cover letter advice

People keep asking me about this one.

Originally a set of IRC messages, pasted here for convenience:

<Allie> Cover letters are easy! Four paragraphs:
<Allie> 1) Who you are, what you're applying for, how you found out about the position, and (briefly) why you're applying for this position.
<Allie> 2) What you can do for them - don't re-state your entire CV here, but pick out a few relevant skills and experiences that make you a good fit for the position - talk yourself up!
<Allie> 3) What they can do for you - this is where you demonstrate that you've actually spent more than 30 seconds looking at the job. google the company, pick out some cool/relevant things they've done, talk up how you want to grow in your career and how you think that's compatible with this particular role and skills. this is also where you prove that you've not sent the same cover letter to ten jobs w/ just the job title changed.
<Allie> 4) practicalities. you want an interview, so tell them that. give them some times and dates you're free - not just "whenever", but some actual 1-hr timeslots in your schedule. give them two or three to pick from. mention anything that you may need to mitigate when getting an interview. repeat your contact details here, and mention that you're going to be in touch in two weeks to follow up with them about organising an interview
<Allie> try your best to address your cover letter to an INDIVIDUAL - they do actually get read