Sample Career Change Cover Letter (Updated for 2021)
There are a variety of reasons why you would choose to change careers. Whatever the cause, convincing Hiring Managers or recruiters that you’re the best candidate for a potential role – even though your past experience in the field is small – would be critical to your success.
We’ve already talked about how to write the right career change resume , as well as how to prepare an Australian cover letter , but your career change cover letter will help you translate some crucial transferrable skills.
Here’s a cover letter sample created especially for those looking for a career change.
Write a straightforward and simple opening statement. Describe the role you’re applying for and the company name.
Mention your previous experience and express your confidence that your skills are transferrable to the new role.
“This is to express my interest in the Client Engagement Officer role at ABC Company. Although I have spent most of my career in public accounting firms, I am confident that my achievements, competencies and skills can translate to this role and add exceptional value to ABC Company’s HR Team.”
Second paragraph – your reason why making a career change
It’s time to explain why you’re considering a career transition.
You want to convey to potential employers why you believe the role is the ideal job and perfect change for you.
Keep your reasons as short as possible. If the recruiter sees that your decision was well-considered, they would be far more likely to believe you while evaluating the rest of your submission.
“I started to consider this career change after receiving consistently positive feedback from my Manager in the past three years for my ability to sustain long-term client relationships. While I cannot dismiss what I have learned and accomplished as an Accountant, I have become more aware that a huge chunk of my responsibilities revolves around interacting with clients from all levels. I have always worked to build a positive relationship with customers and proactively meet their needs.”
Third paragraph – your suitability for the role
After describing your reasons for a career change, use concrete examples to emphasise what you can do for your potential employers.
Highlight the transferrable skills you’ve built in your previous roles, and try to apply them to the position you’re applying for.
Although not all skills will be transferable, you’ll be surprised how many of the same skills can still be applied in a variety of positions. Some examples include problem-solving, communications, relationship-building and adaptability.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, the job description should be able to point you in the right direction. Choose up to 3 key skills from the job description and communicate how your abilities connect to each one.
“Here is what caught my attention about the role and how my experience could benefit ABC Company…
Capacity to deliver high-quality services: My work as a Public Accountant entails liaising with small- and medium-sized companies to provide information on a range of accounting services available, assisting them to identify the solutions relevant to their needs. As a trusted client adviser, I engage with clients on a 1-1 basis to uncover their requirements, ensuring that the company provides them with services that would add value to their business.
Highly developed written skills: Throughout my previous positions, I have prepared clear, logical and well-structured correspondence and reports, frequently tailoring my message to the needs of my audience.
Demonstrated ability to contribute actively as part of a team: While I am accountable for the accurate completion of my work within accounting timeframes and quality requirements, I work collaboratively with other team members, including assisting in other work areas during busy periods. I am equally responsive to changes and can make effective decisions within my area of responsibility, understanding when it is appropriate to escalate complex issues as needed.”
Thank the employer for their time in considering your application. Restate your interest in the role as well.
“I am excited about contributing to ABC Company’s objective of delivering consistent and innovative services to its clients. Thank you for your time in reviewing my application. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Yours sincerely, John Doe”
Changing jobs can be difficult. However, career change cover letters will go a long way towards helping you articulate how your talents can fit into a new industry or position.
Getting an interview within a new job sector all comes down to persuading Recruiters and Hiring Manager that your qualifications and expertise are transferrable. Since it’s impossible to do this with only your resume , you should always use a cover letter in your application.
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3 of the best templates for making a career change
Time for a career change? But not sure where to start?
Here's our three best templates for making a career change:
From making a good first impression to getting ready to resign from a role, we've got you covered. Our free resumé template, free cover letter template and free resignation template will help you take the first steps and put it all in writing:
- Free resumé template : Think of your resumé as a summary of why you’d be a good match for a role – capturing a potential employer’s interest quickly.
- Free cover letter template : A cover letter is all about making a great first impression and giving your job application the best chance of making progress.
- Free resignation letter template : Leaving on good terms can make for a smoother transition - and your resignation letter is part of leaving on a positive note.
Download our free templates and make them your own.
- How to follow up on your application or interview (with email templates)
- The true cost of making a career change
- 6 mistakes to avoid when making a career change
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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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How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter: 50+ Year Olds
In this post, cover letter = important, your career change cover letter template, why your age makes you valuable, some transferable skills, professional versus personal, want to beef up your resume.
In this post Show
You’ve decided to change careers , looked for employment opportunities , and perhaps even completed further study to prepare yourself for a new career in your dream industry.
Now, it’s time to start applying and you’ve realised the importance of the cover letter for your job application!
The cover letter to your career change resume acts as a personal introduction to your potential employer. How you present yourself has the ability to either put you on the short-list of potential candidates or ensure you’ll never be contacted by the company.
Your cover letter requires considerable effort to strike an effective balance of personal yet professional, while highlighting how your age and experience (no matter how seemingly unrelated it may be to your dream role) makes you the best person for the job.
The first paragraph of your career change cover letter should be positive and to the point. Introduce yourself and express your interest in the role you’re applying for. If a professional contact has referred you, ensure you mention this industry connection within the first few sentences.
Clearly state your interest in pursuing a career change while acknowledging your current role. Be excited and confident about your capabilities to thrive in this new position. For example:
“While I’ve spent the last five years working as an executive assistant developing exceptional time-management, communication skills, and professional discretion, I believe my background will provide valuable and diverse skills to your HR department. Pursuing a role within HR is a professional goal of mine, and I believe the role of Human Resources Officer is a great opportunity to begin my career path in this new field.”
There are four main things to highlight in the body of your career change cover letter.
Why are this company and this role perfect for your pursuit of a career change?
In the body of your cover letter, it’s essential to tailor your choice of words and overall tone to the company you’re applying to work for. By personalising your cover letter to the business, you will demonstrate your understanding of the specific role and the company’s overall mission, and values.
To do this, you need to do some research and careful reading:
- Read through the company’s website and any other related materials.
- Take note of any significant projects they’ve been involved with; their client demographic, etc.
- Thoroughly read through the job description and pick out keywords to use in your writing – these are often found in the ‘Selection Criteria’ section of a job listing.
- Try to mimic the tone of the company – are they excitable? Modern? More conservative in their approach? Do they exude professionalism, or do they have a more laid-back vibe?
How does your past work experience prepare you for this role?
Even if your previous work seems completely unrelated to the role you’re applying for, this is often not the case. Acknowledging your previous experience is important. However, how you frame this experience is essential.
Consider your past roles and what specific skills may be transferable to your new role. These are called transferable skills. Often, these skills are soft skills – non-technical personal attributes that make you invaluable within a work environment (more about these later!).
Lastly, if you’ve completed any work experience or further education to support your career change, ensure to mention this explicitly. This will demonstrate to the recruiter your willingness to learn and your commitment to your dream job.
Why is your age an asset?
Towards the end of the body, it may be worth directly stating why your age could be a positive addition to the company (we can help to articulate this with tips below!). This section may be helpful to frame your circumstance as a career changer in a light the hiring manager may not have previously considered.
Explain any resume gaps
If you have any large resume gaps, it’s worth quickly explaining these gaps here. If you need some quick tips on how to do that, this is how to explain a resume gap .
To conclude, write a short paragraph reiterating your excitement to be considered for this job opportunity. Thank the reader and suggest the next point of communication. For example:
I would like to thank you for reading my application, and I look forward to hearing from you. I am available for a phone call or meeting any time to answer any questions you may have for me.
Ageism is unfortunately still an issue, and it’s an understandable concern for those looking to change careers later in their professional journey. However, the economic and business benefits of encouraging older workers to continue or return to work are increasingly becoming public knowledge.
The benefits of an older workforce include lowering the $10.8 billion economic loss Australia experiences due to not utilising the skills and experience an older workforce can provide.
Older workers greatly benefit businesses and organisations by:
- Providing a skillset only developed through years of experience
- Demonstrating a strong commitment to work, fostering similar attitudes in the workplace among younger employees
- Providing a more relatable presence for a business’ older demographic of customers and clients
- Promoting collaborative diversity within the workplace by encouraging the sharing of skills and experience between older and younger work colleagues
As mentioned in our step-by-step cover letter, it’s important to highlight your transferable skills! Some of these skills may include:
- Communication (spoken and written)
- Creative thinking
- Leadership (mention any leadership roles you have had)
- Conflict resolution
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Strong work ethic
- Time management
- Organisational skills
You may realise that some of your more technical skills are an asset to your new role as well, such as:
- General computer skills
- Data collection and analysis
- Report writing and presentation
Your cover letter can’t be a list of dry facts, nor should it belong to prose of personal reflection. Carefully choose the most relevant skills and experiences for the position you’re applying for, that also reflect your passion and excitement. Write about these with a personal touch, and your personality will naturally carry throughout the letter.
Making a Career Change as an Older Adult: The Complete Guide
In this guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about changing careers as an older adult.
If you’d like to learn more about starting your career change, what it’s like to be a mature-age student, picking a career path, or even writing career change cover letters, all the information you need is here.
Read The Guide
Ready and determined to step into your desired new industry? Want to feel confident about your application? You may be considering further education options to help you prepare for your dream role.
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cover letter examples.
Standard cover letter.
For candidates with some experience looking to transition into a similar role
Dear (hiring manager’s name),
I am writing to apply for the position of (job role) at (company name), as advertised at (the place where you found the job listing).
I believe I would be an ideal candidate for this position, having had five years of experience working in a (previous job role) in (relevant industry). In my previous position, my responsibilities included managing a team of six in the (relevant department), organising communication for both internal and external purposes and creating content for company-wide promotion. In doing so, I demonstrated my creativity, communication, and organisational skills while coordinating other outputs on a mass scale. During my time in (my previous job role), I boosted online engagement by 12 per cent and was responsible for managing highly successful (projects or examples of work).
My enclosed resume speaks to my compatibility with (company name). I have been following your organisation for some time and have found (company name)’s work very stimulating - particularly recent projects like (example). My interest in (relevant interest, skill or experience) aligns closely with (company name)’s objectives within (relevant industry), and I believe this shared vision will allow us both to prosper. The role of (job title) at (company name) excites me, and I am sure I can be a valuable asset to your organisation.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you further. I can be reached at (your contact information).
career change cover letter
For candidates looking further afield and hoping to switch up their career
I am writing to apply for the position of (job role) at (company name), as advertised at (the place where you found the job listing). Please find my resume enclosed for review.
With four years of experience in IT, I wish to transition into a communications role, having had the opportunity to develop my interest in my previous position. Although as (previous role title), my duty was internal management of company IT systems, I was responsible for company-wide resources and coordinated across various state departments. I received three commendations for excellent interpersonal support from the executive board and was vital in spearheading (previous company’s name)’s ‘Ask an Expert’ campaign.
I believe that the organisational, managerial and interpersonal skills I developed in IT - coupled with my interdisciplinary perspective - make me uniquely qualified for the role of (job title). I am convinced that (company name)’s vision of increasing the accessibility of online education makes it the perfect place for me to transfer my knowledge and skills into a communications role. In doing so, I will be a genuine asset to your organisation. Recent ventures, like (company example), have me excited about the future of (company name) and how I could contribute to it.
a company-focused cover letter
For bolder candidates interested in a company that isn’t currently advertising vacancies
I am writing to inquire about possible job openings at (company name). I have been following the company for some time and recently found their (example of work) to be very inspiring. I am interested in a role in (relevant industry/profession/division) and was hoping to learn more about any potential opportunities at your organisation. Please find my resume enclosed for review.
I am a recent (degree name) graduate working in the (industry name) field and looking to further my career. During my time as a (job title), I have regularly exceeded targets, helping to boost company revenue by 5 per cent last year. I also demonstrated organisational ability when coordinating the company conference and leadership skills when chairing meetings between graduate staff members. I believe the drive and creativity I have shown in my career would prove valuable to your company.
My resume illustrates my determination to have a successful career in (industry name). I have found that the work being carried out by your organisation is particularly appealing, with recent projects like (example 1) and (example 2) closely matching my interests. If there is a potential opening within your organisation’s (area or field) team, I would not only be highly grateful for consideration but believe that my experience and skill set can help the company continue to prosper.
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss any possible vacancies at (company name) and provide additional information regarding the benefits I could bring to the organisation. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you further.
For more tips about furthering your career, visit our career advice page .
career break cover letter
For candidates looking to re-enter the workforce after a career break.
I believe that my nine years of experience in (previous role) with (past company) have given me the skills needed to thrive in this position. My past duties included liaising with business partners, organising internal and external events, managing the company calendar and supervising a team of nine employees across the (relevant department). In this position, I cultivated my organisational and managerial abilities and was awarded employee of the month five times. I was also responsible for securing a partnership with (insert business name), which boosted (past company)’s output by 14 per cent, and managed the launch of (past company)’s website in 2017.
From 2019 to 2021, I elected to take a professional break to consider the future of my career. During that time, I travelled through Europe and vastly expanded my cultural awareness, communication skills and ability to negotiate challenging circumstances. Of note was the time I spent volunteering as an English support teacher in France for two months. I am confident that these experiences have contributed to my status as a well-rounded employee and team member.
For some time, I have been following your organisation with interest. The prospect of (job role) at (company name) has me incredibly excited to return to work and to utilise my updated skillset to the benefit of (company name). I believe that my international experiences will contribute to your organisation’s global mindset and expand culturally diverse markets. International projects that (company name) has been involved with recently, like (example), are particularly stimulating.
redundancy cover letter
For candidates dealing with a recent redundancy
Dear (hiring manager's name),
I am writing to apply for the position of (job role) at (company name), as advertised at (the place where you found the job listing). Please see my enclosed resume for review.
With more than three years of experience in the (relevant industry), I believe that I would be an ideal candidate for this job. In my previous role as (job name), I demonstrated the organisational skills, creativity and drive that would be well suited to your company. My duties involved liaising with video and graphics departments to coordinate multimedia content, relationship building with external clients and overseeing our marketing output.
During my time as a (job role), I was responsible for increasing company turnover by 15 per cent, implementing several new measures to boost revenue and cut expenditure. I believe I can display similar financial acumen at (prospective company name) while furthering my knowledge of economic principles.
I believe I can bring the expertise and determination required for (company name) to continue its success in (relevant country) and abroad. The role of (job title) is exciting and one that I believe is an excellent fit for my skill set and experience. And I am available to start immediately.
N.B I would suggest the redundancy explanation should not be featured in your cover letter but instead discussed briefly once contacted. And in a simple sentence:e.g. due to the company's financial difficulties, they made many cuts throughout the organisation. I took a redundancy package.
school leavers cover letter
For candidates who’ve recently graduated or left school.
As you can see from my resume, I have recently completed my (exam name), where I achieved (overall grade) while studying (relevant subjects). I believe that the skills acquired during my studies make me an excellent fit for this role. During my time in education, I demonstrated time management skills by juggling exam revision alongside my prefect duties. I also showed leadership skills as part of my role as captain of the school rugby team. What’s more, I believe that the ambition and drive I showed when spearheading the Summer Fete charity effort make me a viable candidate for a position at your organisation.
My work experience role at a local newspaper furthered my enthusiasm for a career in media. As part of this role, I demonstrated my attention to detail by proofreading copy and my ambitious character by pushing for greater responsibility. This was ultimately rewarded through the opportunity to write a small news piece for the paper’s website. I believe that my achievements here and the teamwork skills I demonstrate as part of my charity volunteer work would serve me well in your organisation's (job name) role.
Aside from my professional and academic achievements, my passion for writing would also be helpful for this position. I am a regular online blogger writing about (subject), which I believe shows the level of creativity I could bring to your company. Although only a hobby, I put a great deal of time and effort into each post and furthered my online web design knowledge.
With my academic and professional achievements, I believe I can add significant value to (company name). The role of (insert job title) excites me, and I am sure it will provide the perfect starting point for my career in (industry name).
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