How to Write a Cover Letter When Changing Careers

Mar 21, 2017

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

A good changing career cover letter can provide the perfect opportunity to highlight those critical skills you’ll need for your new profession, and convince any hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for the job. In this important post, we’ll provide some tips that can help you achieve those objectives, and demonstrate how you can effectively use that advice to create the ideal cover letter to help you change careers. We’ll also show a good example of a career change cover letter.

In our fast-paced and rapidly-changing economy, people are changing careers at rates that would have been unthinkable just a few short generations ago. That can create problems for many applicants, however, as they may not be sure how they can use their resume to properly convey the right experience needed for their new career. The good news is that they can usually take care of that concern by using that other vital application tool: the cover letter.

Identify and Highlight Relatable and Transferable Skills

Okay, maybe you don’t have the exact skills that the prospective employer is looking for – but does that mean that you’re out of luck? Perish the thought! What you need to do when you’re lacking specific skill sets is learn to identify closely-related skills that will translate well into the new position. These transferable skills should be emphasized in your cover letter. The key is to figure out which of the skills you have best match those that the company needs.

 Cover Letter Tip for Changing Careers

This may require you to spend some time analyzing the company’s needs to identify the core skills that they seem to be looking for. Once you’ve honed in on those needs, you can begin to examine your own skill sets to determine which of your skills can help to make you a great candidate for the job. You then emphasize those skills within the body of the cover letter, including specific examples of how they have helped you to achieve certain results and goals.

Focus on Your Results

The fact is that you’re almost certain to be up against other candidates who have all the right skills and experience, so you’ll need something else to help you stand out from the crowd. That something is best summed up in one word: accomplishments. The transferable skills that you possess may be worth ten times the next candidate’s relevant skills if you can demonstrate that your skill set helped to achieve positive results in your prior position.

To showcase those results, you need to emphasize the success that you’ve enjoyed in prior jobs, providing details that help to connect those successes to your transferable skills. From there, you only need to complete the picture by explaining how your prior achievements and transferable skills can offer tangible benefits to the new company. Of course, you don’t want to exaggerate, since the hiring manager may very well check up on your story, but don’t be afraid to sell yourself in this area of the cover letter.

Demonstrate Real Passion

Inspiration may only make up a small fraction of what you need to be successful, but it provides 100% of the passion that you bring to your job. Let your passion for the company be on full display, so that the hiring manager knows that you care about getting the position. Take the time to do your homework so that you have a firm understanding about what the company does, and how it hopes to achieve its goal. That will enable you to properly convey your passion for the position in the body of your cover letter, and can even help to explain why you’re looking to change your career.

Modify Your Resume to Reflect These Goals

If this is your first time creating a career change cover letter, be sure to review your resume when you’re done so that everything is properly coordinated. You don’t want any inconsistencies between those two important documents, so make any resume changes that are needed to keep them aligned with one another. Remember, it’s the little things that often make the difference between success or failure!

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Your Name 

Your City/State | Your Contact details (phone and email)


Contact Name

Job Title You’re Pursuing

Company Name


City, State, Zip Code


Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms or Hiring Manager

I am excited to express my interest in the open position for a Customer Service Manager that is currently posted on the ABC Corporation website. I’m confident that my career experience, education, and core skills will help to make me an ideal candidate for the job, and would enjoy an opportunity to discuss the position with you in greater detail.

In my prior career opportunities, I have worked closely with clients and other core decision-makers. That has helped to hone my communications skills to enable me to readily identify and resolve customer needs, with an eye toward the goal of maintaining and further enhancing their positive relationship with the company.

As my resume demonstrates, I have more than a decade worth of experience in sales and marketing, and have worked in virtually every area of the industry. I am now ready for a new challenge, and your work in the Doohickey industry has captured my interest and attention. The ABC Corporation’s groundbreaking efforts are something that I would enjoy being a part of, and I am confident that my skills can help to further the company’s goals.

In reviewing the job posting’s requirements, it is clear that the position requires someone with keen problem-solving abilities. In my previous role at XYZ Corp, I was responsible for re-ordering the customer rally response department, which improved problem resolution times by more than 23% in the first month after the reorganization.

I also worked with our sales team to organize client tracking and integrate new client management systems that improved retention by 38% after one year of use. That helped to facilitate a 17% growth in revenues thanks to product and service upsell opportunities.

I would love to have the chance to discuss this opportunity with you in a personal interview, so please contact me at your convenience to schedule a date and time that works for you.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Your Name

Summing it Up

As you can see, the cover letter for a career change is similar to many others, in that you still want to focus on what you can do for the company. By emphasizing your transferable skills, focusing on past achievements, and demonstrating your interest in the new company, you should be able to leverage your existing skill set in a way that sets you apart from the crowd.

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

Pin It on Pinterest