What Do You Say in a Cover Letter if You Have Been Unemployed for a Long Time?

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Long periods of unemployment need to be addressed in a very particular way, especially when it comes to cover letters. Find out what to say on a cover letter if you've been unemployed for long periods of time with help from an executive recruiter and career counselor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Job Advice
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Bruce Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. You can find me on the web at www.hsstaffing.com. What do you say in a cover letter if you've been unemployed for a long time? The simple answer is absolutely nothing. The purpose of the cover letter is to get the recipient to look at your resume. If you highlight a negative in the cover letter, you maybe summarily rejected. On the cover letter, you also give proof that you have verifiable results from past employment that shows that you can succeed in the job you're applying for and hopefully you'll be able to exceed expectations. In the resume, under employment, have a sub-section above your last job titled Interim Employment Related Activities. Now, there is no gap in the resume, so you don't have to worry about having been unemployed. What goes in that section? Everything that you have done that is in anyway employment related. For example, part time jobs even if not in your profession, contract assignments, courses you've taken, volunteer activities related to your profession and anything else you can think of. What you want to show the perspective employer is that you are not the type of a person who can remain idle and with a non-related employment activities, those activities not on your profession, you're showing you can leave your ego at the door and you do what you have to do in order to pay your bills. There's nothing to be ashamed of. In this economy, employers will not hold unemployment against you. They will however hold you responsible for what you do or do not do during your unemployment. Thank you for watching.

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