For uploaded or mailed cover letters, you do not need to include as much information as you would in an email message, because the heading of your cover letter includes your contact information. For a paper cover letter, use a formal business_style letter format which includes a heading, salutation, the body of the letter, closing, and your signature. Review these guidelines for what to include in your letter.
For instance, in a typical job application, the problem is that the company or organization needs a position filled, and more importantly they need someone who can do the job well and help the organization achieve its mission (which may be more profits, or it may be to save children in Darfur or to end global warming or to cure cancer). You arouse their interest by telling them that you’re the right person for the position and by promising to help them achieve their mission.