Making the decision to change careers can be exciting, but it can also be a bit frightening. While you’ve likely established yourself in your current field, now you must show hiring managers why you would be a good fit in this new role you are pursuing. While your resume provides a strong foundation and details your education, experience, and accomplishments, sometimes you feel you need just a bit more to make a connection.
Enter the cover letter.
A well-crafted cover letter can be an effective segue into your resume and give hiring managers more insight into why you’re applying for the position. You have more flexibility to add additional details and context that your resume doesn’t necessarily offer. Here are a few ways to make the most of your cover letter:
Provide Context for Your Decision
Your cover letter is the perfect place to talk about why you’ve decided to make a career change and what motivated this shift. Is it something you’ve always been passionate about? Was it spurred by a project or leadership role in your current position? Give some context as to why you’re applying for this job at this time.
Call Out Your Transferable Skills
Some transitions have clear similarities between job skills such as moving from sales to marketing or vice versa. Others require more creativity to see where there is overlap. Consider your greatest strengths and how they lend themselves to the type of work you want to do. This often comes in the form of soft skills such as relationship building, problem solving, critical thinking, or organization. But it can also include more technical skills such as data analysis, project management, or budgeting.
Find the connection between projects or accomplishments in your past work and what you want to do in the future. Talk about how saving a tough account required you to develop creative solutions, or how designing lesson plans lends itself to organizing events or managing projects. You want to show a hiring manager how you can leverage your experience to be successful moving forward.
If you truly don’t have much experience, don’t embellish your resume and cover letter to make it look like you do. The last thing you want to do is go in for an interview and explain that you lied to get there. At the same time, avoid apologizing for skills you don’t have, and focus on emphasizing the relevant skills you do have.
A strong cover letter can help hiring managers see the connection between where you are now and where you want to go with your career – and how you can be an asset to their organization. All you need is to spark their interest enough to give you a shot.
If you’re not sure where to start or what to say in your cover letter, turn to the team at Grammar Chic. We’ll work with you to create a cover letter – and resume – that support your desire for a career change and show hiring managers what you have to offer. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start your journey toward a new career.