This article details one of the types of stories job-seekers can tell in a cover letter and provides examples of how to tell that type of story for job-search success.
Stories to Explain Unusual or Potentially Negative Situations.
It’s very difficult to explain in a resume such situations as relocation, extended family-leave time, sabbaticals, illness, disability, unemployment, travel, returning to employment after business ownership, and other employment gaps. The cover letter lends itself much better to these situations, which represent another area for careful handling. You don’t want to tell stories that raise more questions than they answer. Nor do you want to call undue attention to an issue that may not be important to the employer. Certainly, do not belabor the special-situation story:
When I took maternity leave from my high-powered consulting job with Accenture, I expected to be gone for just a few months. Little did I know that giving birth to a child with autism would not only take me out of the workforce for six years to attend to my son’s special needs, but that it would inspire a whole new career passion as a special-education teacher. Now returning to the workforce with an education degree, I want to combine the communication skills honed through my past consulting experience with the knowledge I’ve gained as the mother of a special-needs child. I’m well prepared to design and deliver instruction, meet each child’s special needs, and ensure that my students reach their full learning potential.
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