Adapting to change can be very challenging, particularly if we’re talking about a career change. Lets face it, you spend the majority of your life at work, roughly 90,000 hours. So switching your job, translates to a major impact with your day-to-day life. Companies and workers struggle to keep it together with the threat of Covid-19 still.
Due to the impact of Covid-19, the workforce has been hit with major employee layoffs, and company bankruptcies.. It has been reported that the unemployment rate in the US rose to 14.7% in April due to the impact of the shutdown. Continuing into the new year, industries and companies are still shifting, pivoting and taking on major changes.
It’s safe to say, we’re still in the adjustment phase of the global crisis. Whether you were forced back into the job hunt or you are using this time as an opportunity to pivot, there is one thing that cannot go without consideration…a powerful cover letter.
Writing a very persuasive career change cover letter is the start of securing your prospective job. Below is a guide of what to include in a compelling cover letter that is sure to stand out from the crowd.
This is not the plain “state-who-you-are” section. This is the part where you captivate the reader’s attention. Start with a question or a short attention grabbing story that is relevant to the job you are applying for, and make it unique to this job. Yes, personalizing your introduction will take more time, but that extra connection could be what gets you into the interview room versus the recycle bin. Mention and brag about your skillset and summarize and highlight the ones relative to the position you’re aiming for.
You don’t have to necessarily include your entire life story in your cover letter — in fact, I recommend never doing this. Only detail the part you feel is of relevance to the position you’re applying for. You don’t want to bore the readers.
For instance, you can tell a brief experience where you leaned into the soft skills you possess, these skills are the most important, especially in clerical or service based jobs. Let the company know that you have honed your skills for that position and that you could be an asset to their organization.
Do your research about the company. The more committed you are, the higher the chance your job application will be recognized.
If you are applying for a role you don’t have direct experience, recognize that your skills from other industries or jobs can be applied to your future career. You have relevant skills applicable to so many positions, it’s simply a matter of reframing. For example, if you were a Call Center Agent in your previous job, consider highlighting the communication skills your grew and how you plan to apply them in the position you’re applying for as a Receptionist or a Front Desk manager.
Furthermore, grab the chance to share the origin of your career change — what causes this phase? Is it the world crisis? Or is the position your dream job all along? Give them a little overview of why you are excited to be on the team.
You can start your persuasive career change cover letter with this ice breaker step. Just be sure to be 100% honest about your skill set and what made you decide to make a career pivot. Lying on your resume or cover letter is a big faux pau, and in some instances, applicants have been denied roles or even been fired if the manager finds out they lied.
Be a “nethead”
Another way to make a persuasive career change cover letter is to let the company know you’re informed about cyberspace and competent in online platform usage and navigation.
You see, given the “new normal” state of society, it is a must to know a thing or two about the modern world. In the past year internet usage has spiked 70% and streaming services more than 12%. It is no longer a nice-to-have, navigating your way around the online space is a must.you don’t have to be a “pantomath” per se, being familiar with today’s online tools can lead you to a much better place in your professional career.
Most companies and employees are using basic tools like Google, Microsoft Office, and Zoom to communicate with each other and/or for project management. Having to personally experience these tools first-hand could save you a lot of your precious time, not to mention the impression you make on your potential employer.
In your cover letter, you may find it beneficial to mention the tools you incorporate in your previous job, what else you are knowledgeable about online. Include a snippet of what sort of tasks you used to do with these tools.
Moreover, you can also take a look at the job description to see if there are any relevant accessories you know or need to know about to secure the position. This is your chance to familiarize yourself with the ones you haven’t used or seen before. Most often than not, these tools can be easily learned with the help of YouTube and how-to videos and articles. The internet is your friend, and there really are no excuses not to know something in this stage of the game. You could add something along these lines, “I noticed this position requires experience with [insert program], in the recent weeks I have taken time to familiarize myself with it in anticipation for this role and feel comfortable stepping right into the role.”
By doing so you will make an impression that you’ve done your part as an applicant and that you are passionate about the position.
Address your Covid-19 situation
The effect of Covid-19 on the employment situation is no-laughing-matter. Many had been laid off due to the pandemic, or put into difficult career situations. Although the focus of the letter should be positive, it’s also strategic to be upfront about your situation so the company would have knowledge about whether you have been unemployed for long or were affected by the crisis.
I say, get in and get out. A simple statement that notifies the hiring manager of your reality is all they need. “I was recently furloughed due to industry impact and have been taking this as an opportunity to find a career position that is an even better fit.” Then you can jump right into a specific about their organization or the role itself that excites you.
If you’re not comfortable telling your pre or post-pandemic situation on the cover letter, that’s perfectly fine, but keep in mind that you will still be asked unemployment questions in an interview.
This is your chance to share your resiliency or positive outlook given your current standing and the commitment to being open to a career change. If the employer takes that as a hard pass on your application, this could be a red flag for the role or company culture as a whole..
Being truthful about your condition is one of the many effective ways of writing a persuasive career change cover letter. Making a shift to our career is a big deal to any of us. Writing a persuasive career change cover letter can be the start of something great.