Best Career Change Cover Letter Example (+ Writing Tips) [2020]

career change cover letter

A career change is when a professional decides they’d like to apply to a job title that they don’t previously have any work experience with. Job seekers should lean heavily into their cover letter when changing career paths. The cover letter is going to be stronger than the resume considering the resume may have job titles that aren’t exactly relevant to the job application.

The cover letter should contain a healthy amount of transferable skills and career accomplishments that can be relevant to the job title being applied to. For example, a job seeker who has previous sales experience. This professional has the opportunity to learn software engineering hard skills and start applying their previous sales experience to the job function. This allows the job seeker to take transferable skills, add a new skill (technical skills in this case), and have a much easier time entering a new industry.

Writing a Career Change Cover Letter

When writing a career change cover letter it’s important to consider these variables:

These communication methods are ones that the hiring manager will appreciate when reading a career change cover letter. It’s best to avoid trying to mold and fit previous job titles duties and responsibilities into other job titles. But rather, speaking to career accomplishments that elevate the value of the job seeker (or “career changer”).

Tip: As a job seeker, performing an informational interview can be beneficial before writing a cover letter. An informational interview is an interview session where a prospective employee can interview an employed person to ask for career advice (like a career coach). It can be a great opportunity for a job seeker to learn about how to position their prior less relevant work history to their new career path.

Career Change Cover Letter Sample

Below is a cover letter example of a professional going through a career transition.

Ian Smith
Sales Associate

May 1st, 2013

Dear Mr. Johnson —

The first thing you should note about my job application is that I have no prior work experience in this job title. I recognize that may put me at a slight disadvantage to the other job applicants. But I want to show you why my resume deserves a job interview opportunity.

My work experience as a sales associate and sales manager has taught me how to spot sales inefficiencies. And while reading through the job opportunity, I noticed that the software engineering position will be working heavily with the sales team on sales automation objectives. As I have learned the new skill of software engineering, and am seeking my first full-time position in the industry, I believe this prior work experience will become valuable.

Here are some recent accomplishments that can help to assess my qualifications and abilities:

  • Led a sales team at a retail sales store to reach 85% of our annual sales objectives.
  • Passed the Ruby on Rails software engineering course at Dev Bootcamp, providing me with a software engineering certification.
  • Advanced quickly in the sales department, moving from sales associate to sales manager. Taking direction and adapting to results quickly gave me this advantage.
I’m a quick learner who is able to be adaptive and flexible with work assignments. Especially as I develop the skills required to work within a software engineering position and department.

I would love to speak with you about this position and provide you with more information about my qualifications so that you can make an informed decision about my application. My cell phone number is 555-837-9376. I’m ready and available for an interview or telephone interview at your convenience.

Ian Smith
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Cover Letter Resources

Related Hiring Resources

Want A Career Change At 30? Here's What To Consider
How to Change Careers at 50 Years Old
When To Change Jobs: Step By Step Guide To Knowing When It’s Right
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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