Some recruiters do not read cover letters, others do. As you do not really know in advance what will happen with this letter, you should prepare it for scrutiny.
Two important tips: it should be structured and without mistakes.
Now, how to start? First, some basics:
- In the header indicate your contact details;
- Include the location and date of your cover letter;
- Add a subject line with the title of the position and company name;
- If a recruiter is mentioned in the job offer, do address them the letter.
Second, the content:
The content of your cover letter should demonstrate who you are and how you fit for the job.
You can start with a paragraph on who you are: where you graduated; in which field; any experience that is relevant to the position.
The second paragraph should highlight what you have accomplished in previous experiences that is of interest for the job you are applying to. If you do not have any experience, previous traineeship or volunteering activity that could support your application to the position, further dig in your studies and how they would help you in the role.
The third paragraph could comprise a description of your strong points or how you former colleagues or friends do describe you.
The fourth and last part should indicate why you are interested in this position and how you can contribute with your skills and experience to this company.
The aim is to keep it short, clear and concise, but still specific. Do have the job description in mind when writing the cover letter. Also search the company to understand their values and activities to reinforce the third and fourth paragraphs of your letter.