In the last few weeks, we have published multiple Thought Leadership articles about changing careers we hope you found helpful. Like all of our articles, they can be found on our blog, However, we have not had a chance to focus on how important a great cover letter can be to a candidate shifting from one industry to another.

Even though job boards give candidates the option to submit a cover letter, many job hunters do not take advantage of this. If their experience is well-focused, accomplishments-oriented, and on target, they may score an interview without a cover letter, but we still think a cover letter gives every job hunter a chance to summarize the reasons for scheduling an interview.

In the case of career change, a cover letter is clearly more important. It gives you a compelling opportunity to make the case for your candidacy. Well-written, well thought out cover letters are an integral part of a career changer’s job-hunting arsenal. To be succinct, cover letters can be optional for non-shifting job hunters, but they are mandatory for career changers.

With a resume that might not scream “perfect fit” for your desired role, a well-crafted cover letter becomes your secret weapon.

While resumes list your skills and experience, a cover letter bridges the gap between your past and your future. Here’s why it’s a game-changer for career changers:

  • Tell Your Story: Resumes are fact-based, but a cover letter lets you weave a narrative. Explain what sparked your interest in the new field and, more importantly, how your existing skills translate. Did your project management experience in engineering equip you to handle the organization of a marketing campaign? Share that! There is little room for this type of narrative on your resume.
  • Highlight Transferable Skills: Resumes might not automatically connect the dots between your past and future roles, but your cover letter showcases how your transferable skills like communication, collaboration, problem-solving, or leadership apply to the desired position.
  • Address the Career Change: The elephant in the room? Your lack of direct experience. A cover letter lets you address this head-on. Take your time to wordsmith a simple but strong explanation as to why you’re transitioning and emphasize your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
  • Show Your Passion: A cover letter allows you to express your genuine interest in the company and the role you are applying for. Research the company’s mission and values and demonstrate how your aspirations align with theirs. This enthusiasm can set you apart from candidates with a perfect job history but a ho-hum attitude.
  • Get Personal: A cover letter is your chance to go beyond the resume and show your personality. Let your communication style and professionalism shine through. Don’t forget writing is a key skill in every workplace. If your cover letter is superbly written and convincing, it also demonstrates a highly valuable skill.

Final Word: When writing a cover letter, don’t repeat what is on the resume. It’s your opportunity to craft a compelling story that convinces the hiring manager you’re a great fit, even if you’re coming from a different background. Take the time to craft a cover letter that showcases your unique value proposition and your chances of landing that interview skyrocket.

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