Career Change Cover Letter: Sample & How to Write (+Tips)

Changing careers can be a liberating and exciting experience, or it can be absolutely terrifying, especially if leaving your previous career wasn’t exactly your idea and came about from circumstances beyond your control. Regardless of the reason behind it, it’s always to some extent a step into the unknown.

 

Writing a cover letter for a career change often feels like doing something for which the system just isn’t set up. And to some extent that’s true—as common as career changes are becoming, the whole recruitment and HR scene is still at its core set up for traditional ladder-climbing above all else.

 

This article is here to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter for a career change in the UK. The career change cover letter sample below is decidedly better than nine out of ten currently out there. With the right advice and plenty of career change cover letter examples, yours can be even better.

 

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

 

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Change of career cover letter template 

 

Nathan Bishop

14 Corgie Street

London

SW5 7NL

077 2222 2222

nate.bishop@lcmail.co.uk

 

11th November 2021

 

Benjamin Chandler

Continental PFM Manager

Mercantile Duo

5 Downton Ave

London

NW2 5MI



Dear Mr Chandler,

 

I was extremely happy to read of Mercantile Duo’s London office’s opening for an investment banker. As a dedicated business analyst of almost 8 years, I have made full use of every opportunity to develop my analysis, persuasion, and negotiation skills. These skills coupled with my academic background and passionate interest in finance and investment have primed me for a successful transition to the world of investment banking.

 

Mercantile Duo has been on my radar since I moved to London in 2016, its reputation for making bold acquisitions and having the ability to pivot and secure capital seemingly at a moment’s notice is wide-reaching in certain circles. My work as a business analyst has taught me the power of critically evaluating information gathered from multiple sources, in one case allowing me to recover over 10% of my company’s annual turnover in lost revenue. I used the persuasive power of properly prepared and presented data to convince an IT subcontractor to take 68% of support requests off our shoulders. While in my private life I consistently placed in the top 5th percentile of various investment simulations.

 

The dynamic world of investment banking has long been a world to which I believe myself well-suited. Mercantile Duo’s current plans to diversify its market strategies could, I believe, receive a significant boost from my skills, experience, and proven track record of getting results.

 

Thank you for your consideration of my application. Please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience to discuss my candidature further. I eagerly look forward to having an opportunity to justify my assessment of my suitability for the role.

 

Yours Sincerely,



Nathan Bishop

 

Here’s how to write a career change cover letter:

 

1. Give your career change cover letter a properly set out header

 

Regardless of what career you’re leaving behind and which new career path you’re stepping onto, the requirements of the standard UK business letter format are the same. The overall structure of your career change cover letter will be absolutely standard and inconspicuous, the content is where the magic will happen.

 

To set your cover letter header out properly, simply align to the right your full name, postal address, email, and phone number. Leave a line and add the date of writing in the form 1st May 2021. Leave another line and left-align the recruiter’s full name, their job title, company name, and company postal address.

 

Career change cover letter header example

 

Nathan Bishop

14 Corgie Street

London

SW5 7NL

077 2222 2222

nate.bishop@lcmail.co.uk

 

11th November 2021

 

Benjamin Chandler

Continental PFM Manager

Mercantile Duo

5 Downton Ave

London

NW2 5MI

 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

 

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2. Use a formal-but-friendly salutation in your career change cover letter

 

What greeting you use in your career change cover letter will depend on the industry into which you’re transitioning and your general level of seniority relative to the recruiter’s. Whatever greeting you choose, it should be professional and friendly. The corporate culture will determine how formal it should be.

 

Start with ‘Dear + first name’ (e.g. ‘Dear Jan’) if you feel comfortable doing so. If you feel the recruiter is significantly more senior than you or that the corporate culture is more on the conservative side, then use ‘Dear + title + surname’ (e.g. ‘Dear Ms Smith’). Default to using ‘Ms’ for women.

 

Sometimes a person’s name doesn’t tell you anything about their gender. If you truly can’t find out what their gender is by searching online or (discreetly) calling up and finding out, then use ‘Dear + first name + surname’. You really ought to be able to find something like this out by doing a little research.

 

Doing research means following up on any links given in the job advert, searching through the company’s website, looking through LinkedIn, and just generally looking for mentions of the company online. This is how you can get a feel for the company’s culture and find out who the recruiter will be.

 

In the very unlikely event that you can’t find out to whom you should address your career change cover letter (including by calling the company and asking), you can address it to the recruiter’s role instead. For example, ‘Dear Continental PFM Manager’ or at least ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ (the more specific, the better).

 

Avoid the somewhat cold and very old-fashioned ‘To Whom It May Concern’, ‘Dear Sir / Madame’ and anything similar. Always do what you can to address your cover letter to someone by name. Failing that, pin-point the recruiter’s job title if you can and describe their role if you can’t.

 

Career change cover letter salutation example

 

Dear Mr Chandler, 

 

3. Open your career change cover letter the right way

 

Your opening paragraph will set the tone for the rest of your career change cover letter as well as setting up your argument for why you’re the right one for the job. Your opening paragraph needs to communicate your enthusiasm for the job while showing that you’re a good fit for the company and the work itself.

 

The most important thing when it comes to writing a cover letter for a career change with no experience is to focus on the positives, on what you have to offer the company. Start by introducing yourself, your current / former line of work and experience level. Focus on your transferable skills.

 

Transferable skills are skills you picked up and developed in your previous career that can be applied on your new career path. Other than that, use what your research has taught you about the company’s goals and culture and show that your goals line up with its, while your way of working and values fit with its culture.

 

Were you referred to the job to which you’re applying? Far from being a faux pas, ‘dropping names’ like this can be incredibly beneficial to your application. Being referred means that someone within the organisation—who knows the culture from the inside—thinks you’ll make a good fit and this can only be a good thing.

 

Keep your opening paragraph short and to the point, about 40–80 words, no more.

 

Career change cover letter opening paragraph example

 

 I was extremely happy to read of Mercantile Duo’s London office’s opening for an investment banker. As a dedicated business analyst of almost 8 years, I have made full use of every opportunity to develop my analysis, persuasion, and negotiation skills. These skills coupled with my academic background and passionate interest in finance and investment have primed me for a successful transition to the world of investment banking.

 

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter maker will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

 

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4. Use your career change cover letter to showcase your achievements

 

The main body of your career change cover letter is where you’ll really present your case for getting an interview. Show that you’re a worthy candidate for the job by firing off two or three achievements from your previous career path. Keep showing that you’ve done research on the company wherever you can.

 

An achievement is a brief description of actions you took and the benefits that your employer got as a result of those actions. These are the kinds of actions that are most often taken in response to a problem or a challenge, but not always. Put numbers to everything you can, the benefits first and foremost.

 

This section should be 1–2 paragraphs and 120–200 words long. Leave some of that space to speak to your passion for the industry, role, and maybe even company. Make it clear how your achievements relate to the company’s needs if it isn’t obvious already. Focus on what you can do for it, not the other way around.

 

Career change cover letter body paragraphs example

 

Mercantile Duo has been on my radar since I moved to London in 2016, its reputation for making bold acquisitions and having the ability to pivot and secure capital seemingly at a moment’s notice is wide-reaching in certain circles. My work as a business analyst has taught me the power of critically evaluating information gathered from multiple sources, in one case allowing me to recover over 10% of my company’s annual turnover in lost revenue. I used the persuasive power of properly prepared and presented data to convince an IT subcontractor to take 68% of support requests off our shoulders. While in my private life I consistently placed in the top 5th percentile of various investment simulations.

 

The dynamic world of investment banking has long been a world to which I believe myself well-suited. Mercantile Duo’s current plans to diversify its market strategies could, I believe, receive a significant boost from my skills, experience, and proven track record of getting results.

 

5. Wrap up your career change cover letter and end on a confident CTA

 

Given that you’ve been describing experiences and achievements that belong to a different line of work than the job for which you’re applying, it might be necessary to tie up some loose ends. Take 40–60 words to do just that: draw any links that might not have been obvious to your reader and fill in any blanks.

 

Summarise what you wrote in the opening and main body paragraphs of your cover letter but don’t repeat yourself or labour any points. Definitely do thank your reader for their consideration of application—it’s good manners to acknowledge the recruiter’s effort and may bring you benefits beyond that.

 

End with a confident call to action (CTA) in which you take the initiative and suggest the next step (a phone conversation, job interview or unspecified discussion). This shows that you’re eager to move through to the remaining stages of the recruitment process and decidedly leaves the ball in the recruiter’s court.

 

Career change cover letter closing paragraph example

 

Thank you for your consideration of my application. Please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience to discuss my candidature further. I eagerly look forward to having an opportunity to justify my assessment of my suitability for the role.

 

6. Make sure your career change cover letter sign-off matches the salutation

 

Signing off in your career path change cover letter could hardly be simpler, but it’s no less important to get right. The standard UK business letter format requires that you use ‘Yours Sincerely’ if you addressed your cover letter to someone by name and ‘Yours Faithfully’ if you didn’t.

 

Leave 2–3 lines blank and then type out your full name. These extra spaces are to leave room for your handwritten signature. Sign your letter in dark blue or black ink if you’re printing it out and submitting it in hardcopy. Leave the extra space even if you’re submitting your career change cover letter electronically. 

 

Career change cover letter sign-off example

 

Yours Sincerely,



Nathan Bishop

 

Keep these things in mind before sending off your career change cover letter

 

When it comes to writing a cover letter for a career change, it’s your transferable skills that are placed front at centre. Few things are more transferable than conscientiousness. Be sure to thoroughly proofread your work to weed out any and all spelling and grammar mistakes. Get someone to help you.

 

Do what you can to make the layout of your career change cover letter clear and easy to follow. Use plenty of white space to break your cover letter down into sections. Use paragraphs and bullet points where appropriate. Choose a suitable font, like Noto, Arial, Liberation or Calibri, and leave the size at 11–12 points.

 

Your change of career cover letter should end up being 250–400 words long (about 200–350 words not including the header, salutation, and sign-off). It should nicely fill most or all of a single A4 page and should never be longer than a single A4 page. Leave the margins at the default 2.5 cm.

 

Remember that your job application is made up of two parts: your career change cover letter and CV together. So ensure that the overall look and layout of your CV and cover letter match. Align formatting, fonts, and colour schemes (if any) to visually link your documents as parts of a single whole.

 

As tempting as it might be to copy and paste from one job application to another, be mindful of the fact that tailoring your cover letter to each given position is one of the best things you can do to boost your chances of getting an interview. One last thing. Always attach your cover letter in PDF unless asked for something else.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and quickly fill in every CV section using ready-made content and expert advice.

 

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So you see, a career change cover letter is all about moving forward and being positive above all else. Is there anything I’ve touched on here that you’d like more detail on? Please leave any questions or comments and your own career change experiences in the comments section below.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

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Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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