Its easy to make a mistake when searching for a job, unfortunately by doing so you are adversely impacting your ability to find that role of your dreams and case should be taken to minimize this as much as possible. In this difficult job climate, care must be taken with even the smallest detail and your review should include your resume and cover letter as well as your own references!
Your Resume/CV and Cover Letter are generally your first introduction to the company. You can never make a first impression again so it pays to ensure that the information you are providing to the prospective employer is accurate, factual and well presented. Use good quality paper if sending out or providing hard copies and ensure that it is readable. Try not to exceed 2 pages by formatting and if necessary deleting or editing out previous roles to ensure that it fits.
More Details -
Cover Letters are your ticket to sell yourself. While a CV/Resume is by its very nature a dry and factual document, a cover letter speaks to your passions and ambitions and you should utilize it fully to draw the reader’s attention to the parts of your background that are most applicable to the specific job.
It is essential that you customize your resume & cover letter to the job that you are applying for. Having a "master" version of your CV that is available to you is a good first step and then depending on the role that you are applying for and what they are looking for you can and should tailor your CV (resume) and Cover Letter appropriately.
If you only depend upon the job boards for roles, you are missing a vital clue. Make sure that you network (use LinkedIn for example) and speak to your friends and family. Get involved in some "after school" activities and clubs and meet other people in your community and in any professional associations. Some studies have shown that almost 60% (or higher) of roles are filled in this manner and it is significantly more effective than mass applications!
Please & Thank You -
Being polite never hurts and you will find that it pays even greater dividends in the job search! A professional "Thank you for the time" after an interview is absolutely essential. In addition, it helps bring your name back to the forefront after they have seen a raft of other applicants and also demonstrates your interest in the company and position.
The Boy Scout Code - "Be Prepared".
Make sure you know your resume and are comfortable with all the details included on it. Make sure that you carry extra copies of your resume to your interview with you. If you have written references take them, if you have demonstrative project work ... bring it!! More than likely you will not need all of this, but you are guaranteed to need it if you don't have it with you!
Do your Homework -
It is 110%(!!!!) essential that you know the details of the company that you are interviewing with! What do they do? What products do they sell? Who is their biggest competition? What is their revenue? Are they public or private?? Not doing your homework on the company shows a distinct lack of interest and regardless of how well you interview the hiring manager is going to think ... "if you're not interested in me, why should I be interested in you??"