A cover letter is an introductory letter which is sent along with your resume. Though this letter can take several different forms, its basic purpose remains the same: to help you land a job interview. In general, the opening paragraph should catch the reader's attention and persuade them to continue reading. If you were referred by someone they know or have a mutual acquaintance, tell them so. Another effective opening is to mention a recent article about their company, or better yet, an article with a quote from the person to whom you are writing. The second paragraph should communicate your main message. Briefly, give the reader some reasons why they might want to meet with you. If possible, include a few examples of your accomplishments. Again, be brief. You don't want to repeat everything on your resume; that's why you have a resume. The last part of your cover letter is called the closing. Here, you want to make a strong, positive request for a direct meeting. A closing that shows confidence and enthusiasm can help increase your chances of getting a face to face interview.