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How to Handle Sticky Situations in Your Cover Letter

How to Handle Sticky Situations in Your Cover Letter

Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

January 25, 2011

Are you wondering how to deal with a sticky work history issue? Whether you were laid off from your last position, took time off to raise children or are looking to change careers, the cover letter is the perfect place to address potential red flags.

One caveat: Keep the explanation brief. Writing a cover letter is an exercise in selling yourself, so the tone should be upbeat and positive. Review these examples to get inspiration for explaining your sticky situation:

Layoff

Last month, ABC Co. made the difficult decision to dissolve its operations, so I am available for immediate employment. I am eager to continue my ______ career and was very excited when I learned about your job opportunity — it’s a perfect match to my qualifications and career goals.

Long-Term Unemployment

Although I was a top producer for ABC Co., my position was eliminated during a major corporate restructuring. I have been searching for a position in the industry, but the economy has made positions in ______ very difficult to find. In the interim, I have been networking at industry events and keeping my skills fresh, but I am eager to resume my career in the ______ field.

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Medical Leave

(Note: Don’t disclose medical information that could jeopardize your chance of landing a job — disclosure is your personal choice.)

After taking time off to undergo back surgery, I left ABC Co. (on excellent terms) to focus on my recovery. As I regained my strength, I went to school part-time and received certifications in ______ and ______. Now fully recovered, I have been given an “excellent” bill of health by my doctor, and am highly motivated to return to the full-time workforce.

Next Page: Time Off Caring for an Ill Family Member →


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