Identify the job by title and let the recipient know how you heard about it. Summarize your qualifications for the job, specifically your work experience, activities that show your leadership skills, and your educational background. Ask for an interview, stating where you can be reached and when you will be available. If your prospective employer is located in another city and you plan to visit the area, mention the dates for your trip. If you are applying for a specific job, include any information pertinent to the position that is not included in your resume.
I can’t tell you how many truly awful letters I’ve had to read in my life. As a former administrative assistant, I was responsible for all the unsolicited submissions to a major New York museum. Artists and collectors all over the country (and abroad) wrote to have their work considered for display or acquisition, and to be honest the decision frequently rested more on the quality of their cover letter than on their work _ which, romantic dreams aside, rarely if ever sells itself.