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How to Create Your Cover Letter When Switching Careers

Jun 29, 2008
You have recently made the decision to exit one career and enter a new one, which can be both exciting and a little bit scary. But while the choice to make the career switch was probably a grueling one, the prospect of explaining your lack of job experience to potential employers is probably downright terrifying.

Though you may be concerned about drawing attention to this missing portion of your career history, don't spend too much time dwelling on it. The truth is, if you really desire to move into your new career, you can do it. You just have to believe in yourself and present this belief in your cover letters. Let's look at how you can do it ...

Be Honest about Why You're Changing Careers

When you begin explaining why you're switching careers in your cover letter, it is best to be as honest as possible. You can do this by remembering that at some point you sat alone and contemplated your reasons for making this major life decision. So take this time to revisit those reasons. Are you switching because you weren't fulfilled in your previous career? Or do you believe that you've always had talent in this field and now you want to pursue it?

Whatever your reasons may be, express them well. Doing so may help prospective employers better relate to your new-found passion. Even more, it may inspire them to take a chance with you, even if you have less experience in this specific career than other candidates.

Discuss Your Relevant Experience

As mentioned previously, you may not have an extensive background in the career you are pursuing, but that's okay. If you have relevant professional experience, you can simply dig that up to show the prospective employer your ability to perform.

For instance, you may have years of experience working as a PR manager. However, you would like to become a marketing manager because you're interested in branding products, participating in trade shows, and getting the company name out to the public. As a PR manager, you may have experience talking to the media on behalf of your company, and developing strategies to help create the proper public image. So you can note these and other relevant PR experiences in your cover letter to show that your understanding of the company's public image and products can easily be applied to a marketing career.

Do You Believe in Yourself?

You should question how much you believe in yourself before writing your cover letter. Why? Because you are making a major change in your life that requires courage, and could possibly face a little rejection. If you hold fear in your heart, it can easily translate on paper. So before you write your cover letter, it is a good idea to develop and nurture your belief in your capabilities. This can boost your confidence and possibly help the potential employer take a greater interest in you.

Switching careers can definitely be an intimidating prospect to consider. But if you have confidence in your abilities, the skills to back it up, and a great cover letter to boot, you will be well on your way to successfully entering an exciting new career in the field you absolutely love.
About the Author
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you're in need of a resume writing service check out reviews of the top companies in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com
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