to fade as you start to accept that your application has been rejected.

So how on earth do you get a prospective employer in a new field to notice you, especially if you’re a career changer with no related work experience?

The secret is to write a killer cover letter. Follow these six steps to create a career change cover letter that will get you noticed.

1. Introduce yourself

Start with a polite salutation, followed by a brief introduction that sums up the key skills that you think are most interesting to your potential employer.

Be specific — are you a people-loving administrator with excellent organizational skills keen to move into project management?

Or perhaps you’re a sales specialist with a flair for creativity who would love to transition into marketing?

Keep your introduction short and to the point. Make sure it’s relevant to the new role you’re applying for and catches the attention of the hiring manager right away.

2. Tailor your cover letter to the employer

This is a general rule for all cover letters, but it is especially important when changing careers. You need to stand out against other candidates who already have experience in the field you want to break into.

3. Explain why you are looking for a career change

A hiring manager will want to know why you want a new job in a different sector, so explain your reasons clearly.

Make sure you stay positive and focus on the upsides of your new career, rather than talking about what you didn’t like about your previous role.

4. Convey your enthusiasm for the company and industry

Highlight how excited you are to learn and grow within your newly chosen industry and emphasize your dedication to the company and its mission.

5. Describe your past successes

Think of times in your work history when you performed exceptionally well and the transferable skills that make you a good fit for the position.

Even if you were working in a different industry at the time, think of examples that demonstrate the value you can bring to the role you’re applying for. Some highly-sought-after skills — like communication, teamwork, creativity, adaptability, and others — are relevant across most industries.

6. Get references from past employers

Great references can help any candidate boost their chances of being hired, but they’re especially important for job seekers who are looking to break into a new industry.

References can be from previous employers, teachers, or mentors. They are a great way to boost your credibility when you’re new to a sector.

Always make sure you ask permission before including anyone as a reference in your career change resume.

3 tips for writing a change of career cover letter

Now that you know how to write an eye-catching career transition cover letter, keep in mind the following tips.

1. Read the job description

This goes for any job application, but it’s important to read the job description carefully and think about examples of how your experience relates.

2. Highlight your transferable skills

Once you’re clear on what they’re looking for, do your research on the company and industry. Be sure to highlight your transferable skills — including both soft and hard skills.

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Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility
  • Resilience
  • Creativity
  • Leadership skills
  • Autonomy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Customer service skills

Some examples of hard skills include:

  • Project management
  • Accounting
  • Coding
  • Research
  • Data analysis
  • Marketing
  • IT skills
  • Foreign languages
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Software development

3. Focus on your strengths

Don’t tell your prospective employer that you lack experience in the sector.

Instead, focus on your positive aspects and the value you can bring to the company through your qualifications, experience, and transferable skills.

Career change cover letter example

Use this career change cover letter template as inspiration for your own career change cover letter. Remember to tailor it to every job you apply for.

A.N. Example
123 Anywhere Ave.
Anywhereville, NY 67890
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]

March 25, 2021

{Name of hiring manager}
{Street address of company}
{City, State, Zip code}
{Telephone number of hiring manager}
{Email address of hiring manager}

Dear {first and last name of hiring manager},

I’ve always loved planning, organizing, and coordinating events, which is why my sister asked me to plan her wedding last year. I applied the skills acquired through my role as administrative assistant at ABC Company to the task, such as coordination, communication, leadership.

The event was a resounding success, and as I watched the guests enjoying themselves, I started thinking about how much I would love to plan weddings full-time. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw the Perfect Weddings job posting for a junior event planner.

I’ve been working in administration roles since I graduated from high school, which I enjoy because I get to use my planning and organization skills, as well as interpersonal skills. I find the high levels of interaction with others is what makes my job most enjoyable, but my favorite task was organizing the annual company retreat. Not only did I find a great location while saving on expenses, but the event ran so smoothly that senior management credited my organizational skills for the retreat’s positive outcomes.

I love working in administration, but it doesn’t allow me to express my creative side. However, when I organize an event, I light up inside. Last year, I attended a wedding organized by Perfect Weddings, and it was magical. The table numbers with photos of the happy couple at corresponding ages were genius.

I believe my skills and experience can add value to your wedding planning team. I’m eager to learn and grow within your company.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Ann Example

Stand out from the crowd with a career change cover letter

A recruiter is often willing to hire someone without direct experience in the field if they can demonstrate the value they would bring to the role.

This is why getting your career change cover letter right is so important.

Highlighting your transferable skills and focusing on your strengths are key to writing a successful change of career cover letter.


If you need help finding your next job, explore more expert tips from Jobcase that will help you get hired.

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Kai Dickerson
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Chuck Reuber

How?

How?

1y
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John Blizek

Precisely the sort of advice and education that will yield results. Critically important and too often neglected.

Precisely the sort of advice and education that will yield results. Critically important and too often neglected.

1y
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Joanne Stubbs

Thank you Kai Dickerson for sharing this info it was very helpful

Thank you Kai Dickerson for sharing this info it was very helpful

1y
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