Kimbly writes about what not to do when applying for a job:
First, don’t say you’re looking forward to working at a leading pharmaceutical firm, when the company you’re applying to is actually a small software startup. Second, put your name in the subject of the email you send (after all, you are the subject). It will help your interviewer pick out your resume from the sea of other resumes all titled “Summer Internship”. Third, if you receive a response from the company, and they say they’d like to speak to you any time except for Thursday from noon to 2pm, don’t suggest Thursday at noon as being a good time for you. Fourth, if they say they’d like to speak to you on the phone, don’t reply asking where you should meet them. And especially don’t suggest that they meet you near your house. Fifth, if you schedule a time for a phone screen, don’t let your phone run out of batteries, and don’t wander into an area where you don’t get reception. Sixth, show up within ten minutes of your scheduled interview time, preferably on the early side. If you happen to arrive a whole hour early, just wait quietly in your car for 50 minutes, or go get some coffee and come back. Seventh, if you’re late, pretend it was because the place was hard to find. Eighth, don’t ask your interviewer if the company has somewhere that you’ll be able to stay, because you’ve been living in a dorm the entire year. In the corporate world, it’s customary for employees to make their own housing arrangements. Ninth, don’t use your communication skills merely to communicate your belief that you possess communication skills. Instead, communicate something useful, like what particular things you could do that you think might be useful to the company.
I would add:
Don’t send an application email that contains no other text than, “See attached resume/CV.”
Don’t use a CV/cover-letter template from a book. (You have to realize we get hundreds of these identical things.) A personalized, well written CV stands out.