Making the big decision to change your career path can be daunting. Whether you're disillusioned with your current career or just fancy a new challenge, it can be scary stepping out of your comfort zone.
If you're applying for jobs in areas which you have little or no experience in, you need a cover letter that will really sell your strengths and convey your skills. Follow these simple tips to secure the job you've always wanted.
Why do you want to change your career?
Being upfront about your decision to change careers shows you have conviction in your actions, so don't be afraid to describe those actions.
Stay positive, use enthusiastic language and try not to be negative about your current career, as it may seem like you're just trying to escape a particularly horrible job and your heart isn't really in a new career.
An employer is potentially taking a risk employing someone without directly relevant experience, so you need to convince them you're not the flippant type. Make sure you include reasons why you want to enter into a new profession - perhaps you've always had an interest in it, or you've been maintaining a related hobby for years.
What relevant skills do you already have?
Although you might not have relevant work experience, you’ll undoubtedly have plenty of skills which are transferable. Think about some of your existing skills that could be applied to a new career, and really drill down into what about it makes you worth employing
Also think back to your educational history - perhaps there was a specific module or element of your qualification that would be very relevant to a different career from the one you ended up working in. If you excelled in that, or particularly enjoyed that, now's the time to mention it - if it was a while ago, make sure you explain what first caught your interest in that particular field.
Do your research on the company, so you can tailor your cover letter
If you're changing careers, then the new one should be something you really want to do. More specifically, it should be for a company you really want to work for.
It always pays to do your research, but if you include a paragraph about why you really want to work for that company, mentioning specific examples of their work, it will indicate to the employer that you've done your homework. Going further, you should mention why you want that specific job - for instance because you believe it would be a good entry role into an unfamiliar industry.
Have someone neutral read your cover letter
It can be easy to slip into the jargon of your current profession, and reference things which someone from outside that sector might not understand or be aware of. Make sure you have someone from outside your industry, such as a friend, have a quick read over your cover letter to make sure any of these references are either taken out or explained.
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