Career Change Cover Letter Tips & Examples
Writing a cover letter can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. Writing a cover letter for a career change can be even tougher, but it can also be very rewarding, especially if you’ve taken stock of your career and seen the signs you should change your job.
When contemplating a career change, a cover letter can demonstrate that, despite initial appearances, you’re actually an excellent fit for a position in your new field. Best of all, it’s not difficult to learn how to create a compelling cover letter for switching careers. With a few tips, and the aid of some career change cover letter examples, you can learn how to write a cover letter for a career change.
How to Write a Cover Letter During Career Transitions
When writing a cover letter for a position that’s outside of the career path you’ve currently been traveling, there are a few simple Do’s and Don’ts to follow that will make writing your cover letter a snap:
Do's of Writing a Career Change Cover Letter
- Be transparent - Be up-front with your prospective employer that you have several years of experience in your present industry, but are contemplating a career change. Explain in your cover letter why you are interested in changing careers and why you are interested, in particular, in this particular job opportunity.
- Show you’re passionate - Building off of the concept of transparency, signaling passion and active interest in an employer’s organization can help you communicate you’re the right candidate. It says, “I’m specifically looking for a job like the one you’re offering.” Most companies aren’t looking to hire just anybody. They’re searching for an ideal candidate. After all, hiring the wrong person carries risk. One way you can instantly identify yourself as the wrong candidate is to give off the impression you’re searching for any job you can find, which is why a cover letter for switching careers can be tricky.
- Show transferable skills efficiently - Start by considering the job for which you’re applying. What kind of skills do the position call for? Once you know what an employer is looking for, use your cover letter to emphasize the transferable skills you have that overlap with employer needs. Using anecdotes and details can make these claims more substantial.
For example, if you’ve taught or supervised a group of people in the past, then you could benefit from mentioning the size of the group. Inferring from past success stories, employers can draw conclusions about how you may be able to contribute in the future. Read the job change cover letter sample below to get a better understanding of how to showcase your transferable skills.
Don'ts of Writing a Career Change Cover Letter
- Don’t avoid addressing employment gaps - Career gaps are quite common and most employers understand that life happens. Career paths change, family members suddenly become ill, and the economy experiences a downturn from time to time. But failing to explain your career gaps may create uncertainty about your future as an employee.
Do your best to explain gaps, and if you’ve been unemployed, be transparent about the reasons why you’ve been out of work. In a career change cover letter you can even turn a weakness into a strength and show initiative by describing how you’ve kept up in the time since.
- Don’t submit without editing or getting feedback first - After finding a job you want, taking the time to tailor your resume for the position, and writing a unique cover letter for a career change, you’ll probably be feeling eager to submit your application. But it’s a massive mistake to skip past editing and revision.
Be sure to get feedback from at least one person before moving forward. You’ll certainly have a hard time convincing a hiring manager you’re “detail oriented” after you’ve spelled it wrong on your cover letter. Also be sure to double-check the email or mailing address. Be mindful of spelling the name of the person you’re addressing correctly and look it over twice before sending.
- Don’t be generic - If you’re passionate about changing your career path, prove it! Don’t submit the same cover letter to multiple employers. Tailor your cover letter to each position and each company. Let them know what it is about the job or their organization that appeals to you. Be sincere and if you feel that company’s values align with your own, be sure you demonstrate that in your career change cover letter to stand out from other applicants who may have more experience in the field. They just may welcome a fresh, “outside” perspective.
Career Change Cover Letter Sample
321 West Address Street
Employment City, GA 54532
Dear Mr. Smith,
I’m writing to express my interest in the insurance agent position listed on the Generic Company website. I believe my experience and education have considerable overlap with the needs of this position, which should make me an exceptionally competitive candidate.
While I have spent the past year working as a customer service representative, my experiences in that position have helped me to develop more sophisticated communication skills, and a unique ability to identify customer need. My last job review was highlighted with an Employee of the Month award, which I received following the completion of a personal project which improve logistical coordination in the company by 13%.
Among my key strengths, you’ll find I am:
- Capable of delivering exceptional customer service
- Experienced with interpersonal communication
- Consistently striving to improve my abilities
Your recent expansion into automotive insurance markets certainly caught my interest, and I admit the prospect of working with Generic Company is quite exciting. Please consider the attached resume for a more detailed picture of my experience.
Thanks for your consideration,
Start Writing Your Career Transition Cover Letter For The Insurance Industry
Writing a cover letter may feel daunting -- and even frustrating -- at times. However, when you’re switching careers, a persuasive career change cover letter can be incredibly effective at helping create a more detailed picture of your experience. And if you’re still at square one, trying to figure out your next career path, whether in the insurance industry or in another industry, be sure to take a look at MyPath’s Career Wizard Tool to help point you in the right direction.