Shotguns and time
Looking for a job can be tricky. I work mid-upper range support/installs and tend to use the shotgun approach, applying for as many jobs as I can.
There is a lot of competition out there and pinning your hopes on one or two is a sure path to disappointment. The person on the other end has a lot to read so get to the damn point!
One thing that does irritate me is recruitment firms asking me to fill in their standardized form.
Is it worth the time doing the form when you just get lumped onto their database anyway until the right keywords match (months later sometimes)? Very rarely for the paygrade I'm in. When the rate goes up to £35/hr and more, then its totally worth it.
And unless its a job I really really want (like The World Food Program and/or another UN agency) I also think a covering letter has a very poor ROI. I will not send one to an agency. Its 20 minutes (and to do a personal covering letter rather than the garden variety standard one it should be taking this long to research and revise) that you will never see again.