After helping numerous career changers over the years, the cover letter remains one of the least favorite activities.
The problem is we think too much about it. And, the key is keeping it short!
Let’s break it down into very doable steps.
1st Paragraph: Introduce Yourself
Get the hiring manager’s attention right away.
Tell a short story about yourself. Or, ask a question. Or, share an interesting tidbit about your experience.
Avoid “I am applying for …”.
Emphasize the qualities that make you a unique individual and employee. And, mention why you are applying at this company, or for this position. This could be the company’s values and/or mission. It could be the work environment or the specific responsibilities of this position. Or ….
But, keep it short!
3–4 sentences in this paragraph.
Share a story demonstrating you have experience using some of the skills listed for this position in the job posting. (Note: Highlight 2-3 skills, not all of them! Stick to the most important skills. These are listed at the top of the job posting, or within each section of the job posting.)
The skills you highlight may be from a previous position, or in one of your recent UX/UI projects. Include the results of using those skills. What improved? Or, what was reduced? Share the business benefit of you demonstrating those skills.
Share the story about your career change but keep it brief. Explain the why behind your career change.
If you have received recent training in UX Design, mention that here.
4th Paragraph (optional):
If you want to expand on your experience, give additional examples of how your experience relates to the top skills listed in the job posting. You want to keep this a quick read. Use a bulleted list.
As a career changer, these will likely be transferrable skills.
Collaboration. Communication. Team player. Problem solver. Etc.
Give examples of how you used these skills and how your skills benefited the company.
Never apologize for experience you don’t have.
Wrap it up by highlighting what you can do for the company.
Refer them to your resume and your portfolio.
Here’s an example:
I’d love to learn more about your user experience strategy for the coming year and to discuss how my experience might benefit the Sky Tech team. You can reach me at …
Simply thank them for their time and state that you look forward to hearing from them.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to speaking soon.