Why Those Going for a Career Change Need the Cover Letter

National Experts in Resume Writing & Career Coaching

Why Those Going for a Career Change Need the Cover Letter

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When your job search is for a career change there is a bit more convincing that needs to be done for employers to take notice. The story behind your experience and skills on the resume may not immediately help the employer make the connection that you’re relevant for the job, so it will benefit to have a cover letter to help clarify details as to why and how you’re an appropriate fit for the job.

The cover letter is your opportunity to help employers understand the reasoning behind your career change decision as well identify how you offer value that can benefit in the new career. Here are some general tips to preparing the cover letter as a career changer:

  • Don’t hide the facts
    It will be clear to employers that you do not have direct experience, so don’t try to present yourself as a professional with direct experience. The point is to not waste time covering up, and instead to focus on information that matters.
  • What value do you bring
    Focus on helping employers understand what it is that you have to offer. What value do you bring? How are your past experiences and skills transferable to the new job? There are many employers who desire candidates with indirect experience because it may offer a new perspective on things on the job for even greater success.
  • Show you know the business
    While others are sending in the same boring and generic cover letter with the resume, you can make yours a stand-out simply by showing the employer you know the business. Do your research and demonstrate your knowledge. A simple comment on some of the latest developments and how they can benefit from someone with your experience and skills is all you need. For examples, see Trick #2 in “Inside Secrets on How to Write a Great Cover Letter.”
  • Reason behind switching careers
    Employers will want to know the reason behind your decision to switch careers. Shed light on the matter in your cover letter, and in doing so, express your deep passion for the new career. Highlight things you may have done to get yourself ready for the new career, whether that may mean additional training, coursework, or skills learned.
  • Keep information succinct
    The cover letter is not meant to rehash information you already have on the resume. Stick to the format of a captivating opening, a body with supporting points to make your case on why the employer should consider you for the job, and a closing statement with a call to action.

Remember, the resume alone does not give the employer a full picture of your professional experience and value – especially if you’re making a career change. The resume is also limited in style and length, and that’s why you need the cover letter to help provide the additional supporting information to make your case.

Follow the tips above to cover-letter writing and you’ll see greater results in your job search as a career changer. For additional tips, also read: “How to Give the Resume a Boost for a Career Change” and “5 Biggest Cover Letter Mistakes.”