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If you're mentioning your reference in first paragraph, you can continue on to include why you applied for that position. A good way of connecting reference to your application is "my skills and your requirement are a good match." Put that in your own words.
In next paragraph, you justify your statement about why you think that your skills and skills required for position are a good match. Make a single line reference to a particular achievement in your current (or previous) job that is along similar lines so that employer will know exactly what he's looking for. A good example would be "Set up a fully operational network of franchisees in Southern France for retailing ABC Coffee".
Avoid mentioning skills you don't have or projects you have never worked on. Because sooner or later, you're going to face it; when interviewer looks into your cover letter (or resume) and says "OK, Mr. Stephens, can you give me an instance of how you can use XML to port data from a backend system into a Middleware application"? And that's when you mind starts racing, "XML?? Middleware?? Port..?? Is that my resume he's got..???". God bless you if it's not your resume.
If there are more achievements you want to include, write them down in bulleted points. It's easier for employer to read, comprehend and get a good picture of your capabilities. Do not reproduce your entire resume here. 2 or 3 such points will do perfectly fine. Of course do not include irrelevant achievements like "Won a Silver Medal in 200 x 4 Men's Relay Race conducted by Louisville Young Adults Club in 1991". Not unless you're applying for post of a Physical Trainer or Coach.
You have made your point here. You know why you're applying. And recruiters like that. You know your responsibilities, risks involved and tasks you'll be handling. You're just person they're looking for. At least, you're one of persons they'd like to talk to before handing over employment contract.
An ending note can make quite an impression. Tell them your resume is attached and that you're "looking forward to explore this opportunity further". Include an address and telephone number for them to contact you. Sign off with a "Yours Truly" or "Best Regards" and put your complete name under it.
Get into form and write out your winning cover letter.
Amit Pujar is a copywriter/technical writer currently heading the content department of an online publication. Amit writes on a variety of subjects and is currently working on his first non-fiction. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.