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How to write an impactful cover letter for a career change


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How to write a cover letter for a career change

Career change cover letter examples.

8 tips to write a successful career change cover letter

Learning to navigate career changes

As a job seeker, your primary objective is to stand out from every other candidate — and writing a strong cover letter is a great way to do this.

But if you’re trying to change careers, it might seem more complicated. Crafting a compelling letter for a career change needs to put your best foot forward while explaining how your experience and transferable skills make you the best fit. 

Luckily, like any application, cover letters give you a unique opportunity to make a strong first impression on a prospective employer. They’re your opportunity to spin a perceived drawback into a valuable asset, showing hiring managers your unique perspective and ability to make a change.

Let’s start with the basics. Like any other professional communication, every word of your career change cover letter counts. Your relevant skill set, work experience, and communication style let a recruiter, hiring manager, or potential supervisor know what it’ll be like to work with you. 

Here’s how to use your cover letter to make an impact: 

1. Start with a powerful introduction

The first few lines of your cover letter set the tone and pique your reader's interest (or spur disinterest). Skip generic introductions and aim for an opening line that quickly encapsulates the value you can bring to the new job. It can also reflect your unique personality, within reason.

Don’t be shy about identifying yourself as a career changer. It’s an opportunity to showcase important soft skills — such as courage, intellectual curiosity , and a resilient mindset — and connect relevant experiences with valuable transferable skills . With the right framing, it may be the key to standing out as an interesting candidate.

Here’s an example: “As a seasoned journalist, I’m eager to transition into public relations. I've spent the last 20 years sharpening my critical-thinking, research, and copywriting skills, which will serve me well in this new role.”

2. Develop your full character

Your opening paragraph should include your previous role and new career ambition. Next, it’s time to offer a glimpse of your professional drive and explain in more detail what you bring to a career switch, especially if you’ve been upskilling, taking classes, or attending trainings. This is an opportunity to blend your established reputation with your new career goals. If you’re making the change to pursue your passion or do more meaningful work, putting that fact on diisplay creates a fuller image of your personal values , mission, and vision for the future. 

For example: “I currently manage a team of 50 sales representatives in the constantly evolving healthcare sector. The most fascinating and fulfilling part of my job has always been developing a deep understanding of my client’s needs. Acting as a bridge to better service, consulting with them about updating their tools and training to focus on providing excellent treatment to their patients is so rewarding. I’m excited by the prospect of leveraging my social skills and years of experience working directly with healthcare providers to move into software development for the healthcare sector.” 

3. Show some emotion


Carefully placed action verbs and feelings help make your experience jump off the page. Potential employers aren’t just looking for a list of key skills — they want to imagine the person behind them. Choose language that conveys enthusiasm, drive, and work motivation , like “I’ve always been passionate about problem-solving and teamwork” or “I immediately connected with your company’s vision and commitment to sustainability.” 

4. Describe your past performance

Your successes in previous roles are the best predictor of the meaningful work you’ll accomplish in the next one — even if you’re moving to a new industry. Focus on accomplishments that demonstrate flexibility and a learning mindset to help the hiring manager envision a successful transition. You need to make the most out of your letter of interest , portfolio , and resume, so put the highlights on your resume and tell the story in your cover letter. 

For instance: “I oversaw a project to automate sales tracking systems, working with our tech team to evaluate the best strategies for the sales department. The project improved efficiency by 25% and decreased overhead costs by 15%.” 

Metrics quantify the value of your growth mindset and show off important skills like team collaboration , project management , and adaptability. 

5. Align your skills with the job description

Even if you’re at the height of your career, a hiring manager needs to know you can bridge the gap between your current role and the new position. Pay careful attention to the soft and hard skills they mention in the job posting and work them into your career transition cover letter. Don’t embellish for the sake of standing out, but do highlight the skills you can back up with valuable, direct experience. 

6. Write a memorable closing

Your closing is your opportunity to reiterate your excitement about the job opening. Adjectives like “eager,” “excited,” and “thrilled” demonstrate you’re ready to hit the ground running. 

Additionally, your cover letter for switching careers should invite further dialogue with a call to action. For example: “I’m eager to learn more about the role and look forward to sharing how I can bring my unique perspective and years of experience in [industry] to your organization.” 


Before digging into your resume or cover letter, a potential employer may peruse your job application or LinkedIn profile to understand your value as a candidate. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to turn a list of skills and experiences into a well-rounded picture of your character. 

The best cover letters balance highlighting your unique personality and perspective with proving you have what it takes to fill the job description. While your letter should represent you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Instead, build your own using a basic structure and templates for inspiration. You can also ask ChatGPT to generate a first draft for you with strategic prompts .

Here’s a general career change cover letter sample to consider:

Dear [hiring manager’s name], 

Thank you for considering my application for [ prospective job title] at [company name]. 

I’ve spent the last [years of experience] learning the ins and outs of [current industry], where I currently work as a [most recent job title]. I gravitated toward [industry] because of my passion for [the factors that pushed you to your current career]. The most fulfilling part of my career has been [transferable skills relevant to the new job posting]. I’ve built my expertise around [relevant skills], which were instrumental in accomplishing [a notable achievement or project]. 

I’m excited to transition into a new career chapter and follow my calling in [new field]. Reading about your company, I immediately connected with [core value]. I’m thrilled by the prospect of contributing [your vision or skills] and am eager to apply my unique perspective as a [current job title] in a new context. 

Attached is my resume. I’m eager to learn more about the company and how my background aligns with your needs.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue the conversation. 


[Your name]

When changing careers, you may feel worried about potential red flags in your resume, like career gaps or lack of direct experience . While your technical abilities are important, many recruiters and hiring managers prioritize soft skills , like leadership, critical thinking, and communication. Here’s a cover letter that balances proven soft skills and highlights your excitement to fill the gaps: 

Thank you for the opportunity to apply for [prospective job title] at [company name]. While I’ve developed my career in [industry], my enthusiasm for [relevant interest] combined with my proven [relevant transferable skills] has prepared me for this career path. 

Over the last [years of experience], I’ve cultivated a solid foundation in [relevant skills], which mirror the dynamic demands of [new industry]. 

I’m attracted to [new industry] because of [your interest or inspiration to switch to a new field]. The [specific aspect of your new field] that [company name] embodies deeply resonates with my personal values and professional aspirations. I’ve spent the last [months or years] learning [valuable technical skills or industry knowledge] through [examples of learning experiences, such as a class, seminar, or networking opportunity]. 

Attached is my resume, which underscores my transferable skills and [relevant coursework or certifications]. 

I’m confident that my adaptability, dedication to quality work, and passion for learning position me to hit the ground running and become a strong asset to your team. I look forward to discussing how my excitement and skill set align with your objectives. 

8 tips to write a successful career change cover letter 


Now that you have some cover letter examples for changing careers, let’s get into the fine print. Here are eight tips to help your career change cover letter lead to an interview: 

  • Address the letter to the right person: General salutations — like “Dear hiring manager” — may give the impression you’re copying and pasting the same cover letter across several job postings. Likewise, it signals to the reader that you lacked the initiative and dedication to find out more about the role and the hiring team beyond what’s in a brief job posting. Take the time to learn the hiring manager's name and use it to kick off communications. 
  • Keep things short: The objective of your cover letter is to spark a hiring manager’s interest and encourage them to read your resume . Keep your cover letter to a few well-curated paragraphs that balance your unique value with the requisites for the job role. 
  • Research, research, research: The company’s website, social media, and other branded materials can provide insight into the organization’s mission and core values. Aligning your vision with the company’s is a great way to capture a hiring manager’s attention and let them know you fit the company culture .
  • Explain your reasons for changing careers: The courage to take a chance on yourself and switch careers speaks volumes about your character. It’s nothing to shy away from. Highlight the reasons you decided to make the difficult career decision —  your resilience, fortitude, and decisiveness can provide a competitive advantage over more traditional candidates. 
  • Mention new skills: Highlight how you’ve learned about your new industry, acquired technical skills, and prepared for the career switch. Whether it’s a one-day seminar or several months with a career coach , your drive for personal and professional development helps make your case for a smooth transition into a new industry. 
  • Source references: Having a list of professional references and their contact information ready to send to a hiring manager is always a good idea. Carefully choose colleagues who can speak to your passion for your new industry and ability to adapt to change.
  • Align all your communications: Consistency and clarity are important to hiring managers. When your LinkedIn profile, letter of intent , and resume have mismatched skills and work experience, the person reading them may pass you over for a candidate with a profile that’s easier to understand and imagine in the role. Double-check that all your information is up-to-date and consistent across all platforms and lines of communication. 
  • Proofread : An enthralling story about your decision to dive into a new field can be thwarted by a misspelled word or poorly placed comma. Spelling and grammar errors can jeopardize your chances of an interview — hiring managers may worry that a lack of attention to detail could show up in more important areas of your work performance. If you’re not a natural copy editor, double-check your work with a proofreading app like Grammarly.

Learning to navigate career changes 

A career change is a big life decision , no matter where you are in your professional journey. After you’ve settled into your niche, shaking things up at 30, changing careers at 40 or following a new calling in your 50s might feel increasingly overwhelming. 

But it’s never too late to embrace change. Your professional life occupies a big part of your time, energy, and personal identity. You deserve to feel fulfilled — even if that means choosing a road less traveled. Carefully crafting a cover letter for a career change is an effective way to capture a hiring manager's attention from the jump and move one step closer to an exciting new opportunity. 

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Transition Year – Tips on Finding Work Experience

transition year work experience cover letter

  • Why you would like to work there
  • Mention whether you are covered by your schools insurance
  • How many days a week you are looking to work
  • For how long, (a week, a month, all day, afternoons, etc.)
  • Whether you have any computer skills
  • The dates that you are looking for work experience
  • Your strengths and why you are suited to working there
  • Add your name and contact details to the letter
  • Make sure that you have prepared for a possible interview!

Contact them early – don’t leave it until the last minute!

A follow-up email if you haven’t heard from them in a week or so

Don’t forget to ask someone in your network for support/ ideas if you are struggling to find work experience – they will be happy to help!

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3 Ways to Write a Transition Cover Letter for a Career or Job Change

by Irene Marshall | Jun 26, 2020 | Career Transitions , Cover Letters

Transition cover letter

How do you write a transition cover letter when you want to change careers or jobs?

At some point in your career, you might want to move to another industry or a different type of job that’s more exciting and fulfilling. So, how do you get the attention of a recruiter or a hiring manager when your background is not an exact match for what a job posting says?

Your aim should be to write a cover letter that explains why you’re looking for this shift of career trajectory, and why you would be successful doing so.

There are 3 things to consider to write this type of transition cover letter:

1) similar industry.

If you worked at three separate nonprofits, then you understand the challenges of those types of organizations. They all partly depend on grants, donations, and volunteers, with different kinds of government reporting requirements. If you wanted to work for a professional symphony orchestra, it is also a nonprofit organization. Your background with other nonprofits will be more relevant compared to someone who comes from manufacturing or aviation. Your transition cover letter can address some of those similarities.

Job vs Career workbook

2) Relevant Job Experience

If you were a Controller in one industry, and your target job is for Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in another industry, there are similarities as they are both executive-level finance roles. If you were in Human Resources, that role is needed in every type of company. You always want to discuss how your particularly functional experience is relevant for your targeted job.

3) Personal Connection with the Mission of the Organization

Your personal life can connect with your professional life in a meaningful way. Maybe that is why you want to make a change.

I had one client who was just out of school and intended to enter into medical research as a career. I asked her why. Both of her grandparents had diabetes, which, of course, also put her more at risk. The funny thing is that she was working at an ice cream manufacturing plant at the time, so there was a big disconnect between her job and her personal and family situation.

If you want to make a big career change, it is up to you to write a transition cover letter that clearly explains your intent and what will make you valuable as an employee. This can be easier said than done, which is why I offer my writing services to create cover letters, resumes, and other professional career documents. I was a recruiter for many years, so I know exactly what they look for in a cover letter!

If you want a more detailed look at how I do this, I invite you to check out this video ! In it, I’m going to look a bit closer at the “Professional Symphony Orchestra” example above and how someone with nonprofit experience could be the perfect fit for their Chief Financial Officer.

If you’d like a free consultation to talk about how I can help you write your transition cover letter, contact me today . Let’s get you on the career path you were always meant to be on!

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transition year work experience cover letter

How do I Write a Letter for TY-work Experience?

transition year work experience cover letter

Writing a TY-work experience letter can be daunting. If you feel like the worries are causing you to put it off, we have just the thing you need: A no-nonsense, easy-to-understand, and to-the-point guide to writing a transition year work experience letter that actually works – enjoy!

How do I Ask for TY-work Experience?

The key to landing the ty-work experience placement of your dreams is a carefully-curated, concise, and personal letter followed by your CV. 

Below, we’ve written out a ty-work experience letter template for you to work upon.

How to Write a TY-work Experience Letter

To make approaching your Ty-work experience a little more manageable and less daunting, it’s best to break it up into three sections: 

  • Introduction.
  • Conclusion. 


Formal introduction, who you are, where you’re from.

Address them:  Here’s where you formally break the ice. As you’d start any formal e-mail/letter, you’ll place a “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whomever it may concern” if you’re unaware of gender at the top left of the letter. 

Greetings: It’s always good practice to start with “My name is () followed by an “and,” which leads into where you come from and what educational institution you attend. Outline that you’re a transition year student alongside what dates your work experience is set for. 

Why this company interests you, related subjects/activities.

Before tackling the body of your ty-work experience letter, it’s best to do some quick research on the company or course you’re applying to. This allows you to add a personal touch to your letter, helping you to stand out from the crowd while signaling to your potential employer that you have not simply copied and pasted your letter content.

“I would like to partake in your course as I have been interested in embarking upon a career in (insert the career of your interest) for many years now. I have done some research on your company/course and admire your dedication to (a value or goal of the company that resonated with you). I believe this placement would provide me with the invaluable experience to further my goal of turning my passion into my profession.”

You’ll also want to briefly mention any skills, experience, or traits that make you the best candidate for the transition year work experience placement.

“Think along the lines of: I enjoy working with people and am punctual. I am also computer literate, hardworking, and dedicated to progress. Therefore, I would be happy to undertake any tasks assigned to me.”

Say thanks for your consideration, and make sure to attach your CV.

Here you can just sign off with a simple, concise message explaining that you’d be grateful if they considered you for their company or course. 

Don’t Forget:  It’s good practice to mention that you’ve attached your CV to the letter in the concluding section. 

If you’re wondering which “sign off” is best to use, a simple “I look forward to hearing from you” followed by “thank you for your time, (your name) is best.

Transition Year Work Experience Letter Wrap Up

And there you have it! Your guide on how to write the ideal ty-work experience letter. Suppose you’d like to pad out your letter or CV’s content. In that case, there are several  TY courses  you can partake in to give you a competitive edge that shows potential employers that not only are you dedicated but that you already know the ropes!

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Work Experience Letter Template

  • March 2, 2017
  • TY Posts , Work Experience

transition year work experience cover letter

1. Introduction

Essentially every formal e-mail/letter you write will start with “Dear Sir/Madam” and this one is no different. Next tell them where you’re from and explain that you are interested in a work experience placement. You should also mention dates that work for you here and the hours that are normally expected of students.

2. The Body

In this paragraph you can explain how and why you are interested in working in the company you are applying to. Anything related to the company is perfect so things like the subjects you have chosen for your leaving cert or attending an extra-curricular activity, or even saying that you hope to study a related course after the leaving cert.

If you don’t have anything related, don’t worry, even if you aren’t that convinced that this is in an area that interests you, you can say that you want to work here to see if it suits you.

3. Finishing Steps

Here you can just sign off with a simple message saying you would be grateful if they considered you for their company/course. You can also mention that you have attached your CV, which is the other thing not to forget.

So altogether…

  • Introduction – Formal greeting, who you are, where you come from etc.
  • The body – Why this company interests you, related subjects/activities.
  • Finish – Say thanks for consideration, make sure to attach CV!

Below is a template which is also available for download, again we recommend that you only use this for help, you want to sound unique when applying for a job and copying and pasting won’t achieve that.

Preview the Work Experience Letter

Download the Work Experience Letter in .odt format

Download the Work Experience Letter in .docx (Microsoft Word) format

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    To write a career change cover letter, start with the following steps: 1. Introduce yourself. Start your cover letter by stating who you are, what you want and why you'd be a good fit for the job. Highlight your most impressive, valuable and relevant achievements without oversharing your lack of experience.

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    6. Write a memorable closing. Your closing is your opportunity to reiterate your excitement about the job opening. Adjectives like "eager," "excited," and "thrilled" demonstrate you're ready to hit the ground running. Additionally, your cover letter for switching careers should invite further dialogue with a call to action.

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    Here's your step-by-step guide to writing a career change cover letter that'll tell your unique story and help a hiring manager envision how you would benefit their organization. 1. Start strong with a unique opener. Get the reader's attention right away by putting the opening line of your cover letter to work!

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    Contact [email protected]. DSPCA offer work experience for transition year work experience or community service students. It is a great way to get hands on experience on the work they do and to see if working with animals in the right career path for those thinking about a future in veterinary or animal care - further details. UNICEF ...

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    Let's start writing a cover letter that will make this career change a reality for you. 1. Start with a great intro. Start your cover letter by greeting the hiring manager by name. If you're unable to find a name, use "Dear Hiring Manager" but steer away from outdated greetings such as "To Whom It May Concern.".


    Today's date. Person's Name Position Company Name Address. Re: A brief sentence to state what the letter is about. (Transition Year Work Experience) Dear Sir/Madam (or Mr./Mrs./Ms. if you know the name), I am a third year student in Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. During the academic year 2018/2019 I will be participating ...

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    Place your contact information at the top of your letter. Include your first name and surname, address and postcode. You can also include your phone number and email address, but this is optional. 4. Address the letter. Add the date you'll send the letter, and write the organisation's name, address and postcode.

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    3) Personal Connection with the Mission of the Organization. Your personal life can connect with your professional life in a meaningful way. Maybe that is why you want to make a change. I had one client who was just out of school and intended to enter into medical research as a career. I asked her why.

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    1. Write an attention-grabbing introduction. Hiring managers have a limited amount of time to spend on each job application. If you start your cover letter by drawing attention to your lack of experience and stating "I may be unqualified, but…" , you risk making a negative impression on employers before they get the chance to learn why you're the right candidate for the job.

  15. How do I Write a Letter for TY-work Experience?

    You'll also want to briefly mention any skills, experience, or traits that make you the best candidate for the transition year work experience placement. Example: "Think along the lines of: I enjoy working with people and am punctual. I am also computer literate, hardworking, and dedicated to progress. Therefore, I would be happy to ...

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    paragraph #1: big achievement and career change reveal. paragraph #2: job-matching achievements. paragraph #3: make an offer. best regards + your name. PS—with one more accomplishment. Pro Tip: The hiring manager's name works best in a cover letter for a transition to a new career.

  17. PDF Transition Year Work Experience

    Transition Year Work Experience Dear Sir / Madam, Thank you again for facilitating our work experience scheme for Transition Year students. We really appreciate your help and support - without you there could be no programme. Over the years our students have found the Work Experience placements extremely beneficial and interesting and we hope ...


    A website that lists transition year work experience programs in Ireland and posts useful articles and information about transition year including CV templates, Mini-Company and TY interviews and more. ... Registered students can use our free templates to prepare their CVs and letters and apply for work experience placements. Explore. Get ...

  19. PDF [Today's Date] [Company]

    I am a Transition Year student in Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh. As part of our transition year program we are required to find a work experience placement in an area of employment that interests us as a possible future career. If your company takes on transition year students I would love to work there from the 6th - 10th of March.

  20. PDF Transition Year Work Experience

    Work experience in Transition Year is the first taste many students have of the world of work, ... — Letter to Employers Appendix 1 — Work Experience Placement Form Appendix 2 . ... The school's insurance policy has been extended to cover each pupil during this period of Work Experience.

  21. PDF Transition Year Work Experience

    Transition Year Work Experience Information for Students 2020/2021 - Students must organise three different work placements and one community service placement for Transition Year. ... - Prepare a cover letter and your CV. - Contact the employer either in person, email or phone. If you do not hear back within

  22. Transition Year CV Template

    CV Template for Transition Year Students. One of the most important things you will do in Transition Year is make your first CV (Curriculum Vitae). When you ask a company for work of any kind you will need to send them your CV, whether it's through email, post or in person. We have a few tips and a template you can download below, to help you ...

  23. The Short Cover Letter: What to Include & Why (with Examples)

    Cover letters, short or long, are increasingly unpopular among job seekers. However, a 2023 survey of 625 hiring managers across the nation found that 60 percent of companies still require cover letters, writes Rebecca Tay, Ph.D. at ResumeGenius.. While medium and large companies are more likely to require cover letters (72 percent and 69 percent, respectively), nearly half of small businesses ...

  24. Work Experience Letter

    Essentially every formal e-mail/letter you write will start with "Dear Sir/Madam" and this one is no different. Next tell them where you're from and explain that you are interested in a work experience placement. You should also mention dates that work for you here and the hours that are normally expected of students. 2.