First of all, make your cover letter personal and customised to the specific vacancy and company you are applying for. Also, a known pitfall is to summarise your resume in the cover letter. There is no need for that. The company already has your resume. Use the letter to highlight and explain the fit between you and the vacancy instead.  

Please see the basic structure of a letter below. This structure is great as a guideline, but do personalise the letter to show your personality and enthusiasm about the vacancy and the company.  

Paragraph 1: Introduction
Introduce yourself and explain why you are contacting the company. Do not forget to stand out and to grab the attention!  

Paragraph 2: The company
What attracts you to the company? Check the strategy of the company, the website, the mission and the goals they want focus on in the future to make sure you are specific. It always helps to ‘drop names’ of employees in the beginning of your motivation letter. Make sure you talked to an employee before applying. This means that you can mention his/her name and incorporate his/her experiences in your letter.  

Paragraph 3: The fit
Why are you the best candidate for this specific vacancy? Emphasize the fit between the company, the job and you! In other words, link the job description to your own competencies and experiences. It can always help to briefly use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) in this part of your letter.  

Paragraph 4: Concluding words
End your letter with a strong concluding sentence. Once again, make sure you link your contribution to the specific company and vacancy you apply for.  

End: Professional sign-off
End your letter with “Sincerely,” or “Best regards,”