The first paragraph should always tell the reader who you are and why you are writing. In fact, if you are stumped for an opener, a popular one is â€˜I am writing to. .â€™ You should inform the reader which specific position you are seeking, why you think the company needs your services (e.g. you heard that they were recruiting, you were referred by someone, you saw n advertisement in X, etc), and anything else which you think briefly explains why you are writing.
This is a good place to include a brief references to something you know about the company, like the award it has won, or its number one status in the market. Donâ€™t go into detail here in the first paragraph. Just drop a few facts to show youâ€™re familiar with the companyâ€™s exploits.
The second paragraph should describe your professional skills and academic qualification for the position youâ€™re seeking. Donâ€™t mention details about your skills and schooling that donâ€™t apply to the specific company and position. Some experience and training is very broadly relevant, and thatâ€™s fine to include for almost any job.
For example, having run your own business is good experience in general, and it wouldnâ€™t hurt to mention it briefly in most cover letters (it would show that you have business savvy, and that youâ€™ve handled major responsibilities).
The third paragraph should explain how you are a god fit at the company and how you will be a valuable asset in the position you want. This is your opportunity to show what you know about the company and to relate it to what youâ€™ve told the reader about yourself to make you and the company seem like a great match. Employers like to see that youâ€™ve taken enough interest in the company to find out about it, and that youâ€™ve thought about how you will fit in with them.
The fourth paragraph should request that the company schedule an interview with you or contact you about your application. Just politely write that you would be very interested in scheduling an interview and what you would appreciate it if he or she contact you for it.
Next, you should say: â€˜Thank you for your time and considerationâ€™. This line can be the last line in the fourth paragraph or a one-line paragraph of its own. After that, leave some space and then lined up with your address in the top right hand corner, write â€œYours sincerely,â€? â€œYours very truly,â€? or â€œSincerely.â€?
Then skip three to five lines (depending on space), and, lined up with â€œSincerely,â€? or whatever, write your name. Then sign it. An unsigned letter is approximately as impressive as a letter with dried food on it.