Cover Letters

How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter

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A career change cover letter can help you explain why you have decided to pursue a new career. Knowing how to explain to a hiring manager why you are choosing a new career path is a part of the job transition process. In this article, you can learn more about the important steps for writing a cover letter for a career change. 

Why is a career change cover letter useful?

A career change cover letter is a business letter that explains why and how you are choosing to switch to a new career. An employer or hiring manager may wonder why you are changing careers and if you have the skills for your new career. You can use your cover letter to explain this to a hiring manager as well as provide details about why you considered the career change and how you obtained the skills and education necessary. 

How to write a cover letter for a career change

Here are some steps you can follow to create a career change cover letter: 

1. Firstly, get the reader’s attention

It’s important to sound enthusiastic about the job to show that you are ready to take on new responsibilities. Showing that you are enthusiastic can help encourage the hiring manager to read your cover letter and see that you are serious about your career change. 

2. Secondly, describe your education

Describe any relevant education in your cover letter. This could include the education you have obtained in your previous career as well as any education or training you received for your career change such as relevant certifications. 

3. Next, explain your reasons for switching careers  

People make the decision to change careers for a variety of reasons. When writing your cover letter, explain why you want to change careers. Keep the tone simple and positive, and avoid saying anything negative about your previous industry or employer.

4. Lastly, mention transferable skills and skills you learned for the new career

Mention any skills you have that are transferable and relevant to your career change in your cover letter, as well as those you obtained specifically for the new career. 

When you are writing a cover letter for a career change, you need to identify any skills, strengths and experiences that you had in your previous job that are relevant to your new career. While some skills may be specialized for your new career, others are more general and can be applied to many industries.

Career change cover letter template

You can follow this template to write your own career change cover letter:

[Your name]
[Address] 
[Telephone number]  
[Email]

[Date]

[Name of Hiring Manager]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]

[Salutation] 

[Statement of interest in the advertised job] 
[Description of relevant education and professional experience][Explanation of reasons for a career change]
[Mention relevant skills, including those obtained for the purpose of the career change]

[Closing statement]

[Signature] 

Career change cover letter example 

Here is an example of  a career change cover letter:

Mary Green
123 Aspen Street
Portland, OR 97034
(555) 555-5555
Mary.Green@email.com 

January 3, 2020

Michelle Brown
Habitat for Children
123 Eagle Road
Portland, OR 97034 

Dear Ms. Brown: 

This letter is to show my interest in the content writer position posted on the Habitat for Children website. I am expressing my interest in the position because I think my experience and education will make me a good candidate for this role at your company. 

I have worked primarily as a top salesperson at my previous company using my communication and marketing skills to interact with clients, but I feel strongly that my skills are better suited in a career as a writer. The strong written and verbal communication skills that I have demonstrated as a salesperson can be easily transferable to a role as a content writer at your company. 

In my most recent job, I am the lead salesperson of computer equipment and peripherals where I am responsible for communicating with clients, vendors and management to deliver record sales numbers. In addition to my sales responsibilities, I also assist in developing and maintaining the company’s website content. While I enjoy being a salesperson, I have grown to be passionate about writing and am seeking a career change to a new field. I found your job posting advertised on an online job board and believe my background may be the perfect fit. As a content writer, I hope to make a difference and contribute to your purpose of creating and providing after school care and resources for at-risk children and their families. 

The key skills and experience I have for the position of content writer are: 

  • Strong verbal and communication skills
  • Writing skills, including basic grammar and web content writing
  • Experience using content management software as well as web-based and desktop applications 

I hope that you will consider my experience and interest in your organization as I believe I would be a valuable addition in providing resources to children and their families through the content published on your website. I have attached my resume for your review and welcome further discussion about my skills and experience. 

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity. 

Sincerely, 
Mary Green 

Career change cover letter tips

Here are some tips for writing career change cover letter: 

Give an honest assessment of your education and skills

Always be honest and transparent about the skills and qualifications you have that make you an ideal candidate for the position. If there are skills or educational requirements you don’t have, you could mention that you are obtaining or plan to obtain these qualifications, if applicable. 

Emphasize transferable skills

Focus on any transferable skills you have that can be used in the position you are applying for, rather than those related to your current job title. For example, if you are leaving a job as a writer to pursue a new career as a programmer, describe what computer languages you are experienced with. 

Express your excitement for the company

Describe your excitement about the company and your passion for what they do. Employers may be more interested in a candidate who expresses genuine enthusiasm about the position and company than they would someone who simply wants a new job. Demonstrate that you have researched and are familiar with the company and its mission.