Many of us are looking for career opportunities in industries where we have no experience. However, it seems like most companies are only looking to hire those with experience. How can you convince these companies to take a chance on you? Your cover letter is one way.
Your cover letter is the first way that companies get to know you. If you would like to change industries, you have to pay special attention to your cover letter. You should always put thought into every cover letter, but you must put extra consideration into a cover letter for a new industry. What does this extra attention include?
Do your research. If you want to work in a new industry and don’t have any experience, you have to show that you know what you’re getting into. Find those in the industry you want to work in and connect with them. You can do this by searching for employees at the company you’d like to work for on LinkedIn. See whether any of your mutual connections can put you in touch with people at this company.
Once you make a connection find out what these people do on a daily basis. What skills are the most important to their job? Include this research in your cover letter to show the company that you are serious.
If you can’t find a connection, research by studying job descriptions in the industry. You can also watch “A day in the life of (name of job)” videos on YouTube for the job you would like to get into. So, if you want to be a market research analyst you’d type in “A day in the life of a market research analyst” on the YouTube search bar. If the creator of the video is in the industry you’d like to get into write to them and see if you can learn more. The connection does not always need to be face to face.
Find and discuss transferable skills
As you do your research, think about the skills you currently have that match those in the industry you would like to move into. Do you currently work in the legal field, but want to get a job as a writer? Mention the amount of detailed writing you do or the successful writing projects you are a part of, in your cover letter.
This should be a given, but when you really want something you may be tempted to fluff up your cover letter by stating that you know more than you actually do. Don’t give into this temptation. All employers know that there is a given learning curve for every new employee, even those within the industry. So if a company is willing to take a chance on you, they’ll also expect that you won’t know everything.