In Cover Letter Tips: Why Cover Letters Still Matter Even If Many Don’t Get Read, I wrote about how important a good resume cover letter can be for making a career change. The great thing about a well-written cover letter (and many of them still DO get read), is it can become a person-to-person ad that quickly tells the person who matters why you are perfect for THEIR job or business.
Even in this day and age, a cover letter can be an important tool for career transition. It’s the closest thing to your voice that a potential employer or business connection can get – apart from hearing your actual voice, of course. And within that cover letter, you can even make a case for how well your past experience, as different as it may outwardly appear, matches to where you want to go now.
A good resume will paint a picture of who you really are, but in a way that helps the employer see who you’ll be in your NEXT job. And a good career change cover letter will help complete the picture of why all you’ve done in the past and who you are right now, fit perfectly with where you want to be – even without the precise experience.
Can a cover letter really help?
Oh yes it can! In my article How a Great Cover Letter Got Me to Give Her the Job, I talk about a woman I wound up hiring who used a cover letter to help her get past not having all the required experience – at least required by the rest of the hiring committee. Now I have to add that there are some companies where the processes are so mechanical that almost nothing you do will get you past the rigid screening process. But luckily that is not the case in all situations.
There are many situations where getting your resume and cover letter into the hands of someone willing to look beyond the obvious – we exist – can make all the difference. We hear so much about employers being over-whelmed by resumes … and in many cases it’s true. But the challenge is still to find a great fit, and that is NOT always something a resume alone (even one that meets all the job requirements) can promise.
You have to help the employer see why YOU are the one. And by using your transferable skills, carefully targeting them and your cover letter to the job description, and by making sure your cover letter and resume work together, you can indeed use your cover letter to help you with that career change you want so much!
NOTE: If you are currently looking to change careers, I suggest you take the time to read at least some of the articles linked above. You may find them useful – or at least comforting.