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.
Formal communication is on the wane in modern life, but there are still times when it's the only correct way to reinforce a connection or convey information. If you're applying for a job, looking for a recommendation, or expanding your network, err on the side of formality. Don't let the slightly archaic feel of a formal business letter tempt you into using flowery, outdated language.