By all means, do not address the letter to “To whom it may concern,” and do not explain that references are available upon request (because that is expected). It is also expected that you include your résumé.
Your cover letter should only be 3-4 paragraphs on 1 page and include the following:
- Your contact information.
- Today’s date.
- The position you are applying for (e.g., “RE: Content Manager”).
- A personalized greeting (e.g., “Dear Mr. Brown”).
- How you heard about the position.
- Why you are a good fit for both the company and the position.
- Your signature line.
Tailoring the letter to the position requires a little research about the hiring manager and the company. For your research, go to the company’s website, perform an Internet search about the company, go to LinkedIn and use ReferenceUSA (available with a Columbus Metropolitan Library card through http://www.columbuslibrary.org/.)
After you submit your cover letter and résumé, be sure to follow up.