3 Cover Letter Samples to Help You Stand Out

Cover letter header

Guest post by Lauren Petrillo, M.Ed., B.A.

Don’t listen to the naysayers who declare that the cover letter is a lost art, or that companies are phasing out its usage. The vast majority of companies still ask applicants to submit cover letters for vacancies. Some want a fully formatted cover letter, and in these instances, we recommend using one that matches your CV.

If you’ve enlisted the help of a professional to rewrite your CV, you may want to consider including a cover letter add-on to ensure that your application comes together as a “package” to market you in an effective and professional manner.

Below are three samples of successful cover letter samples that serve to complement CVs, but shine on their own as well!

Cover letter sample 1

Sample 1: Strengths-Based Cover Letter

This cover letter is simple and clean-cut. It’s a classic format that can be used across all career sectors and is ideal for the entry-level professional or someone looking to possibly make a career change. The body of this letter places focus on the applicant’s strengths, with each one followed by bullets that support why the client is highly skilled in the listed areas of strength. In using this format, we recommend including no more than three or four strengths and no more than a couple of samples for each. The total length of this should not exceed one-page total.


Cover letter sample 2

Sample 2: Example-Focused Cover Letter

This sample offers a bit more creative flair and hones in on examples from an individual’s career history that serve to illustrate why they are ideal for a given role. This is a great cover letter format to utilize when job searching in any career field because the bullet points can easily be tailored to fit each job the individual applies for. Also, keeping the number of bullets limited to 3-5 total and including no more than 2-3 sentences per bullets will help keep the document succinct. The allure of this format is that it offers a very comprehensive snapshot of one’s career history, but doesn’t bog readers down with too much detail. This format works best for individuals who have a career history and have achieved some significant feats thus far. As with the previous format, keeping this document limited to one page is key.


 Cover letter sample 3

Sample 3: Narrative Cover Letter

This sample is one that works best for experienced professionals and reads as though the author is telling a story about his or her career history. This sample offers a great deal of room to list a plethora of information, and is best suited for cover letters that don’t necessarily need to be constantly modified or tailored, since doing so would require almost a complete overhaul of content. There is flexibility, however, for the applicant to change up the title and core competencies that are highlighted prominently within the header. A terrific selection for a managerial or executive professional looking to advance within their current career sector and illustrate a rich career history. As always, keeping this at a one-page maximum is recommended.


Lauren Petrillo is a freelance writer with a B.A. in English/Professional Writing and a M.Ed. in Student Affairs. She initially spent her post-grad years working in higher education but was always looking for opportunities to utilize her writing skills on a more day-to-day basis. She is now living her dream of working as a full-time writer to help clients from all over the world write their resumes, cover letters and other documents. Lauren is also a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC).

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