Three-paragraph format

First Paragraph

This paragraph tells the employer why you're writing to them. State the position you are applying for.

Avoid the standard openings like "I wish to apply for the position of _ advertised in _".

Design your opening to get the reader to sit up and pay attention to what you can do.

It's unnecessary to specify how you became aware of the position unless it's through a mutual contact or recruiting program.

If you are writing a letter of interest (also known as a prospecting or inquiry letter), in which you're asking about positions that might be available, specify why you are interested in working for the employer.

Second Paragraph

Outline your qualifications and match them to the requirements of the position.

Show enthusiasm and a desire to help the company reach its goals.

Show the employer what you can contribute to their bottom line, not what you want to get out of the deal.

Use what you've researched about the employer's background and history.

Try to make two or three solid points, backed up by specific examples.

Relate some relevant details about the company so the employer knows you did some research ahead of time.

Final Paragraph

Include a positive statement or question that will cause the employer to want to take action.

Make this closing paragraph between 2-4 sentences.

Direct the employer to the enclosed resume, make your availability known for an interview.

If you want to be assertive, state when you will contact them to set up a meeting time to discuss the opportunity in further detail.

Provide your own contact information (phone number, e-mail address) and welcome them to get in touch.

Thank the employer for their time and consideration. (Very important!)