A cover letter or a letter of Inquiry is a one-page document or email limited to 3-4 paragraphs, each with a distinct purpose. Despite it brevity, it’s a very important letter so it may take you several tries to achieve the best result.
First Paragraph: The Purpose Why are you writing?
Are you applying to a specific position?
Are you inquiring whether there is a need for an intern?
The name of the position
Where you found out about it (website or personal referral)
Or are you writing to inquire if the organization has a need for your skills
Indicate why you are interested in the position and/or the company
Show evidence of research about the company/organization
Middle Paragraph: The Proof Why you and not any of the other zillion candidates? Most Important paragraph!
Cite specific skills that the organization is looking for
Cite specific accomplishments relevant to the job description
Highlight any special skills, experience and background which might not appear on your resume (projects, coursework, collaborations)
Avoid regurgitating what’s already on your resume
Last Paragraph: The Close What do you want?
• Mention what is enclosed; resume, writing samples, references only if requested)
• Indicate your interest in an interview or phone discussion about the position
• Specify when you will follow – up with a phone call or email (but then you have to do it!)
• Share you contact information again