Your cover letter is like a handshake. It forms a person’s first impression of you, and the way you do it speaks volumes about yourself. And just like a handshake, it’s silly that we judge a person so much based on it, but we do.
First, let’s dispel what a cover letter is not. It’s not a place for you to scream how passionate you are about the job you want. Nor is it you just listing your entire résumé, in prose format.