Cover Letters: Don't Make Your Layoff Front and Center

Advice to job seekers who are trying to explain a layoff.

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A job seeker now trying to explain a layoff to prospective employers may be tempted to mention it first thing in cover letters or in introductions--perhaps because they feel that elucidating the economy's role in their dismissal will enchance their attractiveness as candidates, or because they believe companies and hiring managers value transparency.

But career strategist Cynthia Shapiro tells the WSJ that candidates should let their resume speak to their current state of employment, and they should use the interview to explain their job loss. The cover letter should speak to your strengths and your value.

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