A weak, but typical, opening paragraph might read:
I am writing to apply for the account manager position you have posted on your company Website.
A better opening paragraph:
I have increased the size and sales levels of my client base in every position I have held, which in turn has increased the revenues and profits of my employers. I want to bring this same success to the account position you have posted on your Website.
Provide more detail about your professional and/or academic qualifications. Expand on information from the first paragraph about how you will benefit the employer. Be sure to stress accomplishments and achievements rather than job duties and responsibilities. Expand on specific items from your resume that are relevant to the job you are seeking. Use solid action verbs to describe your accomplishments and achievements.
If you do not have a lot of solid experience in the field you are trying to enter, remember to focus on key skills that can easily transfer from your previous work experience to the job at hand.
And if responding to a job posting or ad, be sure to tailor this paragraph to the needs described in the ad.
Relate yourself to the company, giving details why you should be considered for the position. Continue expanding on your qualifications while showing knowledge of the company.
Ideally, do your homework; show that you know something about the organization. Demonstrating knowledge of the employer to which you are writing is not a mandatory part of a cover letter, but it’s a great touch that will often win favor in the eye of the employer. On one level, you can write something that sounds specific to the company you’re writing to but that really can be said to any employer:
I am intensely interested in contributing my skills and experience to your firm because of your company’s reputation for quality.
On a higher level, however, you can do some research and write something that truly is specific to the company you’re writing to:
Over the last two years I have followed the unfolding events at Guffman Enterprises with great interest as the firm moved into financial and broadband services.