One of my job duties is to hire for open positions in my office. We are currently hiring. This means I get resumes and applications daily. I have to read through these applications and decide which applicants will get a job interview.
I try to be very fair about the process. I have a streamlined system that allows everyone to start off on equal footing. Then, those who meet the qualifications for the job will get an interview. But, I admit, I'm biased by the time the interviews roll around.
My first inclination is to deny most applicants an interview in the first place. I consider the application process a test, and if you can't follow simple instructions, I don't want to be forced to work with you. Also, your tone and attitude can be a real turn off. Also, applying for a job other than the one advertised will work against you.
One dude said he'd "graciously" accept the job since there are so few persons of his caliber doing this sort of work.
One lady described every professional job she's ever had with the exact same phrase and included it in her cover letter. She applied for some job that isn't what we are hiring for. But, the really impressively (bad) aspect of her application is that she, despite having multiple professional positions, listed her aunt, cousin, and father as her references.
One person didn't complete 3/4 of the application and instead of a cover letter, prepared a cover sheet (name, position, date) as one would submit with a paper in school.
This is how I know I'm getting old. When I was younger, I would have found hiring an exciting process. Now, it pretty much just triggers my bitch-face.