The Basic Version
Dear Prospective Employer,
Here's my CV. You should hire me. That'd be great - thanks.
The Detailed Version
Prospective Employer's Address (which seems weird since these are emailed, but OK)
My super-famous and important friend/colleague/neighbor, Dr. Famous Awesome, saw your job posting entitled "Job Super-Cool," and I am pleased to submit my materials for your consideration. While I am proud/happy/amazing in my current role, this new opportunity would enable me to rule the world/fight crime/support world peace.
Let me show you I understand the job posting and have super-relevant skills and experience. I'm going to do that using a numbered list containing 3 items because 3 is easy to remember and I am very memorable. 1) People like me. 2) I know stuff. 3) I am able to tell the people who like me about the stuff I know. See how simple I make this? And how much I care about your needs (and hopes and dreams)? This should, I think, convince you that I am so right for the job. Because I am. Honest.
Now let's talk about me specifically. Through my esteemed/glorious/delightful career, I have established a broad skill set very relevant to your needs. (1) Adam likes me. He said so. You can call him - he'll tell you. (2) I've presented polar bear topics at these places, done well in these classes and worked with these people. I have proof. (3) My communication skills are unreal. I mean, look at this letter! Notice how I separated these facts into a numbered list so they'll be easy for you to follow. I'm nice like that.
My qualifications are unique because they focus on some problem or represent some required value. A given audience - hopefully the same one who works with/for you - will so totally become part of Team 'people who like me'. Trust me. It'll be super-awesome. Thank you.
My contact information
"This is great," my colleague said after I'd coached him through drafting a new letter and then made him move so I could revise it on his computer.
"Happy to help," I replied.