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how to write compelling career change cover letter

How to Write a Winning ‘Career Change’ Cover Letter

If your career path is no longer fulfilling, embarking on a completely new career is important; however, it can be overwhelming.

You may have consulted with a career advisor who gave excellent career planning advice, you probably considered many career choices and you may have reskilled with an online education while you continued to work.

But even with a solid online education, career advice and a mountain of enthusiasm, applying for a job in a new field is hard! The fact remains: you’ll have limited work experience on your resume. So how do you get noticed? You write a winning career change cover letter: that’s how! Here’s how you do it.

Natalie Scanlon, Founder of Written Communications, says by following these five steps your cover letter won’t be left at the bottom of the pile.


  1. Transferable Skills

This is at the top for a reason. When you are changing careers, there will be many skills that you can transfer to a new position. Review the ‘Job Tasks and Responsibilities’ of each individual role and allow this to dictate what you should or shouldn’t include in your cover letter. For example; ‘organising travel and accommodation arrangements’ could indicate that you need to be able to manage tasks for others. This is something you should explain in your cover letter and is skill that is transferable across industries.


  1. Edit Carefully

Always remember to edit your cover letter for every job you apply for. This is a tedious task, but every role is different, and this requires some care and attention.


  1. Keep it Short

Don’t make your cover letter more than one-page long. In this day and age, there are hundreds of applicants for one role. The longer the cover letter, the less likely the employer is to read it!


  1. Write a Letter

Your cover letter and your resume are two ‘different’ documents. Use the cover letter as a tool to explain why you are the best candidate for the role; in comparison, use your resume to show your experience and education where applicable.


  1. Pay Attention to Details

ALWAYS re-read your cover letter. If you have ‘pays attention to details’, or ‘Microsoft Office Expert’ listed as one of your ‘skills’ on your resume, you need to show that you know how to spell and write accordingly. Rather than telling your potential employer what you do, show them! It works wonders.