How do you organize your cover letter?

Cover letters typically have four parts:

Part 1: A brief introductory sentence
  • The goal of this sentence is to indicate the role for which you are applying
  • This sentence typically begins, “I am writing to apply . . . “
Part 2: The remainder of the first paragraph
  • The goal is to show
    — why the organization interests you (it’s about them — not about you!)
    — why you would be a good fit for the role
  • Describe how you learned of the position (especially if a person referred you to the role)
Part 3: The main body of the letter (1-2 paragraphs)
  • The goal is to show how your experiences and skills fit the role and the skills required
  • Open by briefly introducing your college background, including majors/concentrations or relevant coursework. Keep it short. Connect your academic interests to the role
  • Next, describe your qualifications. Follow the outline that you prepared when you reviewed the job description
  • Include your greatest accomplishment — the one that relates most directly to the role
  • Discuss why the organization would want to hire you. What do you have to offer that would make you a top candidate?
Part 4: Brief closing paragraph
  • The goal is to show how much you would like to become part of the team
  • Refer the reviewer to the enclosed resume
  • State that you hope to hear from the organization and to speak with them further
  • Close with a statement indicating you will follow up
  • List a phone number where you can be reached
  • Thank the reviewer for taking the time to review your application
  • Sign your cover letter by hand

What are the layout and format of a cover letter?