In this day and age, employers are looking for candidates who are more than just their resume. A resume can detail the ins and outs of responsibilities and job titles, but a cover letter is crucial to catching an employer’s eye. When returning to the workforce after an extended leave or pivoting in a new professional direction, detailing your experience in a well-written career change cover letter can greatly enhance your chances of securing a new job.
A career change cover letter can oftentimes be trickier to write than a typical cover letter. In a career change cover letter, you’re presenting your case for any employment gaps, as well as explanation as to why you’re headed in a new direction. It is an important opportunity to highlight the skills you’ve acquired and discuss past job transitions. It’s also a chance to define why you’re the right person for the role.
As with any cover letter, research both the company and the job itself, and address your career change cover letter accordingly.
Here are five more tips to customizing your career change cover letter, plus a template to get you started.
1. Introduce yourself and position your transition
Use the opening paragraph of your career change cover letter to summarize your skill set and express how your experience aligns with the organization’s needs for the open position. Share your knowledge of the company, as well as your interest in the role.
2. Cover your career change bases: Explain why you’re evolving
As you transition to the second paragraph in your career change cover letter, share your story in more detail: why are you making the transition from your previous role and how you hope to utilize your previous professional experience in the new job. What brought you here and why does the open role interest you at this time? Use this paragraph to explain your career transition when applying in a new sector.
3. Show your work and feature your transferable skills.
Use the third paragraph to share examples of your skills and experiences and how they’ve shaped your path to the new role. Give specific instances on how you’ve developed your skills, and be sure to highlight previous successes. Make the case for why you’re the best person for the job. Share your passion for the role.
4. Reveal your passion and align your goals with the organization.
Wrap-up your career change cover letter by expressing your thoughts and feelings behind the new career transition. Include your insights as to how you plan to utilize your past experiences to succeed in your next role.
5. Summarize and show enthusiasm
End your cover letter by summarizing the paragraphs above, recapping your story, your successes, and your transferable skills. Be sure to include contact information and relevant links supporting your successful career transition.
Career change cover letter examples can be invaluable when building your own cover letter. Here is a sample template for your career change cover letter that you can use as a roadmap.
Career Change Cover Letter Template
123 Main Street
City, ST 54321
Big City Company
123 City Road
City, ST 54321
Dear Ms. Jones:
I am writing to express my interest in the Assistant Manager position posted on the Big City website. The position fits in line with my career path and I believe that my previous experience makes me an ideal candidate for the role.
Although I have previously been working primarily within the food and beverage industry, I have gained valuable experience in the day-to-day management of operations, including vendor and staff coordination. It has allowed me to build on my customer service skills as well as developing interpersonal communication skills and overall business management.
During my time within the food and beverage industry, I’ve grown to truly appreciate what it takes to build a business and keep it running smoothly. In fact, in my most recent role as Senior Barista, I was responsible for maintaining staff schedules and product inventory in addition to tallying and submitting daily/weekly/monthly reports. Last fall, when our store experienced issues with our inventory systems, I provided direction and solutions to work around the issue. As a result, I was recognized as the “Regional Employee of the Month” by our District Manager.
As your job description requests, I bring a strong work ethic, extensive customer service skills, and a thorough understanding of management software to the table. I am an outgoing, well-spoken team player who enjoys both learning and educating. A quick thinker, always working to solve problems efficiently and effectively, while implementing new plans and ideas for future operations. I am confident I will bring the same level of energy and expertise to the Assistant Manager role at Big City.
In my research, I’ve found that the mission and values of Big City are aligned with my own, and I am truly excited about growth and opportunity available with the Assistant Manager position. Additional information about my experience can be found on the attached resume and I look forward to meeting in person to discuss the role further.