5 Steps to Writing a Cover Letter as a Career Changer (With Samples!)
Hot jobs on the muse.
Preparing for a career change can feel like walking up to a ride at Six Flags: It’s exciting, but also somewhat terrifying. What if, for example, some less open-minded hiring manager takes a look at your resume and dumps it right into the “no” pile because they don’t immediately understand why someone who’s spent their career in software engineering is applying for a financial analyst role? That’s where your cover letter comes in.
I know, drafting a cover letter—let alone a compelling one—can be stressful and time-consuming. But cover letters are a potent secret weapon for career changers. While resumes can be a great way to showcase your work experience, cover letters give you the opportunity to explain how that experience will help you excel in your next role. And you always want to do everything you can to help sell a prospective employer on why you’re the right person for the job.
5 steps to a persuasive career change cover letter
Here’s your step-by-step guide to writing a career change cover letter that’ll tell your unique story and help a hiring manager envision how you would benefit their organization.
1. Start strong with a unique opener.
Get the reader’s attention right away by putting the opening line of your cover letter to work! Don’t start with a tired old trope about being the perfect person for the job, and avoid leading with the sentence, “I’m excited to apply for [role] at [Company],” if you want to maximize your opportunity to draw the hiring manager in.
Ask a question, tell a story, or begin with an interesting tidbit about your experience or maybe a short anecdote that leads into why you’ve decided to switch career paths. Just be sure it relates to the specific role for which you’re applying.
2. Introduce yourself—succinctly.
If you could only tell a hiring manager three things about yourself, what would they be? How do you want to market or package your experience?
For example, are you a tech-savvy customer relations specialist eager to flex your talents in a sales role? Are you an exceptionally organized office manager looking to make a move into human resources ? Are you a graphic designer turned software engineer on the lookout for a job where you can blend your creativity with your technical expertise? Use this portion of your cover letter to emphasize those qualities that make you a unique individual and employee.
There’s no need to include your entire life story here, so try to avoid over-explaining your experience with sentences like, “After graduating from college in 2015, I decided to apply for an administrative assistant job…” Instead, try a line like, “I’m an organized, deadline-driven administrative assistant with a talent for wordsmithing executive emails and jazzing up corporate announcements.” Your goal should be to keep your introduction short, snappy, and relevant to the job.
3. Share your career-change story.
This is where you explain the why behind your career change . Were you inspired by a newsworthy event? Have you always secretly wanted to be in this industry? Did working on a side project spark your interest in pursuing it full time? Give the hiring manager a little insight into why you’re so excited about their job opening, despite your unconventional background.
4. Highlight your transferable skills.
This is going to be the meat of your cover letter. Hiring managers are notoriously short on time, so don’t send them on a scavenger hunt to figure out how your experience might make you a great fit for the job—they’re more likely to just throw the indecipherable map away and move on to the next applicant. Instead, connect the dots for them as clearly and concisely as possible by emphasizing your transferable skills and experience.
Bullet points can be effective in doing this in an organized and efficient way. Try pulling out the top three to five skills that are required for this role, and then briefly explaining how your experience relates to each. Even better? Provide evidence demonstrating that your experience created a positive impact or contributed to team or company goals. Hiring managers can’t help but be impressed by hard numbers and facts.
Be realistic here. If you don’t have any familiarity with a particular topic, don’t mention it in your cover letter. Stretching the truth might land you an initial interview, but your fib will almost always catch up with you in the end.
Whatever you do, don’t apologize for the experience you don’t have . Rather than saying, “I know I don’t have any direct experience with employee training…” write something like, “Having worked in a dynamic business development environment for the past four years, I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage my personal experience in a sales enablement role.”
5. Bring it all together.
Think of the final lines of your cover letter as the closing argument. You’ve spent the preceding paragraphs making a case for why you deserve an interview, so use your closing sentences to tie everything together.
And be sure to highlight what you can do for the company, not the other way around. So while you may be genuinely thrilled about the idea of learning all there is to know about digital advertising, now isn’t the time to mention it. Instead, say, “I look forward to discussing how my marketing and public relations expertise might benefit the digital advertising team!”
Sample career change cover letters
Here’s what this advice might look like, depending on where you are in your career and how much experience you have.
Sample career change cover letter for an early career professional
Dear Ms. Alice Chen,
Over the past few months, I’ve volunteered to represent my company at local college recruiting events, and I had no idea how much fun job fairs could be. As I meet with eager students, collect resumes, and chat with soon-to-be graduates about business development opportunities at Sunny Sales Inc., I often find myself thinking, I wish this were my full-time job. So you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered the university recruiting coordinator opportunity with Cloud Tech!
After completing a degree in business administration, I decided to put my outgoing personality and laser-focused organizational skills to work as a business development specialist for Sunny Sales Inc. Over the past two years, I’ve sharpened my communication skills in client meetings, fine-tuned my presentation experience, and sourced more than 300 warm leads. Working in sales has given me an invaluable foundation, and now I’m ready to move from business development to recruiting.
I’m energized by the prospect of applying my interpersonal skills and sales experience to the university recruiting coordinator opportunity with Cloud Tech. I think my enthusiasm for recruiting and ability to learn on the fly will serve me well in this role. I’ve outlined how my skills might fit with your specific needs below:
- Applicant outreach: As a business development specialist, I’m comfortable seeking out new opportunities, making cold calls, and selling potential clients on the advantages of Sunny Sales software.
- Interviews: I make an average of 50 phone calls a day, meet with at least five clients a week, and am at my happiest when I get to interact with a lot of different personalities. I’ve also gotten to participate in 10 interviews as part of a sales panel, resulting in two new hires for our organization.
- Application management: I track my 1,500+ business development contacts as well as activities, pipeline, and 30+ active opportunities in a customer resource management system. As an organized, tech-savvy professional, I think I’d be able to master an applicant tracking system in no time.
I’d love to learn more about your university recruiting strategy for the coming year and to discuss how my experience and recruiting exposure might benefit the Cloud Tech team. Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide, and thank you so much for your consideration.
Sample career change cover letter for a mid-career professional
After you’ve helped a client navigate a tricky IRS audit or file taxes for their new small business venture, you start to feel like you can handle anything a customer might throw at you.
I know I do. In my 15 years as a personal tax accountant, I’ve helped people through some of the most stressful and sensitive financial undertakings imaginable. Doing this with the right balance of empathy and pragmatism can be tricky, but it feels great when I get it right.
I’ve come to realize that working with people, helping them understand complicated or frustrating concepts, and serving as a client advocate are some of the things I love to do most. Getting to use these skills through my accounting practice has been very rewarding, but now I’m ready for a new chapter and am excited about the opportunity to focus exclusively on customer relations as a client services specialist.
Diamond Design has a stellar reputation when it comes to customer service, and I’d be thrilled to join a team that shares my passion for helping others. Here’s a brief overview of how I believe my experience would translate into a client services role.
- Identifying client goals: Understanding customer needs is an essential element of my current role. Over the past few years, I’ve fine-tuned my approach, and have been recognized for my ability to create open dialogue by asking thoughtful questions and soliciting feedback.
- Taking a customer-first approach: As a tax specialist, I approach every account with a solution-focused mindset. This had yielded a 95%+ customer satisfaction rating for the past six years.
- Developing lasting relationships: My commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience has yielded a 75% client retention rate. More than half of my clients have worked with me for five years or longer.
I’d be eager to learn more about Diamond Design’s client service goals and discuss how my background might serve to enhance the customer experience further.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to speaking soon.
Bonus tips for writing a career change cover letter
Here are a few more tips to ensure your career change cover letter does the trick:
- Address your cover letter to the right person or people . Do some research to try to find out the name of the hiring manager . But always avoid “ To Whom It May Concern .”
- Tailor your career change cover letter for each position. Don’t just swap in the position title and company name from your last application. All of the content of your cover letter should show why you’re qualified for this job specifically.
- Keep it to one page or less . Don’t get too caught up in explaining every detail of your choice to change careers or your past jobs until this point. Just tell the hiring manager enough to know they want to invite you for an interview and learn more.
- Edit ! Always reread your cover letter before you send it to check for any errors. If you have time, you can ask someone else to look it over with fresh eyes as well.
As you draft your cover letter, you’ll want to make sure that it emphasizes your unique talents, transferable skills, and passion for this new field. Spelling this out for prospective employers will help them piece together your qualifications—and up your chances of moving forward in the process.
Regina Borsellino contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.
Blog Career & Leadership Development
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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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
123 Main Street
City, ST 54321
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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- English (UK)
- Cover Letter Examples
- How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter [Examples & Guide]
How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter [Examples & Guide]
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Making the decision to change a career is a sign of bravery. You’re risking the comforts of knowing what the next day may bring for an uncertain future. But you believe in your choices—and good for you!
But the thing is, your career change cover letter must reflect that. Otherwise, a potential employer may think you’re just indecisive or careless.
This guide will show you:
- Persuasive career change cover letter samples better than 9 out of 10 others.
- A cover letter for a career change that convinces hiring managers to take a chance.
- How to write a cover letter for a job with no experience in that field.
- Why achievements will make or break your cover letter for a transition to a new career.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Create your cover letter now
Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter examples and create your cover letter here .
For a successful transition to a new profession, send a great career changer resume. See our guide: Career Change Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Are you at a particular stage in your career and need to find specific cover letters for this? Check out some of our guides:
- Internal Position Cover Letter
- Entry-Level Cover Letter
- Relocation Cover Letter
- Formal Cover Letter
- Security Officer Cover Letter
- Translator Cover Letter
Want to explore your options further? See our full selection of cover letter examples for every career: Best Cover Letter Examples for All Professions
Here is a career change cover letter example proves you’re no mere fly-by-night:
Career Change Cover Letter Sample
Current Company (If Any)
Hiring Manager Name
Dear [Hiring Manager Name],
I'm so excited to apply for the IT Project Manager position at Weniger Aerospace.
At A/G Systems, I saved 10 meeting hours a week for 20 engineers. I did it by automating our program requirements management with Oracle Primavera. At $90 an hour, that’s $864,000 saved per year. I'm proud of that—not least because my title wasn't "IT PMP" but "Program Administrator." Transitioning to 100% IT PMP at Weniger would use my IT skills and passion to the full.
I know you're looking for an IT PMP with 5+ years of experience. I've spent 6 years creating robust IT systems with these achievements in the skill areas in your ad:
- Customer Relationship Management. Worked directly with 200+ customers to integrate our software into daily workflows. Slashed complaints by 25%.
- Training. Trained, mentored, and on-boarded 15 new IT hires. Handled all new user training, cutting customer issues 30%. Gave software training to 12 business units nationwide.
- Automation. Led project to develop custom ERP software, automating requirements-tracking from 20,000 customers and 150+ programs.
- Programming. Wrote test scripts and coordinated testing through cross-functional teams. Expanded custom software to integrate with ERP. Slashed daily disruptions 50%.
I'm very interested in sharing how I can deliver IT PMP excellence at Weniger Aerospace. Can we schedule a call?
PS—I'm also happy to explain how I used Oracle Primavera to automate project tracking, eliminating 120+ work-hours per year.
That’s Olympian. The hiring manager just forgot you’ve never held the job.
Now, here's how to write a career change cover letter like the one above:
Choose the Best Career Change Cover Letter Template
Rule #1: Simplify.
Use this career change cover letter template to lock in the basics.
Here’s what you’ll need in a cover letter for a career change:
Cover Letter for Career Change Samples—Checklist
- your contact info
- the company’s info
- dear (hiring manager name)
- paragraph #1: big achievement and career change reveal
- paragraph #2: job-matching achievements
- paragraph #3: make an offer
- best regards + your name
- PS—with one more accomplishment
Pro Tip: The hiring manager’s name works best in a cover letter for a transition to a new career. Can’t find it? You can say, “Dear XYZ Team Hiring Manager” instead.
Not sure this change of career cover letter format works best for your situation? We’ve got options. See our guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide
Start Your Career Change Cover Letter Irresistibly
That hiring manager? Cheryl? She’s seen a million cover letters.
She barely reads them.
Get her attention.
Do it with the first sentence or you’ll lose her.
Put an accomplishment in sentence #1 that:
- Blows her hair back.
- Matches her job ad like the last piece in a tricky puzzle.
These cover letter for career change samples show right from wrong:
Career Change Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]
Look at the first of these sample cover letter with no experience in the field snips. It shows you were born for this:
That persuasive career change cover letter opening sells it. Especially if automation was the keystone of the job ad.
But check out this cover letter for career change opening:
Oh-oh. The hiring manager just made a face.
Pro Tip: In an email cover letter for a transition to a new career, drop the snail mail address at the beginning. List your email and phone number at the end.
Want more examples to start your changing careers cover letter right? See our guide: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide
Write an Exciting Middle for Your Cover Letter for Career Change
The hiring manager loved your first paragraph. But then she dropped you like a Tinder reject.
What did you do wrong?
You didn’t keep her interest.
These career change cover letter samples show how:
Career Change Cover Letter Examples [Middle]
Check out the first of these sample cover letter with no experience in the field clips:
You’re changing careers, but you’re the new hire of the employer’s dreams.
You plucked the key skills from the job ad. Then you showed you’ve used each one to help employers massively.
But the next of our career change cover letter examples practically evaporates:
Dreams are beautiful, but they don’t get the job done. Hiring managers love passion, but they need proof. Your cover letter for career change needs to show you’re not a lemon.
Pro Tip: Not sure whether to use Mrs. or Miss. in your cover letter for changing careers? Neither. Use Ms. instead because it works for both married and single women.
Should your cover letter for a transition to a new career be a half a page? A full page? Two? See our guide: How Long Should A Cover Letter Be? Sample & Guide
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
End Your Career Change Cover Letter With a Pitch
They didn’t call.
Because you didn’t give them a reason.
Your cover letter for career change ending has to make them want to call you.
There’s a right way and a wrong way.
The right way: offer to give them something in the interview.
Check out these sample cover letter with no experience in the field snips:
Career Change Cover Letter Examples [Ending]
The next of our career change cover letter samples will make the hiring manager rush to call you:
Enticing. That career transition cover letter example has a shiny prize.
But the next of our changing careers cover letter examples sounds whiny:
Yikes. Don’t quit your day job. That career change cover letter example ending begs, but doesn’t offer.
Pro Tip: Make sure your cover letter for transition to a new career says why you’re interested in the company. Do a little research on the firm first to find out why it’s such a perfect fit.
Need more advice for how to write a cover letter for a career change? See our guide: How to Write a Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps
How to write a career change cover letter:
- Choose the right format. The 3-paragraph change-careers cover letter format says it short and sweet.
- Lead with an achievement. Your cover letter for career change needs to hook them fast. Do that with a past win that fits the new job.
- Prove you can make the switch. List accomplishments that prove transferable skills in your career transition cover letter middle.
- End your persuasive career change cover letter right. Offer something in your ending that the hiring manager wants.
Still not sure how to write a cover letter for changing careers? Wondering how your career change cover letter can prove you love the company? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!
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Sample Career Change Cover Letter and Writing Tips
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
- 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 email@example.com
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)
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.
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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 for 2023
I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your cover letter.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan My previous cover letter was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George
Career Change Cover Letter Example
How to write a career change cover letter, 1. use the correct career change cover letter formatting, 2. create a professional career change cover letter header with contact information, career change cover letter template: header, 3. introduce yourself and state the position that you’re applying for , change of career cover letter example: introduction, 4. highlight transferrable skills and relevant qualifications in a career change cover letter, cover letter for a career change: body paragraph, 5. explain why this is your dream job, career change cover letter example: third paragraph, 6. request an interview and end with a proper sign-off, persuasive career change cover letter example: closing, was it interesting here are similar articles.
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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..
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 anticipate 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.
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “ Employee Tenure in 2020 , https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf.” Accessed August 31, 2022.
2. CNBC. “ The Great Resignation is Likely to Continue , https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/25/great-resignation-55-percent-are-looking-to-change-jobs-over-the-next-year-.html.” Accessed August 31, 2022.
3. ADP. “ Calculating the True Cost to Hire Employees , https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2019/07/calculating-the-true-cost-to-hire-employees.aspx.” Accessed August 31, 2022.
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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How To Write A Career Change Cover Letter (With Examples)
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Career Change Cover Letter Example
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Summary. To write a career change cover letter you should first start with a professional header with your information as well as the hiring managers information. Be sure to find the hiring managers name to address the letter but if you are unable to, use their position title. Your opening line should be captivating and catch the readers attention. Even though changing your career may feel dramatic or drastic, the reality is that it isn’t an unusual step to take. The key, however, is to explain your reasons for the change to the hiring managers in your industry of choice, and your cover letter is one of the best places to do this. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to write a cover letter for this situation and show you some examples you can use as a reference. Key Takeaways Your cover letter should be concise (200-400 words), so you’ll need to grab the reader’s attention and get to the point quickly. Explain both why you decided to leave your old career and why you chose this particular new one in your cover letter. Show that you understand the position and company you’re applying to and explain why you’d be a good fit in your cover letter. How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter
Chances are you have researched several different cover letter examples and are still trying to settle on the perfect one. The good news is that all great cover letter templates will have a relatively similar structure. It should formatted in the normal business letter layout .
Remember that cover letters should be short; about half a page long, with 200-400 words (shorter is usually better), and 3-4 paragraphs.
Include the following sections in your cover letter:
Header (only for physical copies of your cover letter)
Sign-off and signature
You should think of a cover letter as a way to sell yourself to potential employers. That means expressing your qualifications, showing that you’ve been researching the company , and detailing why you would be perfect for the new job.
You never want to have just another generic cover letter, so here’s more on the specifics to craft your perfect cover letter :
Cover Letter Header
If you’re sending a physical copy of your cover letter, you should start with a professional header. Include the following information, formatted in the same way:
[Your name] [Your address] [Phone number] [Email] [Current date] [Hiring Manager name] [Title] [Company address]
Tom Timmins 34 Apple St., New York, NY (555)-555-5555 [email protected] 4/28/2021 Sara Bilson Director of Sales New Company 55 New Road, New York, NY
Cover Letter Greeting
Always do your best to find the name of the hiring manager . Check the job posting, the company’s website, and their LinkedIn page. If you strike out online, try calling the company and ask who the cover letter for your desired position should be sent to.
If you’re unable to find the hiring manager’s name, you can use “Dear Hiring Manager” or one of its better alternatives .
Dear Ms. Tanner, Dear Alix Sims, Dear Software Engineer Hiring Team,
Cover Letter Opening Lines
When writing a stellar cover letter, one of the “don’ts” is to open with a mundane sentence. Simply stating “I am reaching out to apply for [role] at [Company name]” will not set you apart from other job applicants or make a memorable first impression.
You want the opening line to be captivating while also remaining relevant to the position. Easy ways to do this are by sharing an experience that relates to the new job or expressing genuine enthusiasm for the role right away and why.
Remember, as a career changer, you want to highlight transferable skills and experiences. So, let’s say you’re trying to move from customer service to sales. A cover letter opening might look something like this:
Helping customers have positive experiences is a passion I’ve developed in over 4 years of customer service. With a proven track record of high customer engagement and retention, I’m ready to take my career to the next level by generating leads and sharing exciting opportunities with new and existing clients as a Sales Representative for XYZ Corp.
Cover Letter Body Paragraph(s)
In your cover letter’s body paragraph(s), you want to show recruiters that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to your skills.
There are your easily measurable hard skills , such as certifications, computer programs that you are proficient in, etc.
Then come your soft skills , which are character-based traits such as being detail-oriented, having superior time management skills, or being able to work in high-pressure environments. Speak to these soft skills that may not be as apparent within your resume and emphasize how they would be valuable in the new position.
A pro tip for choosing which transferable skills to focus on within your cover letter is to take a look at the job description. There you will find certain keywords that should definitely be featured within your letter.
ABC Inc. needs a Sales Representative who understands clients’ needs and can demonstrate unique value propositions to build trust and credibility. In my time as Customer Service Representative with XYZ Corp., I provided a high level of client service that earned me 99.7% positive customer reviews. I also worked closely with a team, mentoring and training new members to help achieve corporate goals and quotas. XYZ Corp. recognized my contributions by naming me “Customer Success Employee of the Month” in June 2020. I achieved this by maintaining spotless organizational skills to schedule calls, meetings, and client appointments most efficiently. When raised to a supervisory position, I quickly adapted to the demands of the new role by meeting with management to make sure our goals were aligned. This ensured that my team stayed on high-priority tasks, leading to a 17% reduction in customer wait time.
Notice how the candidate outlines her performance in previous jobs while focusing on transferable skills and experiences. Candidates that are already within the industry that you are applying for will likely have concrete examples of how they previously excelled in a similar role.
Even though you are just entering into this new career pathway , you still want to tell recruiters about your previous accomplishments.
If you increased sales, secured client acquisitions, received certain awards for reaching benchmarks, these are all concrete performance indicators. Being able to show how you excelled in other roles can translate to potential successes you may have within the new company. The job title might be different, but a win is a win.
Cover Letter Closing Lines
Your closing statement is as important as your opening lines, since it’s what the reader will walk away remembering most clearly.
A good way to end your cover letter is with a positive statement expressing your enthusiasm for the job and thanking the hiring manager for their time. A brief overview of your work background and a call to action are also appropriate to include.
Here’s an example of what this could look like:
I believe I’d be a great fit for this role and that my background in customer service would serve me well as a Sales Representative. I’d love to further discuss this opportunity with you and share how my experience could serve ABC Inc. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Cover Letter Sign-off and Signature
After you wrap up your letter, close with a professional “Sincerely,” followed by your signature. Here’s what this would look like for a hard copy letter:
Sincerely, [Your handwritten signature] [Your typed name]
And for an email or digital copy:
Sincerely, [Your typed name] [Your address] [Your phone number] [Your email address]
Now that you have all the basics of writing cover letters, it is time to craft your own. Take a look at the professional cover letter examples below, but keep in mind that they should be altered to your liking. Every cover letter should be tailored to the actual position, so also make sure to change the template as needed for each and every potential employer.
[Your name] [Your address] [Phone number] [Email] [Current date] [Hiring Manager name] [Title] [Company address] Dear Mr. Smith, Over the course of the last few months, I have had the wonderful opportunity to begin organizing events within my community for those experiencing financial hardship during COVID. Being able to assist those in need has awakened a passion within me for being able to empower communities, which is why I found City of Lake County’s job requisition for Community Engagement Specialist very exciting. Although my previous experience is primarily within the sales industry, I believe that my professional experience still translates well into this new industry. While at Telco Sales Corp, I was able to achieve the following: Acquired 50 new partnerships in Q1 2020 Increased sales overall by 102% year-over-year Maintained a 98% customer retention rate As a Community Engagement Specialist, the goal is to cultivate relationships and secure funding for community programs. My sales background has proven that I am able to build and maintain relationships while driving revenue. I also won several awards during my tenure, including back-to-back Employee of the Year acknowledgment and Lead Customer Care Advocate. I am ready to make this career transition as I have found my calling when it comes to bettering my community. The analytical and customer service skills from my previous industry paired with my planning and management capabilities would make me the ideal Community Engagement Specialist with Lake County. I appreciate you taking the time to learn more about my qualifications and experiences, and I look forward to learning more about the opportunity. Sincerely, (Signature for hard copy letter) [Your name]
Email cover letters will be exactly the same as a standard career change cover letter. However, there are additional considerations to be made with the actual execution.
You will want to include your full name and the role you are applying for within the subject line. Some job postings will specifically state whether the cover letter should be sent as an email attachment or within the body of the email, so pay close attention to requisition details.
If there is no specification, you can simply put the salutation (skip the preceding contact information that is in a standard cover letter ) and paste your letter into the email. Here is a simple, email career change cover letter sample:
Subject line: Sports Content Writer — [Your name]
Dear [Hiring manager name], Nothing is better than being able to create content that readers love to consume. Last year, I launched my sports blog and quickly realized that what started out as a hobby was my true passion. That is why though I have been working as a Regulatory Specialist the last five years, the Sports Content Writer role at Sports Co. would offer the perfect career transition. With my website, I was able to average over 7,000 unique visitors a month without any paid search campaigns. I also launched a community of over 10,000 sports fans on Facebook where readers are able to engage and ask questions related to the industry. My YouTube channel also currently has over 2,000 subscribers and counting, with new videos produced on a weekly cadence. As a Regulatory Specialist, I had to review a large volume of applications on a daily basis and ensure accuracy. I also had to update applications and send out correspondence for any missing information. This has helped me become a skilled proofreader , meaning that my content is publication-ready and requires little time to edit. Additional achievements while in this role have included: Maintaining an 100% accuracy rate on approved applications Receiving multiple Processor of the Month awards for completing the most applications over a 30-day period Being named Quality Assurance Lead for consistently proofing and sending over 100+ pieces of correspondence within a 7-day period Sports Co. is a company built on providing fun and engaging sports information to fans. Being that your site averages 100,000 views per day and is considered an authority in the sports industry, I feel like my skill set would only help add to the overall readership. Unlike other companies, Sports Co. also caters to less popular sports such as darts and pool. I have experience writing about these sports and numerous others on my own blog, with a knowledge of just about every sport imaginable. I believe that being able to work in a fast-paced environment, familiarity producing high volumes of content, and having a wide breadth of sports knowledge make me an ideal candidate for the Sports Content Writer position. I appreciate your time in reviewing my qualifications and I look forward to learning more about the opportunity. Best, [Your name] [Address] [Phone number] [Email] [LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)]
Explain why you’re seeking a career change. This is a question that just about any applicant seeking a new career would likely receive in a job interview , so it’s great to disclose it in your cover letter.
Employers generally want to know why you left your last employer and making a complete career change naturally leaves questions. Your reason could be as wanting to try something new in a post-COVID job market . You may have a friend that is in the industry and you feel that your skill set more closely aligns with a role more similar to theirs.
There really is no right or wrong as far as your reasoning; just make sure to give the hiring manager an idea of why you want the position even though your experience is elsewhere.
Although I excel at customer service, I find that I’m most engaged and performing at my highest level when I’m helping a customer find a new solution rather than fix a problem with their current product. When my supervisor commented on how no customer service rep she had managed had higher conversion rates than me, it stuck with me.
Show passion for your new direction. This is where you can truly shine and completely differentiate yourself from other applicants. Why are you passionate about the industry, and more specifically, this particular role?
You want to explain why you are excited to be on this journey and how you would be an excellent fit for the team. Discuss where this passion comes from to add a personal touch, then explain why having this drive will help you succeed in the role.
Being able to help customers find quality solutions while maintaining brand loyalty is a real passion of mine. I hope to bring your company’s product and services to a wider audience because I truly believe that there’s no better POS service around than what you offer.
Prove you understand the company. Hiring managers want to hire people that have a genuine, vested interest in their organization. Do you have personal reasons as to why you want to join the company? Do they have a social impact team whose efforts and initiatives you admire?
Scrape beneath the surface and do research. Show the recruiter how your core values align with those of the company.
You can start with looking at the company’s website , but you should dig deeper by also visiting LinkedIn. Take a look at the different profiles of employees, paying close attention to those that might have a similar role to the one you are applying for. You can learn more about a company from the people that work there versus website boilerplate.
I notice that you have a corporate motto of “Listen First,” which really resonates with me. Sales, like customer service, is all about accurately identifying pain points and offering solutions that may not be apparent to the customer at first. I make it a point to allow clients free reign at the start of a discussion, so as to better inform my strategy for helping them.
How long should a career change cover letter be?
A career change cover letter should be about half a page or three and four paragraphs. Your letter should only be between 200 and 400 words so it’s important to be concise and to the point.
How do you state that you are changing a career in a cover letter?
You should explain to the reader why you are seeking a career change and show passion for your new direction when stating a career change in a cover letter.
A potential employer will want to know why you left your previous employer and they will wonder why you left the field completely. Explaining your reasons will help give them a better understanding.
What should be avoided when writing a cover letter?
You should avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes in your cover letter. It can be seen as unprofessional if you misspelled anything in your letter. You should also avoid making your letter generic because your recipient will be able to tell. Be sure to tailor it to each company that you are applying to and try to find the name of your recipient as well.
How To Write A Career Change Cover Letter
Nicole Ozburn Human Resources Director
Some things are industry specific but can be quickly learned due to your similar experience in another industry. For instance, if I were looking to change my career from Human Resources to Marketing, I would talk about my recruitment skills and how I have marketed jobs in the past. I would also advise to describe the reason for the change in career. If it is due to COVID-19, the economy, or recently acquiring additional skills through education, the employer may be compelled to give my resume some consideration.
Kevin Daniels Owner and Lead Copywriter
The idea of capturing the reader’s attention at the outset is an excellent one–that has proven to be effective.
You could even start with a quote from a known expert in the field of interest (or simply a famous person)–and use this as a jumping-off place for the content of your letter. Also, using a bulleted format for the body of the letter can be eye-catching (because it’s different)–and will provide structure for seamlessly popping tailored content in/out of your letter as needed.
Translatable skills are extremely important with transition cover letters (and resumes too). First, try Googling “Work Skills” and then “Work Traits.” You will get many, many examples of each (which will help you discern the difference)–and will help you choose ones that ring true for you; ones that are aligned with your professional brand.
Also, remember to avoid too much content (or any) content unique to the industry you’re leaving.
In my 14-year career with Boeing Commercial Airplanes, I became a noted expert in DfX and APQP methodologies…
In the recent decade-plus of my experience, I have achieved noteworthy SME status in Lean/Six Sigma and related compliance directives delivering millions of dollars of recurring savings to the business…
This uses the far more universal “Lean” and Six Sigma” references that will have meaning in any business or manufacturing environment, as opposed to pigeonholing yourself as Aerospace-centric.”
Harvard Extension School – Resume and Cover Letters
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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.
Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.
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Career Change Cover Letter Sample ... Dear [Hiring Manager Name],. I'm so excited to apply for the IT Project Manager position at Weniger
Tips for Writing a Career Change Cover Letter · 1. Emphasize Your Transferable Skills · 2. Highlight Your Superior Performance in Previous
In my most recent position with [ Name of Your Current or Most Recent Company ] I have succeeded in [ Relevant Responsibilities / Duties / Projects You've
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
How To Write A Career Change Cover Letter (With Examples) · Your cover letter should be concise (200-400 words), so you'll need to grab the reader's attention