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Your cover letter is the first communication you make with a potential employer. It's your first impression, so it better be a good one. Here's how to write a cover letter that will impress both HR and hiring managers, and separate your application from the others in the pile.

Cover Letter Preparation

The first, and arguably most important step, is researching the company. Make sure that you have an understanding of what the business does, what problem it faces and what it's looking for in candidates. Don’t fire off a generic letter and resume in hopes that your application might be a match. Explain why you’re the best candidate to solve the company's specific challenges. Also, try to find the name and contact information of the person who's doing the hiring for the position that interests you. A cover letter addressed to the decision-maker shows that you’ve taken the time to find out who’s hiring for the job opportunity. If it’s impossible to find out the contact information, send the cover letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.” Once all of your research is done, you're ready to write. But what do you say? These three videos will tell you, step by step.

First Paragraph

Body Paragraphs

Conclusion

Check out the Dice Resume Center for free sample resumes and cover letters. For other advice about cover letters, check out the Resumes & Cover Letters section of the Dice Tech Career Tool Kit -- our one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about finding a job in technology. Dice TV