How to handle sticky situations in your cover letter
A few sentences in your cover letter can help explain a long gap in your work history. Check out these examples for help finding the right words.
Get inspiration for explaining your work history.
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:
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.
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.
(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.
Time off caring for an ill family member
In the last couple of years, I served as primary caregiver to my father, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. During this difficult period, I kept my work skills updated by independently studying ______ and actively participating in industry news groups. At this time, I am available to return to work, and am confident that I would be an asset to your team.
Time off raising children
After stepping away from the workforce to start a family, I am eager to resume my professional career now that my children are school-aged. I have kept my skills and connections current through active volunteer work, including leadership roles in school and charitable organizations.
I plan to relocate to ______ to be closer to family, and your opening presents an excellent opportunity. I am available immediately for a telephone interview and can arrange to meet in person on short notice.
Although successful in my ______ career, I have realized that the aspects of my work that I find the most rewarding are all in ______-related functions. I am currently pursuing a full-time position in this area, and am confident in my ability to excel in this field.
After building a successful small business (where I grew revenues from zero to six figures in two years), I recently closed the operation to pursue my passion for the ______ field. Your opening is an excellent opportunity, and I look forward to speaking with you about how I can help expand your operation.
Although I have changed jobs more than I would have liked in the past few years, I am searching for a position where I can make a long-term commitment. If you agree that my credentials are an excellent fit to your needs, please feel free to call or email me to arrange a meeting.
Most recently, I have contracted with ABC Agency and have completed a number of interesting assignments (detailed on the attached resume). While this work is rewarding, the short-term nature of temping does not let me provide the kind of enduring, value-added contributions I find to be most fulfilling as I could as a full-time team member.
Budget cuts required me to take a ______ position in order to remain employed, but I am confident in my ability to step back up to a management position and hit the ground running. I would welcome the chance for an interview to discuss your goals and outline ways I can help you achieve them.
Job search next steps
Now that you know how to handle a tricky job situation on your cover letter, it's time to get your resume in order. Want help making the most of your resume?Join Monster today today and get a free resume review from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. Our experts can help you impress employers with a high-impact resume and cover letter, even with a tricky work gap.
Relocation cover letters to customize for your specific circumstances.
Whether you are planning to move or investigating the idea of relocation in order to secure a job, this relocation cover letter information will help get your resume noticed and get you that interview.
Your cover letter should persuade the potential employer that you are the best candidate for the position. Your relocation should be a non-issue for the company, with the focus firmly on your ability to do the job.
Select the relocation letter that best suits your situation and adapt it for your own use.
When writing a cover letter for relocation use these tips to help you get it right.
1. Use your current contact details
Don't confuse the situation by using the address you are relocating to. The potential employer needs to be able to contact you at your current address.
2. Explain your situation clearly and positively
Where, when and why you are relocating. Examples:
"I look forward to permanently relocating to Kansas City in July 2014 to be near my elderly parents. Your job opportunity presents the sort of career challenge I am looking for...."
"I read your advertisement for a registered nurse with interest and enthusiasm. The position seems to be a perfect fit with my skills and experience and I am open to relocation for the right job opportunity."
3. Reinforce the permanence of the relocation
Use the word permanent in your relocation cover letter to immediately reassure the employer that this is a long term move. If you are willing to relocate for the sake of the job opportunity then give a convincing reason why you would like to make the move such as a stronger economy, better lifestyle.
4. Include your availability for interviews
Plan to be in the area at certain times so you can attend interviews. Give the target company a choice of dates for the meeting rather than just one specific day. This demonstrates flexibility and a consideration for the reader's time and commitments. You can suggest an initial phone interview as an introduction.
Keep this relocation cover letter information in mind when you adapt the following sample cover letters for your own use.
Sample Relocation Cover Letters
This letter can be used when you are having to relocate and are looking for employment in the area.
Your Contact details
Mr George Harrod
Human Resources Manager
Nobel, Green and Associates
17 Park Plaza
Tampa, FL 33610
Dear Mr Harrod
I am permanently relocating to Tampa in October as my husband has accepted a job offer in the area. I read your online job posting for a legal assistant with keen interest as I believe my skills and strengths are an excellent match for this position.
Some of the key competencies I can contribute to the opportunity include:
- paralegal certification
- over 7 years experience in a legal assistant capacity in a fifteen-attorney law firm
- proven proficiency in legal research, preparation of legal documents and case materials
- excellent computer and data management skills
- a reputation as an independent worker who is able to manage multiple demands to efficiently meet deadlines
I enclose my resume for your consideration and I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss your needs and my abilities. I will be in Tampa next week or we can speak over the phone. Thank you for your time and interest.
Lesley J. Wood
Use this sample relocation cover letter when you are willing to relocate for the job opportunity.
Your Contact details
Mrs Carol Schuster
Mercy Community Clinic
1 Creswell Road
New York , NY 10025
Dear Mrs Schuster
Your recent advertisement for a Medical Office Manager has captured my interest. It has long been an ambition of mine to relocate permanently to New York and I believe this is the right job opportunity. I am confident my skills and experience are an excellent match for the position and I enclose my resume for your consideration.
Some of the strengths that I can bring to this opportunity include:
- Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE)
- 6 years experience organizing the business operations of a busy healthcare facility
- Responsible for all purpose accounting, payment processing and payroll
- In-depth knowledge of current healthcare regulations, medical laws and ethics
- Excellent computer, scheduling and information management skills
- A motivated team player who always go the extra mile
I am confident that my knowledge and expertise will allow me to make a valuable contribution to your clinic. I would enjoy speaking with you in person to explore this opportunity further and how I can best serve your needs. I will be in New York between date and date. Please contact me to arrange a convenient time for us to meet.
As I am planning to move to New York regardless, I will be responsible for any relocation costs.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Use these sample cover letters to develop your own job-specific cover letter.
Template for Relocation Cover Letters
Decide which of these cover letter formats is the right one for you to use.
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Relocation Cover Letter Resources
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