Writing an eye-catching cover letter can be a challenge. And, when you’re changing careers, this task can be even more difficult. If you’re not sure where to begin, follow these guidelines.
A Step-By-Step Guide for Writing a Cover Letter When You’re Changing Careers
Step #1 – Give a Memorable Introduction
Use the first few sentences of your cover letter to make a great first impression. In other words, avoid overused and dull introductions such as, “I am writing to express my interest…” or “I am excited to apply…” Instead, take advantage of this opportunity to grab the reader’s attention with a story or an interesting tidbit related to the job. For example, an office manager looking to transition into nursing could open with, “After eight years of managing a doctor’s office, I realized interacting with patients was my favorite part of the job.”
Step #2 – Tell Your Story
Some organizations are hesitant to hire career changers. They may worry this person is indecisive or a job hopper. Prove them wrong by explaining WHY you are making a change. A compelling story will make you look both dedicated and sincere. Maybe you noticed there was one part of your job you particularly enjoyed? Maybe you found yourself veering off in a different direction? Or maybe you discovered a new passion? Express honest excitement and interest. Even if you didn’t like your last job, keep things positive. Complaining only suggests you may switch careers every time you are unhappy. And no one wants to hire that person.
Step #3 – Highlight Transferable Skills
You may be switching careers, but this doesn’t mean you lack the talents needed for a new position. Read the job description carefully and make a list of all the requirements you meet. Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management, apply across jobs and industries. And, many technical skills, like data analysis, are transferable too. Pick your top three to five applicable skills and feature those in your cover letter. Bullet points, along with brief descriptions, are a smart way to make your qualifications jump off the page.
Step #4 – Finish Strong
Finally, you need to pull everything together. Remember to focus on the company, not on you. Although you may be “excited to learn new skills,” stay away from statements reminding the hiring manager you aren’t 100% qualified. As a non-traditional candidate, you want to emphasize how your unique insights, experiences, and perspectives would allow you to bring true value to this organization.
Could You Use Some Help with Changing Careers?
Switching careers isn’t easy. Fortunately, the expert recruiters at Aventure Staffing are here for you. We place light industrial workers, medical staff, and office professionals in Sioux City, Iowa, and the surrounding regions. We would be happy to help you navigate your career change AND land your next great job. Contact us today and let’s get started!