How to Write a Cover Letter When You Are Changing Careers
When you are trying to change careers, the major obstacle to overcome is to get hiring managers to consider you, even without directly relevant experience. A cover letter is an ideal opportunity to provide context into why you would be able to transition into a new field successfully. Here is how to write a cover letter when you are thinking about changing careers:
● Start with a Strong Opening
Get the hiring manager’s attention by starting your cover letter with a strong opening. Avoid the generic and boring, “I am writing to express my interest in your opening” and instead, begin by discussing your passion, telling a story, or dropping an interesting personal tidbit about yourself. Show your authentic personality, so the hiring manager is inclined to continue reading and be intrigued by you.
● Focus on Transferable Skills
When you are considering changing careers, it is essential to make it clear to hiring managers that, even if you do not have specific background experience in the industry, you ultimately have what it takes to succeed. Focus on discussing your transferable skills in your cover letter. Give examples of what you did in your previous jobs that require the same fundamental skills that the new career does so the hiring manager can easily make the connection.
● Tell Your Story
As you write your cover letter when changing careers, provide background information on what led you to make the decision. Tell your story about your career change in about three sentences. Keep it brief and do not go into too much detail - after all, you want to focus on your professional future, not be preoccupied with the past.
● Highlight Performance
Hiring managers prefer a top performer with less relevant experience than a mediocre employee with directly aligned experience. In your cover letter, highlight your past performance and include any notable achievements. If they see you have the work ethic, they will be likely to consider training you to fill in any specific skills gaps you may have since they will feel confident it will be worth it.
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