Writing a Cover Letter for a Career Change (With an Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Changing career paths is more common than it seems. Making the transition to a new career entails being able to convince a potential employer of your worth and how you can contribute to their company in a new role. A good cover letter for a career change clearly highlights your past experience, strengths and the skills that can help fit into the role. In this article, we discuss how to write a cover letter that addresses your change in career and how to convince a prospective employer that you're an ideal candidate for the position.

How to write a cover letter for a career change

A cover letter for a career change is similar to the format of a standard cover letter. However, the main purpose of this letter is to demonstrate how your previous experience and achievements are valuable to a position and company. Follow the steps below to begin writing your cover letter:

1. Introduction

Start your cover letter with an introduction that states who you are and why you think you're the right candidate for the position. Use this opportunity to show how you'd fit into the role by highlighting any relevant experience and achievements. Here's an example of an introduction by a candidate who's currently an English teacher and aims to be a content creator:

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I am keen to be applying for the position of Content Writer at Grantspace. As an English teacher for over five years, I have taught students to achieve near-native proficiency and trained them in creative writing. Additionally, I have completed a course in digital marketing alongside my teaching commitments. While I have enjoyed being an educator, this is a change that I have considered deeply and Grantspace is where I would be thrilled to begin the next stage of my career. I believe my experience and skills will be a great fit for the position.”

2. Show your passion

Get the attention of your potential employer by showing how passionate you are about the position. Explain why you're excited to join their company. Share your knowledge about the company, such as their vision or core values, and explain how they align with your own motivations and beliefs. You can impress recruiters with the time and effort you've taken to learn about the company and the position.

3. Highlight previous experience and achievements

It helps to emphasise relevant details from your previous experience and achievements in your cover letter. Where possible, share statistics that draw attention to your achievements, such as customer satisfaction ratings, the number of projects completed successfully, cost-saving measures undertaken or the number of people you managed. Quantifying your achievements emphasises the impact you made in your previous position.

4. Mention transferable skills

One of the most important parts of your cover letter focuses on explaining how your skills can apply to the new role. You can demonstrate this using examples of how you used these hard skills and soft skills in certain instances in your previous jobs. Hard skills include technical knowledge that you gained through education or training. Soft skills demonstrate how your personality traits create an impact on your working style and your ability to work with others. Here are some transferable skills that you can consider showcasing:

  • Leadership

  • Communication

  • Teamwork

  • Critical thinking

  • Inductive reasoning

  • Language

  • Technical

Career change cover letter example

When writing your career change cover letter, remember to include the essential components of a formal business letter format, such as your contact details and the details of your employer. Have a look at the cover letter example below to help you write an impactful one of your own:

Leslie Chan
14B, Tower 2,
Tung Lam Court
Bonham Road, Central

8th July, 2021

Daniel Cheung
Claritax Solutions
26C, Ha Sing Building
Wong Chuk Hang Road

Dear Mr. Cheung,

Over the course of my career, I have gone beyond my role to not only assist customers with their concerns but also to ensure their satisfaction by providing practical solutions. I have come to enjoy working on a sales project in which I took initiative to take part along with my current role to not just provide solutions but to assist customers with sales.

Claritax has a reputation as a premier institution in the digital finance industry, with an exciting product that has made the process of filing tax returns online easy. I believe I am in a position to understand your client's needs because I have used this product myself. I believe that my skills and experience will be a valuable addition to your team.

I analysed customers' needs by effectively listening and asking focused questions based on their feedback. Over time, I have been able to have efficient and meaningful conversations with customers by keeping a checklist of the most common keywords that customers use when explaining their requirements. As a result of taking a customer-centred approach to providing solutions and sales, I have been able to deliver an overall 89% in customer satisfaction and 84% in successful sales. Additionally, I have a repeat customer rate of over 74%.

Providing an after-sales service through this initiative has been an enjoyable and beneficial experience and I would like to take this opportunity to state that I am excited and ready for a fresh start in B2B sales. I would be thrilled to join your sales team as a B2B Sales Manager and look forward to exploring how my skills and experience will be of value to your team.

Leslie Chan

Tips for writing a career change cover letter

While your cover letter may differ from each job application based on the company and position, consider the following points as a guide to writing an effective and engaging cover letter:

Showcase your knowledge of the company and the position

Use the opportunity to show how well you know the company, the role for which you're applying and their products or services. Your knowledge of the company and the role highlights your enthusiasm to the hiring manager.

Compare how your previous experiences, passions, motivations and transferable skills can serve the company's needs and the role. Adding these details to make your cover letter stand out encourages the hiring manager to consider you as an eligible candidate for an interview.

Related: How to Write a Cover Letter

Explain the reasons for your career change

Your potential employer naturally wants to understand the reasons behind your decision to change your career and why you're leaving your current role. You can explain your reasons by sharing your interest in the new role and highlighting your ability to quickly adapt to new processes and concepts. Promoting your attributes and qualities can enable you to be a successful candidate for the role.

Related: Tips From a Recruiter: How to Stand Out When Changing Careers

Provide a concluding paragraph

When concluding your cover letter, reaffirm your interest in the position. End your cover letter with a sentence or two that shows your excitement in regard to the next steps in the hiring process. Close with a memorable statement that describes the value you would bring to their company.

Related: How to Structure a Cover Letter (With Example)

Proofread your cover letter

Look for errors in the text and check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Reread your cover letter slowly to help you identify changes easily. If in doubt, have someone you trust proofread your cover letter. Having another person's perspective can sometimes help to identify not just errors, but other important points to add or remove.

Compile a reliable list of references

While not necessarily a part of your cover letter, it's still vital to put together a list of credible references. The people listed in your references are those who can verify your skills, qualifications, work experience and other attributes.

Your list of references would normally include your current or past colleagues, managers, mentors and professors. It's good practice to ask a potential referee if they would be willing to recommend you for a future position. Make sure to include their names, contact information and other relevant details that explain their relationship with you.

Related: Job References: Who To Ask for One and How To Write One

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