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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.
(Sign your name here)
Find out more
- 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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How To Write A Career Change Cover Letter That Gets Read
By Ian Taylor, CV-Library
Even if it’s not required according to the job advertisement, a cover letter is always a good thing to include in any job application.
If you’re looking to change your career, then it is essential to write a cover letter that makes you stand out .
Here, we detail five sections to help you build a cover letter that explains your change of direction and convinces the recruiter to read your CV and find out more about you.
Ultimately, the idea is to secure yourself an interview for the job, so here’s how:
1. The opening
The opening of your career change cover letter needs to be eye-catching – the person reading must want to read on.
You need to cover why you’re writing the letter; what job you’re applying for and how you found out about it.
You could go for a standard “I’d like to apply for the job of Office Manager that I saw advertised on LinkedIn.”
But something like “I’d love to come and work for you as your new Office Manager – the job I recently saw advertised on CV-Library ,” shows more energy and enthusiasm.
If you know anyone at the company, now is the time to mention them – but make sure whoever you do mention knows that you are going to do so, out of professional courtesy.
2. Sell yourself
Why are you the right person for the job? If you’re looking to make a career change, this is where you need to sell yourself.
What will you bring to the role? If you’re currently a “career-oriented customer service professional that seeks to find the best resolution for all parties”, then you should say that.
We’ll come to the reason for your career change next, but this section is all about why you’re great at what you do right now, so make sure you state that clearly.
3. Why are you changing careers?
This is the really important section of your career change cover letter; the nitty-gritty, if you will.
Why are you deciding to halt your current career path and pivot to another one? There are some very good reasons why you may be doing this.
Do any of these justifications sound familiar or relevant to your situation?
- You’re working long hours for little pay or reward – you want to improve your work-life balance and pay
- You’re working on something you’re not particularly enthusiastic about and would like to be more invested in what you do for a living
- You’re a seasoned professional who keeps getting passed over for senior roles, so now you’re ready to move on
- You’ve just started in an area that may not be a good fit for you and your skills, and you’d like to get out sooner rather than later
If so, make sure you make it clear why you are looking to change your career, but always remain professional. Do NOT be rude about your current employer, manager or co-workers.
Remember, if you come over as unprofessional, you are unlikely to get an interview.
4. What you’ll bring to the business and role
This is where you list your transferable skills, also known as ‘soft skills’.
If your change of direction is significant, then it may feel like you don’t have appropriate skills, but that’s probably an incorrect assumption.
As we all travel through life, school, college and/or university, we pick up skills – even our hobbies and pastimes teach us new things. These are known as transferable skills.
Here is a list of the top transferable skills you will most likely have picked up through life and work:
- Verbal communication – speaking and listening well
- Written communication – good grammar, spelling and coming across clearly
- Teamwork – working with and for others to achieve common goals
- Leadership – you don’t have to be a manager or even a leader to show leadership
- Problem-solving – can you come up with solutions to issues?
- Time management – do you manage your time well and get your tasks done on time?
- Flexibility – how well do you handle change?
Use a real-world example or two where you have used one (or more) of your skills to solve an issue and illustrate how this will benefit the business and the role.
5. Close off the letter
When you sign off your career change cover letter , make sure that you thank the reader for their time and assure them that any questions they may have will be answered promptly, should they reach out.
One grammar note: If you’ve addressed your cover letter to a named person, then make sure you sign off with “Yours sincerely.” If not, then address it “Dear Sir or Madam,” and sign off with “Yours faithfully.”
If you wish to be less formal, it’s also acceptable to sign off with “Best regards,” or “Kind regards,” too.
After one of the above sign-offs, include your name on the next line, followed by your email address and mobile number. You could also consider including your LinkedIn profile address:
(Optional: LinkedIn profile URL)
Final thoughts: how to write a career change cover letter
Bear in mind that a cover letter should be no more than one side of A4 and is an invitation to read your CV and then call you in for an interview.
Don’t forget to tailor your CV to the job description too. Again, this needs to focus on your transferable or soft skills.
The only thing left is to wish you the very best of luck in your career change!
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How to write a cover letter.
A cover letter introduces you to an employer and asks them to think about your application.
It’s a short letter, usually 3 to 5 paragraphs long.
When to include a cover letter
You should always include a cover letter when you apply for a job using a CV.
You can write it as an email if you’re applying online or print a copy to go with a paper application.
When writing a cover letter, let the employer know you’re keen by showing that you’ve researched the company. Learn more about what they do through:
- their website
- recent news articles
- talking to people you know who work there
Send it to the right person
It's important to try to address your cover letter to someone by name. Check you have the details of the person you need to send it to.
You'll need their name and preferred title. For example, ‘Dr’, ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Ms’, and their job title. You should also make sure you have the right company name and address, including postcode.
If you do not know their name
If the job advert does not include a name you can check the company website. Try to find details of the head of the department, head of human resources or a recruitment manager.
If you still cannot find a name, you can start your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
Introduce yourself and explain how you found the advertised job. You can mention the job title, and reference number if there is one.
If you’re asking about any job openings and not applying to a vacancy, tell them what sort of job you’re looking for. Let the employer see how keen you are to work for them.
Show you're right for the job
Highlight the skills and experience you have that match what the employer is looking for.
Convince them that you're enthusiastic about working for them. Let them know you share their work values, culture and style.
Give extra information
If you have gaps in your employment history, you could talk about the skills you gained while you were out of work.
If you’ve mentioned on your CV that you have a disability, you might want to talk more about this in your cover letter. Organisations like Disability UK can give you advice on how to do this. You do not have to mention your disability at this stage if you prefer not to.
You can get more help with specialist advice on finding work if you have a disability.
Ending your cover letter
Thank the employer for considering your application. Let them know that they can get more details from your CV, and tell them you're looking forward to hearing from them.
Let them know how they can best contact you. Make sure your contact details are correct on both your cover letter and CV.
Yours sincerely or yours faithfully
If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should end the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’.
If you’ve addressed the letter ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, you should end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
Tips for writing a cover letter
When writing your cover letter, remember to:
- write a new one for every job you apply for and make sure it’s tailored to the company and the specific role
- use the same font and size as you do for your CV, so it looks consistent
- make sure the company name and recruiter’s details are correct
- use the right language and tone: keep it professional and match the keywords used by the employer in their job advert
- show you’ve done your research into the job and the company
- highlight your most relevant skills and experience to stand out from other applicants
- back up any statements you make with facts and use the STAR method
- double check spelling and grammar before you send it
- keep a copy of your cover letter as they may ask you about it in an interview
How to write a CV
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