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Cover letter for a career change.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Even if a cover letter is not explicitly required by an employer, it is vital and should always be a part of your job applications. A cover letter introduces you, demonstrates you have invested time and energy into researching the organization, highlights a few of your experiences or skills, and requests an opportunity to meet personally with the potential employer. It refers to your resume without repeating the exact same information.

Cover letters for career changers are essentially the same as writing any other cover letter. A career changer’s cover letter should still demonstrate that the applicant has researched the company, meets the qualifications of the job and aligns with the organization. The biggest difference between a career changer’s cover letter and any other resume is the main body of the letter because the body is the place where the applicant sells their qualifications.

There is no one way to write a cover letter, but if you are a career changer there are some key things you should consider:

  • Explicitly: “While my experience is predominantly in the IT space, I believe my ability to analyze problems and strategically identify solutions will translate well into your Operations Manager position.”
  • Subtly: “My career in IT has given me the ability to analyze problems and strategically identify solutions. I believe this has prepared me well for your Operations Manager role.”
  • Do you meet the minimum qualifications? If the answer is yes, be sure you use the same keywords from the job description to inform them of this fact. If the answer is no, ask yourself whether your other experience could make up for it in the hiring team’s eyes; then spell this out for them in the cover letter.
  • Your transferable skills should be on display. Your resume is the appropriate place to provide many of these transferable skills, but the cover letter is a chance to explain them more in-depth.
  • Make sure that you do not simply restate what’s on your resume. Instead, draw conclusions from what your resume shows and point out areas of unique “fit”. The cover letter should bring up relevant, employment related issues that cannot be easily expressed on the resume.
  • Your cover letter should be results-oriented. Just like resume writing, cover letter writing is marketing. You are marketing yourself to the organization, so be sure to sell your achievements and not just tell them your responsibilities.
  • How can I best convey this information? For some it will be the traditional paragraph format, others it will be in bullet-points or a combination of both. Paragraphs often tell a story whereas bullet points highlight key accomplishments or skills.
  • Tailor your cover letter for every organization. Your key points may be relatively unchanged, but do enough research that you can say something specific and unique in each letter.
  • Use assertive language. This demonstrates confidence and an ability to take initiative. However, be careful! There is a fine line between confident and cocky.

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How To Write the Best Career Change Cover Letter

Switching careers can feel like embarking on a journey into uncharted territory — this is particularly true in the tech industry , where a career change often means navigating an entirely different set of digital tools, work processes, responsibilities, and skills. 

You may have prepared yourself for the challenges ahead, furthered your education, and even identified job postings you believe to be a great fit. But without an excellent career change cover letter, your new professional journey could be stalled before it even begins!

Hiring managers only look at resumes for seven seconds before deciding whether to proceed with the application. So, your cover letter has to make an immediate and lasting impression. 

To help you land the job you’ve been dreaming of, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on career change cover letters.

Here are the topics we’ll explore —feel free to skip around to the sections that interest you most:

  • What makes it a career change cover letter?
  • How to write a career change cover letter in 8 steps

Career change cover letter example: UX design

  • Career change cover letter example: Frontend development
  • Key takeaways

1. What makes it a career change cover letter?

Before we look at the format and structure of the cover letter, let’s clarify something: it may seem obvious, but what distinguishes traditional cover letters from those written by career changers?

The key difference lies in the way you present yourself and the story you tell. A career change cover letter must demonstrate three main things:

  • Your understanding of the job and industry,
  • your existing skills and experience, and
  • how those can be applied to the new position.

This can be done in several ways, but the most effective cover letters strike a balance between emphasizing transferable skills , demonstrating adaptability, and highlighting your motivation for the career transition. 

Unlike traditional cover letters, they can also address potential concerns about your experience, showcasing your ability to transcend the boundaries of one professional field and excel in another.

2. How to write a career change cover letter in 8 steps

Writing winning cover letters is an art that requires practice, and career-change-specific cover letters are even trickier to tackle. But thankfully, you can follow a few best practices to create a compelling document that will make it easier for potential employers to imagine you in the new role.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of writing an effective cover letter for your career switch, from the opening line to the closing paragraph. So, grab a pen or open up your favorite word processor and write that first draft using the following tips:

1. Address the right person

To avoid using the impersonal salutation, “Dear hiring manager,” take the time to research who will be reading your cover letter. 

If the job ad doesn’t include a name, try searching for the company’s website or LinkedIn page and go to the employees’ section to track down the right person and job title. For example, if you’re applying for a UX designer role , search for “Director of UX Design,” “Creative Director,” or similar.

2. Introduce yourself with a hook

Begin your cover letter with an engaging opening that captures the reader’s attention. 

This could be a statement of your intent, a specific project you’ve recently completed, or a personal connection to the industry that demonstrates your passion and motivation for the career switch. This will set you apart from other candidates and create a memorable first impression.

3. Explain why you’re changing careers

To address your career change head-on, provide a clear rationale for the shift by sharing your personal career change story. For example, you could highlight your enthusiasm for the new field, noting what attracted you to it and any relevant experiences or interests supporting your decision. 

Then, use the power of personal branding to infuse the letter with your unique voice, personality, and vision, focusing on the value you can bring to the new sector. This transparency shows employers you’ve thoughtfully considered the move.

4. Demonstrate understanding of the company

Demonstrate your genuine interest in the organization by showing that you’ve thoroughly researched the company. You can achieve this by discussing its mission statement, values, and recent accomplishments. 

Align your skills, background, and career goals with the company’s objectives to showcase your potential fit within its corporate culture. Doing so will convey your enthusiasm for the role and the organization, increasing your chances of standing out as a suitable candidate.

5. Detail why you’re a great match

A personalized cover letter should also explain why you’re a strong candidate for the position in question. This means identifying the unique qualities that set you apart from other candidates, whether that’s your adaptability, problem-solving abilities, or valuable soft skills that can be applied across various industries. 

Use real-world examples to demonstrate how your skills and past experiences align with the job requirements, and mention how these traits can benefit the company in the long run.

6. Showcase transferable skills

One of the key objectives of your career change cover letter is to demonstrate your value to potential employers in your new field. To do this effectively, pinpoint the skills you’ve acquired in your previous career that are transferable to the new role. 

Use specific examples to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in different contexts and how they are relevant to your new position. By showcasing your relevant skills and experience, you can effectively demonstrate to employers that you have what it takes to excel in your new career path.

7. Mention relevant professional development

List any skills and knowledge you’ve gained through relevant courses, certifications, or training to showcase your commitment to learning and willingness to invest in your career transition. 

This will set you apart from other aspiring career changers, prove your enthusiasm for the role and help paint a picture of what you can bring to the new position. Doing due diligence upfront will make it easier for potential employers to imagine you in the new role and increase the chances of securing an interview.

8. Conclude on a positive note

When concluding your career change cover letter, it’s essential to end it enthusiastically. For example, name one way you can add value to the company and link it to your overall career vision. 

Finally, thank the hiring manager for considering your application and express your excitement about joining the team. Doing so will show you’re committed to the role and motivated to make a success of your career transition.

3. Career change cover letters example

Want to see cover letter examples that nail these key points? Check out these two samples, written specifically for career changers in the tech sector. Best practice for the email subject line? Put the job title from the job ad along with your full name. 

Career change cover letter: Frontend development

4. key takeaways.

Writing a convincing cover letter that highlights your skills for a role you’re hoping to transition into is an essential step in the job application process. 

A thoughtfully crafted career change cover letter can be the reason why employers take a second look at your resume, despite your limited experience in the new field.

In this article, we’ve gone through the basics of what makes a career change cover letter unique and how to write one tailored to your experience and goals. We’ve also looked at practical tips for structuring your letter and provided examples for your inspiration. 

We hope this guide will give you the confidence to write a standout cover letter and put your best foot forward when applying for jobs.

Looking for more tech-specific application support? Check out our practical guide to crafting the best tech resume , complete with valuable tips and real-world examples.

For further education support on your career change journey, try our free tech short courses ,  or speak directly with a program advisor.

With the help of expert instructors, personalized feedback, and a wealth of learning resources, you’ll soon be ready to tackle even the most complex challenges future employers might throw at you. 

Enjoyed this blog post? We think you’ll like these, too:

  • How To Successfully Change Careers in 2023: Your Step-by-Step Guide
  • The Top 5 Transferable Skills and How They Can Help You
  • How to Build a Personal Brand for Your Tech Career
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How to Write a Cover Letter When You’re Changing Careers (Sample + Tips)

As a career changer, you need to help recruiters understand why you’re moving away from your former line of work and what you want to achieve in your new career path..

[Featured Image] A man in a blue button-up is sitting down in a conference room holding pieces of paper.

Over the course of your career, you will inevitably change jobs as you seek out more responsibility, growth, or even a higher salary. In fact, the average employee stays at each job for around four years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [ 1 ]. But for career changers—or those who are interested in exploring an entirely new path or industry—making that switch can sometimes involve unique challenges. 

Even so, making a career change has become an increasingly popular move. More than half of workers in the United States anticipated looking for a new opportunity in 2022 [ 2 ]. Changing careers can provide you with an opportunity to find more meaningful work, better align your career path with your larger goals, and move into a role that feels more energizing.  

When you draft your cover letter to apply for a job in a new line of work, it’s important that you take time to explain your larger objectives. In this article, we’ll go over specific information you can feature in your cover letter to help recruiters understand your goals and reasons for changing careers. 

Learn more: How to Plan for a Career Change: Step-by-Step Guide

Information to include in your career change cover letter 

A cover letter is a chance to expand upon the bullet points you’ve outlined on your resume . It’s a space where you can explain your interest in both the role and company, highlight your experience and skills, and sell a recruiter on the overall fit you’d make. 

But a career changer needs to do all of that and more. You also need to help recruiters and hiring managers understand why you’re moving away from your former line of work, what you want to achieve in your new career path, and any transferable skills that will help make your transition a smooth one. 

Let’s review four key pieces of information you can weave into your career change cover letter.  

Career change context

Explaining why you’re interested in changing careers and how the role you’re applying to fits within your larger career aspirations can preemptively contextualize your story. Plan to include a career change objective somewhere in your cover letter, much like you would a resume objective to provide a short summary of a person’s experience and goals. Don’t be afraid to build in a sense of personality so that recruiters can better connect you with your objective.  

What this looks like: I’ve spent the last six years translating complex topics for an array of users as a technical writer. But in that time, I’ve realized that what really drives me is the user’s experience. It’s the lightbulb moment behind my career change to UX design . I believe I’ll make a strong addition to your team because my work has largely put the user front and center, and now I’m interested in focusing on a different facet of that goal. 

Certificates, courses, or trainings

It costs over $4,000 to hire an employee, according to the Society for Human Resources Management [ 3 ]. That’s all the more reason why recruiters and hiring managers want to find the right candidate. It can be costly otherwise. Help explain what you’ve done to prepare for your career change by highlighting any professional certificates or trainings you’ve completed to prepare you for your new line of work. 

What this looks like: In order to familiarize myself with the tools and processes used in data analysis, I completed the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate , which taught me SQL and R, and trained me to clean and visualize data. Thanks to this preparation, I feel confident that I will make a strong addition to your team from the very start.  

Transferable skills 

Transferable skills are “portable,” in that you take them from job to job. They include problem-solving, critical thinking, attention to detail, and more. Show recruiters that you have important skills to help you do the job so they can understand the unique value you’d bring to their company.  

It can also help to find out the key technical skills the job requires and spend time learning what you can, especially when it comes to important software or tools. 

What this looks like: As a software developer, I regularly relied on my problem-solving skills to think through complex issues. I’ll bring that same skill, as well as my attention to detail, listening, and decision making, to ABC High School as the new algebra teacher. 

Past achievements 

Any time you can highlight what you’ve managed to accomplish in your past roles, you help a recruiter see your potential in a new role. Where possible, summarize any moments that showcase your strengths and illustrate your work ethic or character. 

What this looks like: I pride myself on being a team player as well as a problem-solver. When I worked as a social media manager at Company X, I identified a better program to help my team schedule content. Using that tool improved my team’s efficacy, which in turn led to our most successful quarter to date. 

Why a cover letter is so important for career changers 

The idea of a career path can be rigid at times, suggesting that people only follow one specific track. Although that perspective is starting to shift, it’s still prevalent. You can help recruiters and hiring managers understand more about your interest in a role by explaining why you’re changing careers and what you’ve done to streamline your transition. 

In fact, it helps to align your cover letter with a resume objective, which can be especially useful for career changers. An objective on your resume is a place where you can contextualize your larger career aims, quickly summarizing what you’re hoping to achieve in your next role. Repeat that same information in your cover letter and expand on it slightly, to give your application materials more cohesiveness.  

Read more: How to Use Resume Sections to Shape Your Professional Story

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Career change cover letter sample

It's common practice nowadays to submit your cover letter digitally. In that case, include some of your contact information in the top left corner so recruiters can easily see how to get in touch.

Thomas Bennett

Nashville, TN

(555) 555-1234

[email protected]

Dear Ms. Tufte,

I’m writing to apply for the project manager role at Company X. I initially began my career as a marketing coordinator and eventually moved into email marketing , where I was responsible for strategizing and developing new campaigns. But in that time, I came to realize how much I thrived when it came to managing our quarterly campaigns from start to finish. That’s why I’m interested in segueing into project management. 

Knowing that, despite my experience, I still needed to learn more specifically about project management, I completed the Google Project Management Professional Certificate . Over six months, I’ve learned Agile project management as well as how to create product documentation, among other key skills. I believe this training, along with my previous experience, will help me transition to a project management role at Company X and make a big impact.   

I’m an organized problem-solver with a sharp eye for detail, all important skills in project management. In fact, I believe my previous work in email marketing provided hands-on training in managing projects, albeit without the official title. I identified new tools to help make my team create more effective quarterly campaigns. As a result, we increased our click-through rate (one of our key metrics) to 1.87 percent, bringing it closer to the industry standard—an immense achievement. 

I’m proud of the foundation I gained through marketing, but in realizing where my true passion lies, I’m keen to transition into a project management role with more growth opportunities. Thank you for your consideration. 

3 ways to strengthen your cover letter 

Much like you would for a standard cover letter, you can strengthen your cover letter as a career changer using the following tips: 

1. Tailor your letter for each role.

You should tailor your resume for each role you apply to, and the same goes for your cover letter. Take time to research the company, find out about aspects of their work that interest you, and insert those details into your cover letter. You should also tailor your experience and skills, highlighting the most relevant skills and accomplishments for each job. 

2. Get specific.

Your cover letter should expand upon your resume, rather than repeating the same information. One way to do this is by giving details about your past achievements. Quantify your impact with numbers, when possible, and explain how these accomplishments make you uniquely qualified for this new role.

3. Use action words. 

Build action words into your resume and your cover letter. Rather than more staid words that don’t capture your unique story or responsibilities, action verbs can liven up your cover letter and make it more enticing to read. Find verbs that succinctly and accurately depict your previous experience.

Continue growing on Coursera 

Brush up on your cover letter writing skills by taking the University of Maryland’s free course, Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters . Or develop important skills for an in-demand career with a Professional Certificate from industry leaders like Google, Meta, and IBM. Most certificate programs take less than seven months to complete, and you can start for free with a seven-day, all-access trial.

Article sources

US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “ Employee Tenure in 2020 ,” Accessed May 19, 2023. 

CNBC. “ The Great Resignation is Likely to Continue ,” Accessed May 19, 2023. 

ADP. “ Calculating the True Cost to Hire Employees ,” Accessed May 19, 2023.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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Customizing a Career Change Cover Letter: 5 Tips and a Template

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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

Jane Candidate

123 Main Street

City, ST 54321


[email protected]

Samantha Jones                                                             

Big City Company

123 City Road

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.

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Cover letter for changing career

If you've made the decision to affect a career change, you'll first need to explain why to employers in your cover letter. Our career change cover letter example shows you how

Begin with a statement about why you want to change career. Mention your previous job/career and your main reasons for wanting a change in direction. Keep it brief - you can go into more detail about this if invited for interview.

Next move on to discuss your past experience, linking this to the job and company where possible. It's important to highlight skills that all employers are interested in and demonstrate, with relevant examples, how your knowledge and experience matches that listed in the job description/person specification.

If you have any professional or additional qualifications from your previous career that may be useful or relevant to your new career path, be sure to mention these.

Also include a positive statement about what attracted you to the particular job and employer and show knowledge of what the company does.

To finish, outline how you can contribute to the organisation.

Please be aware that this is an example. Use this career change cover letter template to help generate ideas and structure your own document but avoid copying and pasting. Your cover letter needs to be original and tailored to the job you're applying for.

James Smithers 25 Acacia Grove Somewhere SX23 1PW [email protected] 07757342132

Sue Greenwood Director SG Psychology Services Ltd Redwood Court Old Lane Somewhere SX99 4BZ

5th May 2023

Dear Ms Greenwood

Re: Psychology assistant

I would like to apply for the post of psychology assistant advertised on your website. I enclose my CV.

As you can see, I worked as a youth worker for five years. During this period I became aware of the extent of mental health issues among children and young adults. Although I supported young people to the best of my abilities, I realised that many need further help and professional psychological skills. Therefore, I have recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, in order to equip me with the knowledge and build on the skills required to work successfully in child psychology.

Throughout my career I have worked with a range of young people. Particularly relevant is my work with

  • ASD young people
  • young offenders and those at risk of offending
  • young males, with whom I completed a self-harm project.

While studying I used and developed time management skills by working part-time and collaborating with other Diploma students to run outdoor activity days for ASD teenagers.

I have always taken initiative in my own professional and personal development. In addition to developing my career through the Graduate Diploma in Psychology, I have:

  • completed a 'Train the Trainer' course, which I have used when training fellow professionals - this has also proved useful in group work with young people
  • undertaken training in assessments, which I used when contributing to assessments of young people at risk of offending.

I welcome the opportunity to work with SG Psychology Services for the variety of work it undertakes. This post will give me valuable experience of psychology services, particularly working with young people in an education setting. I also hope to contribute to your services with my experience of working closely with young people over extended periods of time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

(Sign your name here)

James Smithers

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  • Read up on cover letters .
  • Discover 5 things to avoid when writing a cover letter .
  • Learn more about conversion courses .
  • Find out how to make a career change .

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Sample Career Change Cover Letter and Writing Tips

cover letter for job change

  • Writing a Career Change Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Sample

How to send an email cover letter.

  • Refocus Your Resume to Match

The Balance / Chelsea Damraksa

Are you considering a career change? If you are looking for a position in a different industry or career field, your cover letter or  letter of intent  is an important factor in the likelihood of your getting the job.

Since your resume may not contain the relevant experience that hiring managers are looking for, it's important to use your cover letter as an opportunity to demonstrate why you are a good fit despite lacking that specific employment history.

A well-written and strong cover letter will convince the reader that your work experience is a strength rather than a weakness.

Before you start writing, though, be sure you're clear on your goals for transitioning careers and that you're  positioned for a successful career change job search .

Tips for Writing a Career Change Cover Letter

Any good cover letter explains why you are qualified for the specific job. However, a cover letter written during a  career change  needs to go beyond that.

Be sure to thoroughly  research the company  before writing your cover letter so you can convince the employer that you understand the company and can demonstrate why you want to be a part of it.

You must touch on three important points. This will help you rise above candidates who have more direct experience in the industry. You don’t necessarily have to cover all of these topics in order or in distinct paragraphs. The aim is to make sure you communicate these points somewhere in your letter.

1. Emphasize Your Transferable Skills

Most importantly, focus on the  transferable skills  you have that you can use in the new position rather than on the skills you have that are only related to your current role. Analyze the job description for the position you’re applying to, and look at the skills that the position calls for.

Choose the  ones that best match your own skills or experience . Then, if possible, use specific anecdotes from your work or academic history to illustrate some of these strengths in action. 

2. Highlight Your Superior Performance in Previous Positions

Other applicants may have the relevant experience, but if their experience is mediocre and cannot be backed up by strong references or tangible achievements, you may actually be a more desirable candidate for the job than they are.

In your letter, do your best to explain how you succeeded in previous roles, and connect that to a summary of how you would also add value in this new position.

Make sure your references will corroborate your statements.

3. Express Your Passion for the Company

Mention your passion for the company. This is another way to stand out from qualified candidates. Employers may be more interested in someone who is especially excited about their organization and the job opportunity than they are in someone who just wants a job and doesn’t care about much beyond that. In your cover letter, make it clear that you’re familiar with the organization and enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a part of it.

Read the sample cover letter below, which you can use as a framework for writing your own career change cover letter. However, be sure to edit the sample to fit your personal experiences and the job for which you are applying.

Download the career change cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online).

Sample Career Change Cover Letter (Text Version)

William Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 111-111-1111

July 21, 2020

Michael Lee Director XYZ Company 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321 

Dear Ms. Lee:

This letter is to express my special interest in discussing the Senior Customer Service Manager position posted on the XYZ Company web site. The opportunity presented in this listing is very appealing, and I believe that my experience and education will make me a competitive candidate for this role.

Although I have been working primarily as an Operations Manager, in this capacity I have interfaced frequently with customers, in addition to vendors and staff. This has instilled multi-dimensional communication skills and an ability to recognize, act upon, and fulfill customer wishes and needs in order to ensure their continued, and positive, relationship with the business.

In fact, in my most recent job as Operations Manager for ABC Company, I received an ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ recognition due to my ability to coordinate complex logistics in order to keep customers happy even when issues arose that were beyond the control of the organization. Again, this involved not only managing operations but also communicating directly with customers. As a result, I believe my combined ability to successfully manage operations while also effectively interfacing with customers makes me a prime candidate for this role.

The key strengths that I possess for success in this position include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide exceptional contributions to customer service for all customers. 
  • Strive for continued excellence.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Eager to learn new things.

You will find me to be well-spoken, energetic, confident, and personable, the type of person on whom your customers will rely. I also have a wide breadth of experience of the type that will allow you the versatility to place me in a number of contexts with confidence that the level of excellence you expect will be met. Please see my resume for additional information on my experience.

I hope that you'll find my experience and interests intriguing enough to warrant a face-to-face meeting, as I am confident that I could provide value to you and your customers as a member of your team. I am very excited about this opportunity to work for XYZ Company. I connect with your mission to “deliver the ‘five star’ factor” to both your staff and your customers. This tenet is reflected in my own professional and personal values, and I believe this alignment strongly supports my candidacy for this role.

I can be reached anytime via my cell phone, 555-555-5555. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.

William Applicant (signature hard copy letter)

William Applicant

If you're sending your  cover letter via email,  list your name and the job title in the subject line of the  email message . Include your contact information in your email signature, but don't list the employer's contact information. Simply start your email message with the salutation.

Refocus Your Resume to Reflect Your New Goals

When you're seeking a career change, it's important to refocus your resume to reflect your new goals. That way, your resume and cover letter will both show that you're well qualified for a change in roles. Here are six tips for  writing a powerful career change resume  that will help you get started.

Get Ready to Interview

Be prepared, as well, to discuss in job interviews why you're transitioning and what  skills you will bring to prospective employers . It's important to have a comprehensive and professional pitch that will impress the employer and convince them that you're a strong candidate for the job.

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How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter [Examples]

By Editorial Team on August 31, 2023 — 21 minutes to read

  • Key Elements of a Career Change Cover Letter Part 1
  • How to Highlight Your Transferable Skills Part 2
  • Relating Your Career Change to Your New Role Part 3
  • Using Accomplishments to Sell Your Skills Part 4
  • How to Target Your Cover Letter to the Company Part 5
  • How to Format Your Career Change Cover Letter Part 6
  • Template of a Career Change Cover Letter Part 7
  • Examples of Career Change Cover Letters Part 8
  • How to Write an Effective Opening and Closing Paragraph Part 9
  • Best Practices Part 10

Part 1 Key Elements of a Career Change Cover Letter

Opening paragraph.

Begin your career change cover letter with a strong opening paragraph to grab the reader’s attention. Clearly state your intention to change careers and specify the job you’re applying for. Mention how you came across the opportunity (e.g., through a job ad or company website). Briefly highlight your passion for the new role and the company.

“As a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience, I am excited to apply for the position of Human Resources Manager. After careful consideration and self-reflection, I have come to the realization that my true passion lies in helping organizations build and develop their most valuable asset: their people. When I saw the job posting for this role, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pursue my passion for HR.”

“I am writing to express my interest in the position of Junior Software Engineer at ABC Tech. Although my background is in finance and accounting, I have always been fascinated by the world of technology and have been teaching myself to code in my spare time.”

“I am thrilled to apply for the position of Interior Designer at DEF Design. As a former teacher, I have always had a passion for creating inspiring and functional spaces that promote learning and creativity. After years of helping my friends and family with their home decor projects, I have decided to make a career change and pursue my dream of becoming an interior designer. When I saw the job posting for this role, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to take the leap and start a new chapter in my career.”

In the body of your cover letter, focus on showcasing your transferable skills and achievements that make you a strong fit for the new role. Discuss your relevant skills and experience you’ve gained from your current or previous jobs. Emphasize your soft skills and communication skills that can be applied across industries. For example:

  • Transferable skills : Outline skills that can be applied to the new role, such as project management, problem-solving, and collaboration.
  • Achievements : Describe your accomplishments from your current position and how they relate to the new job.
  • Relevant experience : Explain any relevant experience or training you’ve had that supports your career change.

Try to connect your skills and experience to the specific job ad, highlighting how you can add value to the company.

“As a marketing professional, I have developed a range of transferable skills that I believe would make me an excellent fit for the Human Resources Manager position at XYZ Company. In my current role, I have honed my project management skills by leading cross-functional teams to execute successful marketing campaigns. I am also skilled at problem-solving, having navigated complex challenges such as budget constraints and shifting market trends. Additionally, my experience collaborating with internal and external stakeholders has taught me the importance of clear communication and building strong relationships. I am confident that these skills will translate well to the HR function and allow me to excel in this new role.”

“Although my background is in finance and accounting, I have gained a wealth of relevant experience that would enable me to thrive as a Junior Software Engineer at ABC Tech. In my current position, I have honed my attention to detail and ability to work independently, both of which are crucial in a technical role. I have taken several online coding courses and have completed a coding bootcamp to further develop my technical skills. I am excited to apply these skills to a new industry and to continue learning and growing as a software engineer.”

“As a former teacher, I have developed a range of soft skills that I believe would make me an excellent fit for the Interior Designer position at DEF Design. In my previous role, I honed my creativity and attention to detail by designing lesson plans and classroom materials that engaged and inspired my students. I also developed strong communication and collaboration skills by working closely with colleagues and parents to support student learning. Additionally, I have taken several interior design courses and have completed a certification program to gain the technical skills necessary for this role. I am eager to apply my passion for design and my transferable skills to a new industry and to contribute to the success of DEF Design.”

Closing Statement

The closing statement of your cover letter should reiterate your interest in the job and the company. Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and convey your belief in being a great fit for the role. Politely mention your attached resume and request an interview to further discuss how your skills and experiences align with the company’s needs.

“Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my transferable skills and passion for HR to your team. I am confident that my experience in project management, problem-solving, and collaboration, combined with my enthusiasm for this new role, make me a strong fit for the position. Please find my attached resume for your review and do not hesitate to contact me to schedule an interview. I look forward to discussing my qualifications in more detail and learning more about the company.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to apply for the Junior Software Engineer position at ABC Tech. I am excited about the prospect of applying my financial background and technical skills to a new industry and contributing to the success of your team. I believe that my experience in analytical thinking, attention to detail, and independent work, combined with my passion for software development, make me a great fit for the role. My resume is attached for your review, and I would welcome the chance to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for your consideration.”

“Thank you for considering my application for the Interior Designer position at DEF Design. I am thrilled about the opportunity to pursue my passion for design and to contribute to your team’s success. My experience as a teacher has honed my creativity, attention to detail, and communication skills, all of which I believe would be valuable in this role. I am confident that my transferable skills and my technical training in interior design make me a strong candidate. Please find my attached resume for your review, and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you further in an interview.”

Part 2 Highlighting Your Transferable Skills and Qualifications

  • Start by identifying your key transferable skills. Consider the skills you’ve mastered in your current role, such as technical skills like programming or proficiency in tools like R, or interpersonal skills like strong communication and leadership abilities. Think about how these skills can contribute to your success in your desired position.
  • Next, provide specific examples of how you’ve used these transferable skills in your work experience. Write about instances when you’ve demonstrated your strengths, focusing on what is most relevant to the new position. For instance, if you’re applying for a role where programming is a vital component, discuss a project where you used R or another programming language to solve a problem or streamline a process.
  • Make sure to also mention any relevant qualifications or certifications you’ve achieved to strengthen your case. This could be a professional certification in your skillset, such as a programming bootcamp or a project management course, or even a specific degree that might be advantageous to the new role.

Transferable Skill – Communication

“In my current role as a customer service representative, I have honed my communication skills by handling a wide range of customer inquiries and complaints. I am confident in my ability to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues, both verbally and in writing. I believe this skill will be valuable in a new role where clear communication is essential.”

Transferable Skill – Leadership

“As a team leader in my current role, I have successfully managed a team of 10 employees, delegating tasks and providing guidance as needed. I have also implemented new processes and procedures that have improved team productivity and efficiency. I believe that my leadership skills will be an asset in a new role where I can help guide and motivate a team towards success.”

Relevant Qualification (Specific Degree)

“I hold a degree in marketing and have extensive experience developing and executing marketing campaigns for a variety of clients. I believe that my degree and experience in marketing will be valuable in a new role where I can use my skills to help promote and grow the organization.”

Relevant Qualification (Professional Certification)

“I recently completed a project management course through the Project Management Institute and received my PMP certification. This certification has provided me with a strong foundation in project management principles and best practices.”

Part 3 Relating Your Career Change to Your New Role

When writing a career change cover letter, it’s crucial to connect the dots for the hiring manager between your past experience and the new role you’re pursuing. Your letter should highlight your transferable skills, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the new career path, and provide evidence of your competence.

  • First, take the time to thoroughly research the role and learn about the company’s values. This understanding will help you craft a focused cover letter that shows you’re not only aligned with the new job opportunity, but also could bring incredible value to the organization.
  • Next, identify your transferable skills from your current and previous positions. These skills may include project management, problem-solving, or interpersonal abilities. Emphasize how these skills will be an asset in your new role. For example, if you’re moving from sales to marketing, your ability to build relationships with clients can be a great advantage in creating strategic marketing campaigns.
  • Additionally, showcase how taking on new responsibilities or specific projects in your current job can be directly related to the desired role. This demonstrates that you’re proactive and eager to learn new skills. For example, if you’re transitioning from a graphic design role to a UX design role, mention that you participated in user experience workshops or studied user-centered design on your own.
  • Don’t forget to include any relevant volunteer work, online courses, or certifications that align with your new career path. These experiences show your commitment to meaningful work and self-improvement. Make sure to mention any achievements or endorsements from your peers, as this will strengthen your credibility.
  • Lastly, express your excitement about the new career opportunity. Let the hiring manager know that you’re dedicated, enthusiastic, and determined in your pursuit of this career change. Convey your passion for contributing to the new industry and explain how your background and values can help achieve the company’s goals.

I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name] and achieve the company’s goals. My background and values align with the organization’s mission, and I am eager to bring my skills and enthusiasm to the team.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications with you.

Part 4 Using Accomplishments to Sell Your Skills

When writing a career change cover letter, it’s essential to highlight your accomplishments to showcase your skills. By doing so, you can demonstrate to the employer that you can bring value to their organization, even if your experience is in a different field.

Start by listing your most relevant achievements. Think about the tangible outcomes you’ve produced in your previous roles. These could be increasing sales numbers, creating efficient processes, or implementing cost-saving measures. Focus on positive results that have had a notable impact on your past employers.

Next, identify the transferable skills you used to achieve these successes. Some common transferable skills include communication, problem-solving, leadership, and project management. In your cover letter, describe how these skills have contributed to your accomplishments and how they will be applicable in the new role.

To make your points clear and concise, consider using bullet points to highlight your past accomplishments and the skills you used to achieve them. For example:

  • Increased revenue by 20% through improved customer engagement by leveraging my strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Streamlined project workflows, reducing completion times by 30%, which highlights my excellent problem-solving and organizational capabilities.

Part 5 How to Target Your Cover Letter to the Company

When writing a career change cover letter, try to tailor it to the specific company and job role that you’re applying for. Start by researching the company to understand its mission, values, and culture. This will help you craft a personalized cover letter that speaks directly to the hiring manager and demonstrates your knowledge and enthusiasm for the position.

Don’t just focus on your transferable skills, but also show how your experiences and values align with the company’s mission. For example, if the company is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness, highlight any relevant experience or passion you have in this area.

As you research the company, dig deeper into how it’s involved in the community and any ongoing projects that match your interests or skills. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to highlight how your expertise can contribute to the company’s goals. It will also help you stand out from other applicants who might not be as familiar with the organization.

When addressing your cover letter, avoid using generic greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, try to find the name of the hiring manager or human resources representative responsible for reviewing job applications. A personalized greeting shows that you’ve made an effort to learn more about the company and its team members.

Part 6 How to Format Your Career Change Cover Letter

Before starting your career change cover letter, make sure you have researched the company you’re applying to. Having a clear understanding of their mission, values, and products or services will help you tailor your cover letter to their needs.

To begin formatting your career change cover letter, start with the basic structure. Align everything to the left and use a professional font like Arial or Times New Roman with a font size of 11 or 12. Be conscious of your margins and spacing, as you’ll want your letter visually appealing and easy to read.

When addressing the recipient, use their name if you have it and “Dear Hiring Manager” if you don’t.

In the body of your cover letter, aim for three paragraphs. The first paragraph is where you’ll highlight the specific job you’re applying for and briefly mention why you’re interested in the position and the company. Next, use the second paragraph to showcase your transferable skills and relevant experience to the new position. You may refer to your career change resume here. Be sure to provide specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities. The third paragraph is where you express your enthusiasm for the opportunity and show how your skills can benefit the company. It’s also an excellent place to mention any connections you may have within the company or any other commonalities between you and the hiring manager.

As you wrap up your letter, use a closing phrase such as “Sincerely” followed by your full name. Do not forget to proofread your cover letter for any grammar, spelling, or formatting errors.

Feel free to utilize cover letter templates to help with formatting and structure, but remember to inject your personality and make it unique to your situation.

Part 7 Template of a Career Change Cover Letter

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the [Position] role at [Company Name]. Although my professional background has been primarily focused on [Current Industry or Job], I am excited about the opportunity to transition into a new career path and bring my skills and experience to [New Industry or Job].

In my current role as [Current Job Title], I have developed strong skills in [Skill 1], [Skill 2], and [Skill 3]. These skills are transferable and would be valuable in the [New Industry or Job] field. Additionally, I have always been passionate about [New Industry or Job] and have taken steps to gain experience in this field through [Volunteer Work, Courses, or Projects].

I am confident that my skills, experience, and passion make me a strong candidate for the [Position] role at [Company Name]. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Part 8 Examples of Career Change Cover Letters

When writing a career change cover letter, it’s essential to show your passion for the new industry and emphasize the transferable skills you possess. Here are a few examples for different roles to help you get started.

Example 1: Marketing to Customer Service

Subject: Application for Customer Service Manager position

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a marketing professional with over five years of experience, I’ve honed my communication and problem-solving skills, making me an excellent candidate for the Customer Service Manager position at your company. I am eager to apply my strong organization and time management abilities to the customer service field.

At my current job as a Marketing Coordinator, I am responsible for resolving clients’ concerns and ensuring their satisfaction with our services. My ability to empathize and effectively address client needs will serve me well in serving your valued customers.

I am excited for the opportunity to further develop my skills in customer service and contribute to your organization’s success.

[Your Name]

Example 2: Executive Assistant to Graphic Designer

Subject: Application for Graphic Designer position

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the Graphic Designer role at your esteemed company. With over six years of experience as an Executive Assistant, I have acquired strong design skills through the creation of visually appealing presentations, reports, and marketing materials.

My expertise in Adobe Creative Suite, coupled with a keen eye for design, has enabled me to develop innovative graphics for various projects. My work as an Executive Assistant has also enhanced my attention to detail, ability to prioritize tasks, and meet tight deadlines.

I am excited to make a successful career change and look forward to contributing my creativity and passion for design to your team.

Best regards,

Example 3: Software Engineer to Public Relations

Subject: Application for Public Relations Specialist position

I am writing to apply for the Public Relations Specialist position at your company. As a software engineer with over four years of experience in the tech industry, I have developed exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to tailor messages for diverse audiences.

In addition to my technical background, I have volunteered at local non-profit organizations, helping to promote their missions through social media and email campaigns. I believe my technical expertise and passion for storytelling make me a strong candidate for the Public Relations Specialist role.

I look forward to the opportunity to transition into the public relations field and contribute to the success of your organization.

Kind regards,

Part 9 How to Write an Effective Opening and Closing Paragraph

Writing a persuasive opening paragraph for your career change cover letter is essential. Your goal is to grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the letter. Start by addressing the specific person or company you’re reaching out to. Avoid using generic greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.”

Show enthusiasm for the position right from the start. Use your communication skills to briefly demonstrate why you’re excited about the opportunity and the company’s values. You could also mention a recent achievement or news related to the company to create a connection.

  • In your opening paragraph, express your confidence in your ability to excel in the new role. While you may lack direct experience in the field, highlight your relevant transferable skills – there’s often overlap between various professions. For instance, mention your project management, problem-solving, or negotiation skills, as these are valuable in many industries.
  • Concisely explain the reason behind your career change, demonstrating your genuine interest in the new field. This is your opportunity to create a compelling narrative about your career journey and show your commitment to this new direction.
  • Now, let’s focus on the closing paragraph. You should maintain the confident, knowledgeable tone you established earlier in your cover letter. Reiterate your excitement and interest in the position, summarizing key points from the rest of the letter.
  • Don’t forget to include a call to action, where you politely request an opportunity for further discussion, like an interview. This shows a proactive attitude, which is important when making a career change.
  • Finally, express gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration. A simple, sincere “Thank you” can leave a lasting impression and set the stage for future interactions.

Part 10 Best Practices

Here are some tips to help you create an effective cover letter that will impress hiring managers and increase your chances of getting the job:

  • Research the organization and job description : Start by understanding the company’s values, culture, and specific needs. Tailor your cover letter to align with the job description and highlight your relevant qualifications and skills.
  • Highlight your transferable skills : Emphasize the skills you’ve gained from your previous positions that can be applied to the new industry. For example, if you’re transitioning from a sales role to e-commerce, focus on your customer relations, communication, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Show enthusiasm for the new opportunity : Mention the reasons why you’re passionate about transitioning into the new industry and how the job aligns with your long-term career goals. Be genuine and positive.
  • Connect your previous experiences : Find ways to link your past positions, training activities, or volunteer work to the job you’re applying for. Demonstrate how your combination of experience and skills make you the perfect candidate for the new role.
  • Don’t downplay your accomplishments : Just because you’re changing industries doesn’t mean your previous accomplishments don’t matter. Be confident when discussing your achievements and expertise.
  • Proofread and format : Always proofread your cover letter for any grammar or spelling errors. Use appropriate formatting to make it visually appealing, easy to read, and professional-looking.
  • Follow up : After sending your cover letter and resume, don’t hesitate to follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter. This expresses your interest in the job and can potentially lead to an interview.

Related: Interview Follow-up Email Examples (1-2-3 weeks)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key elements to include in a career change cover letter.

  • A strong opening paragraph that grabs attention and mentions your reason for applying.
  • A brief summary of your professional background and relevant experience.
  • A detailed explanation of the transferable skills you possess that make you a suitable candidate.
  • A customized approach that demonstrates your understanding of the company and position.
  • A confident closing that expresses enthusiasm and requests an interview.

How can I highlight transferable skills in my cover letter?

  • Identify the most relevant skills required for the new role.
  • Provide concrete examples of how you’ve used these skills to achieve success in past positions.
  • Explain why these skills will help you succeed in the new role and benefit the company.
  • Make sure to mention any additional training or certifications that demonstrate your commitment to learning new skills.

What are some examples of strong career change statements?

  • “As a dedicated customer service professional with over 10 years of experience, I believe my skills in relationship-building and problem-solving make me the right fit for the marketing specialist role at X company.”
  • “While working as a sales representative, I developed a strong passion for digital marketing and have recently completed a digital marketing certificate. I’m excited to combine my sales and marketing skills to contribute to the success of X organization as a digital marketer.”

How can I tailor my cover letter for a specific job change?

  • Research the company and learn about their values, culture, and goals.
  • Understand the job requirements and mention how your skills align with them.
  • Refer to the company’s specific needs and challenges, and explain how your background can help solve them.
  • Use relevant keywords and phrases from the job description in your cover letter text.
  • How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation [Examples]
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  • Career Goals Examples [Professional Advancement]
  • How To Write a Cover Letter [Inspiring Examples]
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