Creating a message that makes a connection with the employer and causes them to like you or be interested in you is your goal.
1. Make a connection with your reader from the start.
The introduction paragraph presents several opportunities to build a connection.
Write to a particular person whenever possible and address him or her by name.
State the exact title of the position you are seeking, exactly how you found out about the opportunity, and why you are interested in the company.
2. Use Marketing Principles
In the second paragraph clearly and effectively describe how your most relevant skills and experiences can be beneficial to the organization. Use the same vocabulary as the employer has used in the job description. Keep this paragraph to five sentences or less. Create interest in why you are a logical candidate and desire for meeting you.
3. Create a Call to Action
Tell them when you are available to meet or request the interview. Add a postscript (P.S.) and tell them you will follow up f you do not hear from them. Make them call you!
4. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
Follow up letters can be MORE EFFECTIVE than your resume or cover letter! I have sent a string of follow up letters to an employer without ever sending a resume and got a call for an interview! How does that happen? Because persistence can be extremely powerful.
When you create a desire in an employer, in this case the desire to meet you, the employer will go to great lengths and overlook things to interview you. They will even overlook the fact they have never seen your resume! I am living proof.
The employer will see your well written letters coming in week after week, and want to meet you. Often they are not about to call you and admit they have not seen your resume (this can make them look inept like they lost it.)
So follow up and follow up. Send letters or email every week until they either interview you or tell you to stop. See more about cover letter follow ups.