Living our best life requires an adaptation to change. But what happens when we, ourselves, change? Do we expect or should we even demand that our external circumstances change as well? To that question, I respond a resounding YES. When that involves a career change, everything about the process can appear daunting. Making the decision to change careers is usually followed by shaping your resume and cover letter to best reflect why you are the right candidate even though you are coming from a different field. The career change cover letter is an important first impression, so let’s examine that a bit.
Any decision involving a career change should first begin with filling yourself up with as much knowledge as possible. The knowledge gained through our online courses such as Career Mind Mastery: Learn How to Land Your Dream Job as well as a plethora of others, provide a wonderful insight and motivation to make any scary change seem do-able.
Be Scared and Do it Anyway!
Part of what makes change scary is the unknown. And after you figure out what you don’t know, there still is that group of information of stuff you don’t even know you don’t know! SCARY! But it is plainly and simply all do-able. You just need to start somewhere and get the help you need. With so many resources at our fingertips thanks to the internet, you can basically receive any type and amount of information at a moment’s notice. So yes, change is scary but let’s do it anyway! Life’s changes and obstacles just need you to keep on swimming.
The Career Change Cover Letter Itself
Once you have decided that your current career is no longer for you, it’s time to draft the dreaded career change cover letter. It’s purpose is exactly the same as the traditional cover letter. It needs to accurately convey why you are the right candidate for the position offered as well as make you stand out from the rest.
Here is a sample template:
Your Contact details (phone and email)
Contact Job Title
Company City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Smith:
It is with interest and enthusiasm that I respond to your job opening for [position]. I strongly believe that the skills and abilities I have gained during my career to date make me an excellent candidate for this opportunity. The key proficiencies I possess which relate directly to your job requirements include:
- Communication skills – successful in building strong co-operative relationships with key clients and decision-makers.
- Problem solving ability – regarded as a resourceful problem solver evident in the successful development and implementation of new policies and procedures.
- Planning and organizing – proven track record of effectively prioritizing multiple tasks and assignments in a fast-paced work environment to efficiently meet departmental and company objectives.
- Team player – a solid reputation as a competent team member who is always prepared to go the extra mile to achieve results.
- Self-starter – considered a highly motivated employee with the capacity to learn quickly and take responsibility for my own development.
I am convinced that my broad experience in the career field of [previous career field] has equipped me with a strong set of valuable competencies that meet your needs. I am eager to combine my previous experience with my passion for [new career field] in order to work hard and make a meaningful contribution to your organization.
I would welcome the opportunity for a personal interview to discuss this further. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to set up a time and date for us to meet.
Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
This template is a general sample of how a career change cover letter should look like. It follows the traditional formalities and structure of a standard cover letter. Next, it addresses the specific traits and abilities of the applicant to meet the requirements of the prospective job position. Lastly, it mentions the fact that the applicant is coming from a different career field. You should always be upfront about that from the get go. Employers are most concerned with finding a candidate with the requisite skills and it is your job as an applicant to make sure your cover letter focuses on that.
Spruce it Up!
One way to add to the template is to specifically address how those particular skills can be applied to the job position in the new career field. For example, one of the key proficiencies listed involve communication skills regarding key clients and decision-makers. The applicant seeking a position as a legal secretary let’s say, would want to spruce up this section of the cover letter to demonstrate to the hiring person why she is perfect for the job.
Continuing with our legal secretary example, the applicant would explain to the hiring person concrete examples of her high skill set in communications with key clients because clients are what drive the legal profession. A legal client’s happiness and satisfaction with all personnel in a law office can make or break a practice, especially because of the power of referrals in the legal world.
Finally, when producing your career change cover letter, never come across as pessimistic towards your past career that you’re leaving. Employers will oftentimes reject an applicant by merely reading their cover letter if they find that the applicant has a negative outlook or negative attitude towards their previous employment. Even though you might be desperate to leave your miserable dead end job, tell that to a friend not a prospective employer.
For more awesome help with the sometimes not-so-awesome process of looking for a new job/career, be sure to explore the many courses offered at Udemy. Some of which are as follows:
- Professional Resume and Cover Letter Training
- How to Get Hired
- Job Search Boot Camp: Ready Yourself, Ready Your Resume
Need help with just the idea of career switching? Start here for some career ideas. Good luck!